Can you tell us about the spark that first inspired you to become a flower farmer?
I first heard about flower farming when I met Toria from Wildly Beautiful Flowers, who provided the most beautiful blooms for my own wedding. Gardening has always been a passion of mine but it wasn’t until we had the opportunity to buy a plot of land with our house that I thought about ways to use the land to run a business that also benefited the local environment and made the connection back to my beautiful locally grown wedding flowers. Seeing the Flowers from the Farm display at Chelsea Flower show was the spark which made me turn the dream into reality.
What is your background?
My background is in botanical science, focussing primarily on the genetics of wheat breeding.
How and when did you get started as a flower farmer?
In 2016 after years of dreaming of our own country property we took the plunge and bought a set of derelict barns in Somerset, which came with an acre of agricultural land. In 2019 we started growing flowers for cutting and selling and each year since have expanded the plot.
Do you consider yourself to be a flower grower, a florist or both?
I began as a flower grower but what I didn’t expect was to love the floristry side of the business so much. I am still learning but have found that understanding how the flowers grow and their requirements for conditioning has given me a good basis for learning floristry.
Where do you grow?
Our flower farm is located on the North Somerset coast, near Weston-Super-Mare. The plot is on an acre of agricultural land where we are also establishing an orchard and wildflower meadow. The field has heavy clay soil and we mostly grow using the no-dig method, pioneered by Charles Dowding.
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)?
We sell flowers to local customers in the form of flower subscriptions, seasonal bunches, buckets and gift bouquets. We deliver locally and also have bunches for sale in two local shops. We supply flowers and arrangements for weddings, events and funerals. We also sell fresh and dried flowers wholesale to local florists.
What’s been the highlight of your flower-farming career so far?
The highlight of my career so far has been supplying flowers for a January wedding in 2020. I used a mixture of fresh and dried flowers, with living bowls of plants as the table centrepieces which the wedding guests took home to plant in their gardens to flower for years to come.
Do you offer workshops usually?
We haven’t to date but are hoping to this year in our new studio space which should be completed by then end of May.
What are your hopes and visions for the future of your business?
I would love to expand the growing area further and to expand the wedding floristry side of the business.
What aspects of being a Flowers from the Farm member do you most value?
Flowers from the Farm has provided me with invaluable advice and support on many aspects of the business. The meet-ups are always a highlight, as are the flower shows when they are running – I was lucky enough to be involved in the Bath and West flower show when I first started and it was a great way to meet other local growers, practice floristry and indulge in all things flower related!