What first inspired you to become a flower grower?
The garden is full of so many hidden gems that should be shared. I started mainly growing and selling herbs like lavender and rosemary before realising there was a demand for homegrown flowers too.
What’s your background?
I have master degrees in biology, geology, environmental science and oceanography. After finishing my studies, I went on to work for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and The Environment Agency as a hydrologist.
How and when did you start?
My business was established in September 2014 when I started selling lavender and dried floral arrangements to friends and family.
Where do you grow?
I have a small cutting patch in my garden but I cut flowers from everywhere in my garden based in the Teme Valley in the Shelsley hills.
Flower grower or florist?
I consider myself to be a flower grower and a florist. I wouldn’t describe myself as a flower farm as there’s nothing farmlike about my garden. I studied floristry part time at my local college where I learnt all the basics of floristry using only my homegrown flowers – the teacher was very supportive and helpful and has since gone on to use British flowers regularly. I only use British flowers all year round sourcing flowers from other growers when necessary.
How do you sell your flowers (online, markets, farm gate etc) in a normal year and to whom do you sell (public, florists, hotels etc)?
I take many orders online for local bouquet deliveries, I sell a few posies at a local farm shop and at the top of my drive during summer months. I provide flowers for about 25 – 30 weddings a year and about a dozen funerals.
I also provide flowery subscriptions and do about 8 workshops a year. These are usually for Christmas wreaths, hand tied bouquets or flower crowns.
What aspects of being a Flowers from the Farm member do you most value?
I’ve learnt so much from being part of Flowers From The Farm – most notably from being repsonsible for West Midlands region displays at RHS shows. I really enjoy creating unusual floral designs with like minded people in a relaxed environment and it’s always fun to work with others. We share advice and tips about growing and arranging flowers too.
I’m pretty sure my business wouldn’t have lasted more than a couple of years if it wasn’t for FFTF – the members give you the confidence to try new things and keep on going when things become challenging.