Happy New Year!
Hello my dear flower loving friends, here we are another year down the garden path and it continues to be a marvellous adventure. For those of you new to my flower farming adventures it all started in 2016 when I decided to do a floristry course, not at all impressed with the poker straight stems and blooms lacking in scent from the wholesalers, I then went on to do a flower farming course with Green and Gorgeous which was fabulous and a must for anyone considering a career as a flower farmer.
So what happened next…
In 2017 I went on to get an allotment which I planted with as many flowers as I could and set about creating a name for myself as a farmer florist in Bedfordshire. I did farmers markets, had a regular pitch in my local village and started supplying my flowers to the local gift shops. You can read more about my beginnings here.
2018 was a year of change, change is good! I started really thinking about which areas of being a farmer florist I loved and which bits I needed to change. In the early winter of that year it was quiet, I’d done all my markets, supplied my gift shops, finished my workshops and should of been glad of a rest but I was so bored. I started to think of ways in which I could be busy in winter 2019 so I did a lot of research and came up with the idea of growing flowers for drying, that way I could make dried wreaths and arrangements in the winter, I now have a good supply of dried flowers to keep me occupied for the next couple of months.
The next thing I did was give up the allotment, well kind of, I still have an allotment but it’s for personal use now. I can’t tell you how relieved I was as it turned out to be the hottest driest summer in years, I’d saved myself a lot of time and effort by planting everything in the garden till it was bursting, growing all my flowers at home meant I could take much better care of it. If I’d still had to visit the allotment twice a day it would of been a nightmare. Anyone setting up a flower farm last year has my sincere sympathy, it would not of been easy.
My garden was brimming with beautiful flowers and I was starting to realise which blooms were firm favourites. Well it’s always been the roses but they are not the backbone of my flower farming adventures, it’s actually herbs, my favourites being bergamot, sage, mint and oregano, herbs play a huge part in not just my bouquets and culinary treats but they have a job as pest control too. Next up are pincushion flowers, these are the scabious and the little button cornflowers, I also have a thing for foxgloves and delphiniums! But the star of the show every year has to be the dahlias and yes it’s still cafe au lait every single time.
I grow flowers for every season so I’ve usually something blooming all year round, even if it’s just a tiny violet growing in a crack in the path mid December.
2018 was also the year that I traded my regular pitch in my local village for setting up a little flower shed/shop at my garden gate which has been a marvellous success and its been really lovely having your support, a few of you even managed to catch me in the garden and got a little tour. The flower shed will re-open in May this year.
I also supplied flowers again to the beautiful home and gift store Minchin and May in Woburn. It is run by two lovely sisters and I always come out of there with gorgeous things for my home. They are also the sole supplier of my dried wreaths and arrangements for this year so anything you see me make and post over on Instagram will end up there.
2018 also saw the launch of my first online course for flower farmers, this is something that I am still working on and at the moment I am looking for a better platform in which to host the course from. I also got a little bit more technical and started a youtube channel although I have to say that needs work, I’m not a natural videographer but hey it’s a start.
I amazed myself at just how much I could grow in my garden, I made existing flower beds bigger and put in four new ones to cope without the allotment space, for my needs it was ample if a little chaotic but what a riot of blooms!
2019 will be much the same in the garden and I have found my signature flowers and colour palette although there will still be the odd plant trial I’m sure. This year will see a few additions being added to A Bunch Of Wild, the garden gate shop will also be selling plants as well as my fresh cut flowers. And I have been working on a line of cards, calendars and fine art prints of some of my floral images, these will be available to buy online very soon. I’m always looking for ways in which I can add to the business and photography is a huge part of my life (my dad is a photographer) so selling my photos seems like an obvious thing to do. It’s the same in any creative business, you have to keep moving forward.
This year I will be growing my favourite flowers in the garden again and I shall be really concentrating my efforts on styling flowers for photos for the blog to help you pick which ones you would love to grow. I shall also continue with pictures of how the garden looks over the seasons and give advice on growing your own cut flower patch so you can fill your home with flowers throughout the year. There will also be new online courses on flower arranging and photography styling for florists, something I’m really excited about!
The website will continue to be a journal of my flower growing adventures and I have reorganised the blog into seasonal categories to make it easier for you to navigate around.
It’s always lovely to hear of your flower growing adventures and see what you’ve been up to, you can connect with me over on Instagram at ABUNCHOFWILD
I wish you a very Happy New Year and happy gardening adventures for 2019 and leave you with a some of my favourite pics of 2018.