The Flower Farmer's Year

  • April Gardening Tips

    April Gardening Tips

    Although strange urges do take one at this time of year: accepted practise is that you wait until you can feel the earth radiating heat until you sow seed directly outside. 

    Last year I sowed directly outside on 27th March and it was bitterly cold and I had quite a nice crop off my sowings.  So this year I sowed a *little* (ahem! - read whole three ninety foot beds) seed outside in the sunshine while the long tailed tits built a nest in the Common Farm Flowers shed and the second batch of compost tea bubbled happily in the greenhouse.  We’ll see if I’ve been precipitate.  Certainly the larkspur and Bells of Ireland won’t mind a few cold nights to help it germinate. 

    I’ve also started the seedling rearrangement waltz - starting to bring trays of babies out to harden off in the shelter of the cold frames by the poly tunnel, making room for more sowings in the warmest of the greenhouses and moving tenderish babies into the cooler greenhouse. 

    At this tim...

  • April News

    April News
    It can’t be April already? This year is sweeping by. We had a glorious weekend of really springy weather just now and I spent most of it standing staring when I should have been slaving in the garden. So it’s been a busy busy month. Lots of cheery workshops both here and at Petersham Nurseries. April brings a couple of trips to Special Plants where I’ll be teaching Derry’s students to grow a cut flower patch. And I’m talking and demonstrating cut flower patch growing and posy tying AND giving a taster of my new Grow Your Kitchen Table Business workshop at the Country Living Fair at the end of April, so if you’re in London on 27th or 28th April do come along and say hello there. Our new website is beginning to work better for us, so I will be blogging again (until now slightly held back from that activity by a very busy Mothering Sunday - for which I thank you all!) Lots to talk about since I have TRIPS ahoy, I need to rearrange my house, and, while I think my social media management’s ok, I know I could do MUCH better - so in May we have Mark McCrum teaching...
  • Putting the wild back into flower farming

    Putting the wild back into flower farming

    You know how it is when suddenly an apparently random subject just keeps on coming up? 

    Well, over the past few weeks I keep on hearing people holding forth on how to maximise flower production at flower farms.

    They talk of how to only grow flowers which will last weeks in vases, how to compete with huge mulitinational flower growing corporations in order to be a 'proper' flower farmer, and it seems to me that the way people try and do this is usually by de-wilding the space they have, joining a race to supply the cheapest flowers to the maximum number of people, often dunked in chemicals you wouldn't want to breathe the gas from on a daily basis... 

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  • Ordering cut flower seed

    For more on growing cut flowers for fun, for weddings and special events, and even how to be an artisan flower farmer like me, come on a workshop here at Common Farm Flowers near Bruton in Somerset. 

    If you can't come on a workshop here to learn more then I thought I'd start the gardening year on the blog with a few tips for making your seed order for your cut flower patch this 2016.

    So here are my very favourite tips for managing the ordering and sowing of your flower seeds - which will hopefully see you grow a very successful cut flower patch this year. 

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