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  • December news - Christmas countdown

    December news - Christmas countdown

    Two weeks to go until we close down for Christmas and New Year. I hope you all make us madly busy with orders for wreaths and flowers for Christmas. Our last send out day is Thursday 20th December.

    Your flowers for your Christmas tables will last beautifully if you take them out of their boxes, give them fresh water, snip their stems and put them somewhere cool until you’d like them for your table on Christmas day. We've already started sending out wreaths and today is our first Christmas Decoration workshop of the year. Our fresh cut willow wreaths are dressed with gorgeous greenery and seed heads and crab apples woven into a garland. If hung on a door or a wall outside the garland will hold up beautifully through the cool winter days - if...

  • British grown flowers in November

    British grown flowers in November

    Sometimes people say to me that there are no British grown flowers in November.  Well, let me put those people right.  Our gardens here at Common Farm have a rest from production from November till about early April, but fortunately for us all we have wonderful growers all over the UK, and especially in Cornwall, who keep us supplied with fantastic, top quality, beautiful, seasonal British flowers all through the winter.

    This bouquet, for example, is going out today and has in it: glorious glads, paperwhite narcissi, nerine lilies, beautiful big white lilies, gorgeous pink sweet William and chrysanthemums, Canterbury bells, and one of my absolute faves, blue ageratum, all framed with gorgeous red spindle foliage.  

    We have a system when we're ordering in from our Cornish colleagues, that we have our weekly order delivered and we send our flowers out straight away so that they're fresh as a daisy when they arrive on kitchen tables and drawing room sideboards and hall coffers around the land.  So from now till April do order your flowers for us to send on a Thur...

  • Fresh willow Christmas wreaths

    Fresh willow Christmas wreaths

    Today I made my first Somerset willow Christmas wreath to send someone for the purposes of a little light publicity.  I'd forgotten how very calming the wreath making process is. 

    • First cut your willow - ours comes from the band of willow we planted round two whole sides of Common Farm.  Willow recolonised the British Isles at the recession of the last ice age, and it supports almost as much wildlife as oak.  Here, during the winter, the pollard crowns of the willow are stuffed with clumps of fat, black aphids which the song birds feast on through the cold months.  We're careful, when cutting the willow, not to cut into these clumps of high-protein aphids, and make sure to leave them for the birds.  We cut to order so that the willow for the wreaths is fresh and easily malleable for our wreathing.  We use about nine nine foot lengths of willow per wreath, and about three four toot lengths for binding.  Come on a Christmas wreath workshop here and we'll show you the willow woods, and you might see those naughty goldfinches darting about eating the aphids whil...
  • Wincanton and Bruton florist

    Wincanton and Bruton florist

    Yes, we are local florists too. 

    From our local towns and villages of Wincanton, Bruton, Castle Cary and Mere, as well as our own Charlton Musgrove, customers can order flowers to suit their budgets, and either come and pick them up, or pay a little bit more to have them delivered. 

    So for thankyou flowers, or birthday flowers, or congratulations flowers, or commiserations flowers, do ring us if you're local and we'll make something for you to collect.  Our telephone number is 01963 32883.

    And for really special occasions, we are happy to create bespoke schemes - we supply flowers for somewhere between fifty and sixty weddings and events a year from our cut flower farm between Wincanton and Bruton here in sunny Somerset.  You can order buckets of flowers to create your own arrangements, or we can do all the floristry for you, or, a lot of people like a mixture of the two.  Perhaps we do the bouquets and buttonholes and any focal arrangements, and you have some mixed buckets of flowers and create your own table centres with th...

  • How do we send our flower delivery?

    How do we send our flower delivery?

    How do we deliver our flowers UK wide?

    Very simply: aquapacked and in sturdy boxes, hand-delivered, next day delivery, by courier.

    • Here at Common Farm Flowers, our flower farm based between Bruton and Wincanton in Somerset, we cut our flowers to order.  So first thing in the morning Sharon and I pop into the office and print off any orders which have come in during the night, and put them with that day's orders from the file.
    • We then make a stem count of what we'll need to cut, and then we fill our trolleys with clean buckets filled with fresh water.  Sharon takes one pair of scissors, I take another, and we head off in different directions with a stem count to cut each in mind.  At this time of year she'll usually start in the dahlias and I with the annuals and we meet up the top in the field known as the Ladysmock to cut foliage and various bits of extra to give our bouquets a little more zing.
    • We then haul our full trolleys back to the studio (we may have gone in and out with several trolley loads by now) and pop all the flowers in ...
  • Grow incredible sweet peas

    Grow incredible sweet peas

    Growing sweet peas successfully is not rocket science.  Here are our top tips:

    Use fresh seed for better germination rates.  Sow seed a knuckle deep in trays or pots and keep out of the way of the marauding mouse who loves to eat a germinating sweet pea seed more than anything.

    Successionally sow two or three crops of sweet peas, and sow fewer than you think you'll need.  It's better to keep cutting ALL the flowers on ten or fifteen plants, than being overwhelmed by the flowers on thirty or fourty plants and finding your sweet peas go over quickly.  I would sow your first crop in autumn, say, first October, and your second, outside in March.

    Sow sweet pea seed in deep pots or root trainers - this way they have space to get their roots down which they like to do.

    Pinch out the sweet pea seedlings by cutting off the shooting stem so that you leave only two sets of true leaves.  This will encourage the plant to branch out, so giving you lots more flowers.

    Plant sweet peas out, protected from frost, from mid-March onwards, into very houmus-...

  • Why buy British grown flowers?

    Why buy British grown flowers?

    So many good reasons to order British flowers.  Here are just a few:

    • Buy British flowers because flower growers feed the bees.  As Fabrizio always says, 'Look after the invertebrates and the rest of the food chain will look after itself.'  So buying British flowers means you're contributing to an economy which supports our beleaguered bees.
    • Buy British flowers and you will find you can have on your kitchen table a full cottage garden herbaceous border of delight which wouldn't be available from big importers, who only supply flowers which will travel out of water, and will last longer, because of the delay between cutting and the flowers arriving at your door.  British flowers need fewer chemicals to last because they're fresher when you buy them.  British flowers can be delicate varieties which need to travel in water because they have less distance to travel, and the growers will put their precious little people in buckets of water and deliver like that.
    • Buy British flowers because they'll not only be fresher by days than imported flowers,...
  • Natural funeral flowers

    Natural funeral flowers

    The greatest compliment we as florists can be given is to be asked to do funeral flowers.  The flowers chosen to celebrate a life are there for many reasons, and when people ask us to do them, it's often because the person whose funeral it is was a gardener, or a walker, a person who loved the outdoors, countryside, real, fresh, growing things on which they'd delight to see a bee or a bird.  

    This may look like a huge arrangement in a vase, but in fact it's a funeral sheaf having a drink.  We make it as three bouquets tied together into a huge, flat backed, hand-tie, which can then lie comfortably on the coffin.  It has width to fill the space, but height too. And it's really important that the view when it's lying on the coffin, flower heads towards the congregation, is full of life and interest.  

    In this case, we made the sheaf the evening before the funeral, and it had all night in deep water so that the flowers would be not at all thirsty when lying on the coffin.  This huge vase holds almost a gallon of water, and I filled it right up before ...

  • Keep the flowers you've been given fresh

    Keep the flowers you've been given fresh

    Keep fresh the flowers you've been given by:

    • Preparing a clean vase by filling it with fresh, cool water.
    • Removing all packaging as soon as you can after receiving them.
    • Snipping a centimetre off the bottom of the flower stems to re-open their cellulose drinking cells.
    • Pop the bouquet into the vase of fresh water, and then snip off the tie holding the bouquet together - the flowers will relax into the vase and fill the space beautifully.
    • Place your vase of flowers somewhere away from a windowsill and also far from radiators or ovens - somewhere cool, airy and out of direct sunlight is ideal.
    • Give your flowers fresh water every day, and in doing so, quickly wash out the vase to prevent the build up of stinky, water dirtying bacteria (the enemy of cut flowers.)  At the same time you could re snip the stems of your flowers to keep the cellulose drinking cells open.
    • This way your flowers should last nicely for you.

    Thank you, and have a lovely day.

    And since you ask, yes, we do sell bou...

  • Mothering Sunday flowers by post

    Mothering Sunday flowers by post

    Here at Common Farm Flowers in the ancient village of Charlton Musgrove we talk about Mothers' Day in the old way.  In the UK, Mothering Sunday is still celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.  Mothering Sunday is officially the Feast of Mother Church, and in this village the congregation has been known to troop out of St John's in the middle of the service and give the building a hug (we like a bit of a walk about in the middle of church here.) Traditionally, Mothering Sunday was a day when the servant class were allowed to walk home after church to spend the day with their families, and people would pick posies of hedgerow flowers, violets, primroses, wild daffs, to give to their mothers when they got home.  Here there are kind ladies in the village (not I!) who get together on the Saturday and make posies which are taken to church and handed out to all the ladies of the congregation during the service.  It's a charming tradition and I love it.

    Why don't I make the posies for the church service?  Well, the awful thing is I'm a bit flat out making bouquets for my ki...

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