Beginnings. A big hello from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire! I’m Vicky from @clemsgarden and I’ll be sharing a taste of life behind the scenes at our #britishflowers#socialenterprise this week. It’s just over 2 years since we began to dare to think we could actually turn the seed of our idea for Clem’s Garden into a reality. What we had at that time was an impressively overgrown plot of land which had previously been used to host a day centre horticultural therapy project. Two good polytunnel frames were intact - although the plastic had been shredded by vandals and wild saplings which had grown so vigorously, they’d cleared the roof. We had outdoor lavs and a car park; and somewhere underneath the rampant sedge and brambles there were paths. Our idea? What if we could create a place where over-50s who don’t have the role of mum or dad or nana or granddad could find alternative opportunities to use their nurturing, skills and experience? What if people could grow friendships in the process? What if we could all work together to promote kindness and community-mindedness in our local area? What if we could do all of this by growing and selling beautiful flowers?...... And so Clem’s Garden began.
Some goodbye flowers from me @wysallflowerfarm to brighten up your Sunday. Seems ages away at the moment but I bet you, we will blink and suddenly we will be in August picking bucket loads of these beauties and hoping for just the right amount of rain and sun (as a side note, I now really understand why I was never allowed to talk during the weather forecast when my Dad was farming!) It's been lovely chatting with you this week. Thank you so much for all your comments and please come and join me on my insta page to see just how much tea I can drink in a season. Or if you are local, take a look at www.wysallflowerfarm.com to learn more about how to buy my fabulous British flowers for your florist studio, event or home. And so now I pass the baton on to Vicky @clemsgarden, a fabulous social enterprise in Huddersfield.
As fellow flower lovers, I am sure you will all be very aware of the temptations of trying new varieties and species and I am just as partial. Last year I grew ranunculus for the first time and I was like a kid in a sweet shop when the flowered. They do take a little extra care to grow but I loved them, my florists loved them and my retail customers loved them; definitely worth the extra manure!
This year I'm trying some delicious looking violas (because I do love a bandwagon to jump on) and some new grasses too. I'd be really interested to hear if there is anything you are particularly excited about growing or using this year.
I am a massive supporter of flowers from the farm (obv!). Apart from the excellent work they do to promote British Flowers, this picture shows why. I am growing ranunculus and anemones bought through a group buy (where we buy collectively to meet a minimum order amount) to obtain varieties I couldn't get elsewhere. And I'm growing them in crates under a caterpillar tunnel, both processes I learnt and improved through the wonderfully generous information sharing network we have.
And if you want to get a little bit of this for yourself, we have our annual growers and florists conference coming up in Lincoln on the 4th February for which we have a few general tickets available at £80. We have guest speakers from Hardy-eucalyptus.com, @smithandmunson, Andrew Robinson Dahlias, @bemoresocial_ as well as a tablescaping floristry demonstration by @thomasbloomflowers and drop in talks on growing roses, growing under cover and irrigation.
Thank you all so much for your lovely comments yesterday, it was a lovely welcome. Anyway, today I am off to college as I'm studying for my RHS level 2 horticulture to back up all my self taught knowledge so no farm pics today. Instead here is probably the real reason that I went into flower farming - a guilt free reason to grow way too many beautiful tulips (yeah, I know I talk a good talk about starting the business to work around the kids/farm diversification!) And just in case you were wondering, trying to cram all my homework in last night after a month off was a really good way to show my children why procrastinating on your homework may not be the *best* idea 📷 @numbertwenty27_ of my belle epoque tulips #flowersfromthefarm#britishflowers#britishgrownflowers#seasonalflowers#tulips#flowerfarm#flowersforflorists#flowersforweddings
Good morning everyone. I'm Caroline (yep, another one) but this time from @wysallflowerfarm, deep in South Nottinghamshire. I came to flower farming after a career in NHS and clinical trials management when I was looking for a way to diversify our farm and give me a job which worked well with the kids. And just a heads up right now, picking a business which is very busy over the Easter, summer and May holidays has a major flaw when it comes to working around children..... Anyway, if you swipe 👉, you can see what I've done to the field over the last year (I've just come to the end of my first year growing to sell) and see what it looks like at the moment. I grew on about 1/4 acre last year and I'm expanding to about 1/3 this year, mostly selling to amazing florists but also to local customers for their homes. So I'm looking forward to sharing a little more about what I'm up to this week in chilly January (hint, there will be a lot of tea involved) and answering any questions you have about this wonderful British flowers industry #flowersfromthefarm#flowerfarm#britishflowers#britishgrownflowers#flowersforflorists#flowersforweddings#supportbritishfarming#embracetheseasons
My last job of the weekend was to plant out the last of my tulip bulbs. I got the bulk of them in the ground in November, but didn't manage to get my pots planted up. It is quite late, but hopefully they will manage to flower this spring. Thanks for joining and chatting with me this week! I will hand you over to the very lovely Caroline Onions from @wysallflowerfarm.
I don't need any more dahlias. I really have enough - easily over 100. Then how did I manage to just buy another 20?! Dahlias are a flower that I just can't resist. There are so many beautiful varieties and an amazing range of colours and shapes. They are also so satisfying to take cuttings from, and that is exactly what I plan on doing with the tubers that I just ordered. I'll be running some grow your own cut flower workshops in March and May and will prepare these tubers for students to take lots of lovely cuttings from to bring home and grow on into bountiful plants for autumn.
Hello from Caroline @thehiddengateblooms in Buckinghamshire. This time of the year I'm always itching to get sowing again, but for most plants this isn't the right time. If you were to get most annuals growing in January, they would end up weak and leggy by the time you could plant them out.
One happy exception is sweet peas, so today I am going to get busy sowing my first round of sweet peas. Over the Christmas break I prepared my planting area by digging a deep trench and filling it with the well rotted contents of my hotbin. It wasn't the nicest job in the world, but these hungry sweet peas will love it!
I never direct sow seeds, and for sweet peas I have special root training growing modules. These help them to get good long roots with minimum disturbance when I plant them out in a couple of months. I will pinch out the top of each plant when they have about 3 or 4 leaves and by June I should have lovely strong plants, smothered in gorgeous, long-stemmed flowers.