Learn something new - workshops
To celebrate British Flowers Week we've had a day of garden tours of our Somerset Flower Farm today. And what larks eh Pip! Lovely small groups (15 and 11, 10am and 2.30) braved the glaring sun and soaring temperatures and came for a guided tour of our seven acres of mixed wild, orchard, willow and flower farm patches.
A flower farm like ours isn't like a usual show garden: for a start budget is the object, rather than no object - we are a working farm and the flowers are cut here on a daily basis. But people were fascinated to see how we successionally sow our annuals, how we choose our roses, how we pollard our willow, how we work the space we have available, making the most of manpower and material to create our flower delivery bouquets, wedding flowers and have plenty of material to hand when we need it to teach workshops.
The best part of the tour today though was the gasps of amazement when we came round the corner and people saw the wildflower meadow in full flower.
I loved the day and will be putting another tour on the webs...
Learn to make a perennial wildflower meadow here at Common Farm between Bruton and Wincanton in Somerset.
Today we had the first of two day courses on our garden school calendar, with Fabrizio sharing all he's learned over the years about creating and maintaining a perennial wildflower meadow.
The meadow's looking absolutely fantastic, and with tours of different areas in the garden showing how meadows develop slowly over time, how different plants establish, and behave in different environments, everyone had a fascinating day.
We ended up sowing fresh as a daisy cowslip, ragged robbin, and campion seed in trays for people to take home. It's amazing that the gardening year seems to have only just got going, and yet we already have seed to harvest and sow, to make plug plants to set out in the sward in the autumn, to give us colour early next year.
Quite gives me faith in the future....
We have places on next Tuesday's course. Do ring us or book on line....
Posy tying workshop.
We hold lots of lovely one day courses here on our little Somerset flower farm between Bruton and Wincanton, and one of my favourites is coming up today. We have a small group of people who come and spend the morning cutting flowers from our gardens here, and then we spend the afternoon arranging them.
The day is called posy tying and garden floristry, and is designed to encourage people to be braver cutting flowers and foliage from their own gardens, and to show them some simple floristry techniques so that they too can create lovely hand-tied bouquets from their gardens, as well as jam jar posies, and if we have time, buttonholes.
Often people are nervous of cutting the flowers and foliage they've grown, or they find that when they do the flowers wilt quickly and they're disappointed with the creations they make. This day is designed to help people cut cleverly, condition their flowers properly, and be able to make wonderful bouquets with what they've grown themselves.
Today is full, but we have anoth...
Excited about our day courses coming up, teaching workshops on how to create a perennial wildflower meadow like the ones we have here at Common Farm Flowers, I nipped out today to collect a little ripening cowslip seed for our students to sow when they come in June.
Cowslips have a delicious, soft scent, like bergamot, or Earl Grey tea, and are one of my absolute favourite wildflowers, blooming early in the year and reminding me of the orchard of my French exchange's grandmother, who had a walled garden in the Loire, filled with apple trees, from one of which hung a swing, to reach which, in April, one had to walk, kneedeep, through a mass of cowslips.
We've lost 90% of our wildflower meadows in the UK since the second world war. If all my wildflower meadow students take home a tray of freshly sown fresh cowslip seed from their day here, they'll have lovely strong seedlings to plant out in the autumn, and the beginnings of their own carpet of cowslips flowering in their wild patches early in the spring next year....
Weddings are expensive activities and the more you plan where the budget is going to be spent, the better you can control the cost of your big day.
As soon as the excitement of getting engaged dies down, I would make yourself a spreadsheet. Don't roll your eyes at me - I mean it!This spread sheet will be the document on which all your wedding planning can rest. On it I would put every single thing you think you might find yourself spending on to make your wedding dream come true.
Put everything you've ever dreamed of on the list: from the obvious dress, caterers, wine, cars, photographer, hair dresser, florist, to those little details which you've always fancied: wedding favours, lavender to scatter on the path to the reception, fresh petal confetti, your grandmother's pearls restrung especially so you can borrow them for the day.
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.