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My name is Sally Bourne and I am fortunate enough to live in the heart of the beautiful Galloway Forest Park in south west Scotland where I have my little flower farm in the gardens surrounding my house. I have been growing and picking flowers for as long as I can remember. I had a very rural upbringing and one of my first memories is of sowing a packet of nasturtiums with my granny. Growing flowers for sale was a dream I had for many years. While my four children were small most of my gardening efforts were geared towards producing fresh fruit and vegetables, but I grew a few rows of flowers for cutting in amongst the vegetables. About six years ago, with my family all grown up by that time, I built some raised beds in my back garden and started growing flowers especially for cutting on a more intensive level. The following year I set up my micro business, Flowers of the Forest and began selling my arrangements at local markets. I have also provided flowers for weddings and special events. I grow all the flowers and foliage that I sell myself and I choose the best of what is available on the day when I am harvesting and arranging my flowers. I am very dependent on the weather, which has a big effect on when my flower season starts and finishes, but I usually have flowers available from March until September or October. No two arrangements that I create are identical. My flowers are fresh, usually scented, and you won’t find anything quite like them in the supermarkets or on petrol stations forecourts. They are truly seasonal. I don’t have organic certification by the Soil Association, but I have always tried to follow organic principles. I don’t use any pesticides or herbicides. My flowers are fed mostly with my own homemade compost and liquid feeds. Growing flowers for cutting creates a huge amount of garden waste and this is all composted and returned to the soil. Pollinating insects such as bees, hoverflies and butterflies are numerous on my plot and they love my flowers as much as I do. The compost that I buy in for raising seeds and cuttings is organic and peat free. All the packaging materials that I use are biodegradable or can be recycled. I don’t use floral foam or chemical flower food. Apart from my electric propagators, which I use to germinate seeds in the cooler months, my flowers are grown without any artificial heat, outdoors or in my greenhouse and polytunnels.