As we gear up for our exciting showcase "The Flower Farmers' Big Weekend" in August, we thought we'd introduce you to more of our members and the story of how, when and why they took the plunge to become a flower farmer.
We catch up with Toria Britten from Wildly Beautiful Flowers (formerly Flowers from the Plot) based in North Somerset. As the name suggests, she grows wildly gorgeous and unusual flowers for weddings, funerals, bouquets and events.
Can you tell us about the spark that inspired you to become a flower farmer?
I had always had a deep love for flowers and one day I realized I had no idea of the provenance of the flowers I was buying, this made me stop and think about sourcing them locally. My husband then had a horrific accident and I was catapulted into a new career.
What is your background?
Growing up on a farm has given me great insight into working with nature and growing with the seasons. I had my own interior design business for 30 years before starting as a flower grower.
How and when did you get started as a flower farmer?
I started the business in 2012, growing for weddings and events on a small area of land next to our house.
Describe your business - do you consider yourself to be a flower grower, a florist or both?
Definitely a grower and florist.
Where are you based? Tell us about the size and location of your flower farm
Based near Bristol in North Somerset. I grow on a small area, probably about quarter of an acre.
How do you sell your flowers (online, markets, farm gate etc) and to whom do you sell (public, florists, hotels etc)?
I mainly grow for weddings and events where I do the installations and floristry. I also run workshops, supply subscription flowers and sometimes supply event florists.
What’s been the highlight of your flower-farming career so far?
Winning a Gold Medal at RHS Chelsea flower show in 2018!
Do you offer workshops?
What are your hopes and visions for the future of your business?
To share my love of growing and floristry through workshops here and teaching in other parts of the country. I will continue to do a maximum of 15 weddings a year and plan to do more photo shoots, which I love.
What aspects of being a FFTF member do you most value?
The amazing community spirit, I have made so many friends and we have shared so much knowledge, it’s been an inspiration!
VIST WWW.FLOWERFARMERSBIGWEEKEND.CO.UK TO FIND YOUR LOCAL OPEN FLOWER FARM AUGUST 16TH-18TH 2019