Woah! Look at that. The season almost over here at Common Farm and what a rip-rollocking ride it’s been.
In the end good amounts of rain meant we didn’t have to water too much, and the autumn flowers have been fantastic due to timely downpours in August. So the September flowers were amazing, and we have a few little patches of last minute July sowings still coming into flower now, so we’ll have very fresh people to add to our dahlias for our October flower deliveries. For more on our sowing schedules the flower farmers amongst you might like our Flower Farming Intensive workshop on the 14th, 15th and 16th October, where filled in year planners are handed out, along with how to cashflow forecasts and a whole day doing eco floristry.
We’ve had so much fun with our workshops this month – a total of eight, six here at the flower farm, and one flower crown workshop in Tetbury for a lovely group of ladies on a hen weekend, and one at Derry Watkins’ wonderful plant nursery Special Plants just north of Bath. Our workshops are always made up of small groups working around a table, so that there’s a real feeling of camaraderie. The workshop lunches, from The Kitchen at Kimbers (our local farm shop,) are delicious too, and an opportunity for the students to get to know one another a little, chat which often leads to interesting collaborations going forward. We had a great autumn wreath workshop here on Saturday, and I realised that among the nine students, four of them had been before, one of them four times! What a compliment!
How do we sell our workshops? Well, other than here, we talk about them a lot on social media. Common Farm Flowers is nearly ten years old (next April is the big birthday,) and in that time we’ve built a following of almost 70,000 on our social media and through this list. I will admit to being very proud of that number. And I share how we do it, and continue to keep our social media fresh and engaging, at our fab social media for small business workshops coming up soon. On Friday 11th October I teach the hows, whys and wherefores of doing social media if you are a small business, and on Saturday 12th my friend and colleague (who I first met on Twitter years ago,) Amanda Russell comes to teach us to style our photographs for social media, so that they tell lots of engaging story, and inspire people to follow, engage, and eventually join with whatever your business journey. More dates for 2020 workshops will appear on the website soon - do keep a look out for these (and of course we will let you know in a newsletter when they are updated!)
We don’t just use the studio for our own workshops though: branching out this September we had a team of photographer, model, makeup, stylist, photographing for an exciting book project (again, through a social media contact.) When you hire our beautiful stone studio, flooded with natural light, you also get a seven acre garden to wander around in. Emma Mitchell (@silverpebble2 on Insta) has booked the studio to hold silver-clay workshops at the end of March next year. I know she’ll be taking her students round the garden looking for treasures to cast as jewellery as part of their day.
Meanwhile next year’s wedding bookings are coming in thick and fast. I wondered why we are are already so busy for next season, until a bride at our DIY wedding flowers workshop the other day said that, apparently, lots of people want to get married in a year ending in a zero – that it’s a thing. Who knew? Well, I’m grateful for the bookings, and if you think you’re going to need our flowery services next season, do get in touch quickly, because I’m already having to turn people down because we’re booked up.