Showtime for Flower Farmers
Flowers from the Farm members have been celebrating their return to the flower show scene in peak dahlia season. Both under the Flowers from the Farm banner and independently, flower farmers across the country have been flying the flag for seasonal, scented, sustainable British cut flowers, and scooping awards as they go.
Over the busy show weekend of 11-12 September, Flowers from the Farm were invited by the Royal Horticultural Society to stage a takeover of the prestigious Dahlia Marquee at the RHS Wisley Flower Show. Fifteen independent, artisan flower farmers joined forces to contribute to the total of 1000 dahlias on display in 30 different varieties. This showcase of dahlias as cut flowers included the lighter colour varieties such as Evelyn and My Love, through pinks like Karma Prospero, oranges and bronzes such as Jowey Linda and Cornel Bronze to the darker shades such as Karma Choc, Rip City and Karma Naomi.
In a departure from the classic RHS show exhibit of black plastic water tubes, the Flowers from the Farm display was more naturalistic and softer on the eye with attractive galvanised steel buckets brimming with dahlias, their names chalked on slate tiles. The team wanted to show how stunning dahlias can look in the home, both arranged on their own and combined with seasonal flowers and foliages such as asters, panicum grasses, cynoglossum, cosmos, gladioli, verbena bonariensis and calendula.
The dahlias were picked, supplied and arranged by the talented local growers: Plantpassion, The Chobham Flower Garden, Mapletree Farm Flowers, Ivydene Flower Farm, Purple Daisy Flowers, West End Flower Farm, Headley Flower Garden, English Flowers by Michaela, Pheasant Eye Flowers, Beehaven Flowers, The Flower Artisan Ltd, Greenery, Little Garden Flowers, Little Park Flowers and William Brown.
Harrogate Autumn Show
Flowers from the Farm in the Yorkshire and North-East region, meanwhile, were invited to decorate two areas of Newby Hall as part of this year’s Harrogate Autumn Show. In the Anteroom, the theme was ‘The View Beyond’ and the floral design led the eye towards the window and the view across the landscape. In the North Vestibule, the title was ‘Look Up’ and the farmer-florists created a tall design leading up to the magnificent chandelier.
As always with Flowers from the Farm, the displays were a magnificent team effort. Featuring dahlias, autumnal foliages, grasses, amaranthus, snapdragons, hypericum, cardoons, roses, hydrangeas, dried flowers and grasses, the designs were planned and coordinated by Susanne Loweth of Beamsley Blooms with flowers and floristry expertise generously contributed by Pear Tree House Flowers, Old Pasture Park Flowers, Wild Bunch, Woodfield Farm, Northumbrian Flowers, Flowers from the Garden, The Meadow Bothy, Rose Cottage Barn, Greenwood Leaves and Martha’s Garden.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Independently, Flowers from the Farm members have been exhibiting in their own right, garnering awards and sharing the message of seasonal, sustainable British flowers with the media and public alike. This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show was held in autumn for the first time. Congratulations must go to Lois Golding of Little Garden Flowers in Warwickshire not only for her RHS Chelsea Silver medal for her first ever Chelsea installation, but also for the wonderful BBC TV coverage in which Lois highlighted why it’s important to seek out locally-grown, seasonal cut flowers over hothoused imports.
Congratulations also go to Branch-Out MK CIC for their Bronze medal and for being one of Reuters’ prestigious Pictures of the Week; and to the Fairford Collective for Silver medals in the Floral Window category.
And there’s more to come… Flowers from the Farm members including Holly-Bee Flowers, Pig Pen Flowers, Ravenshill Flower Farm, Simply by Arrangement, Xyris Botanicals, Justdahlias, Wolves Lane Flower Company, Tallulah Rose Flower School, Wildly Beautiful Flowers, Twisted Sisters, Fig and Fern, Nettlewood Flowers, Myrtle and Smith and The Flower Hunter will be amongst 30 florists showing their work at The Strawberry Hill Flower Festival, London, which runs from 8th-10th October.