Once I’d had my eureka moment and realised that I loved growing flowers, I enrolled on a floristry course at my local college in winter 2019. Over the next few months I bought lots of cut flower seeds from all those tempting seed catalogues that land on the door mat throughout winter. 2020 dawned and in February (I’m in the mild gardening climate of Cornwall) I started sowing for my new cut flower plot. I loved it, and was so excited about the idea of my new business. Everything was was going well…. then in March we all got the knocked for six by the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic. This put a dramatic brake on my dreams. In the early confusion around what we could and couldn’t do during this new thing called ‘lockdown’, I wasn’t sure how to go forward so I decided to grow veg again.
But trying to remain optimistic and in the spirit of ‘just in case’, I planted out the flowers I had already started off: dahlias, cosmos, zinnia, cornflowers, and sunflowers. As the year went on they all grew beautifully and I started to pick them and had so many! As I hadn’t yet had time to build up a customer base, I gave some away, but was encouraged to try to sell them by my mother in law who also has a small flower farm and sells her flowers from the farm gate. I wasn’t terribly hopeful about how this would go as I live at the end of a long road and don’t have much passing traffic, so I decided to venture into the world of social media to sell the flowers. Much to my surprise this worked brilliantly and they sold! There was so much demand that I even had to contact another local flower farmer to supply me with extra flowers!
In August I joined flowers from the Farm after a local dahlia grower told me all about the organisation. I’m glad I did as I’ve had lots of enquiries via the website. I decided that if I could make a success of flowers during a lockdown, that it was time to really go for it, so my two allotments have now become five. One has a small polytunnel, and I’ve also turned my very steep sloping back garden in to a cutting patch. Sales have been a little slower so far this year but I’ve already realised that I didn’t buy enough spring bulbs to get me through, so larger quantities of these have already gone on my shopping list for next year!
I’ve also launched a YouTube channel detailing my journey in to becoming a flower farmer. I still find it amazing that people enjoy watching me ramble on about seeds and dahlias!