Well hello friends. Anyone else staggered that it’s November? I’m forcing myself to keep moving as fast as I can, because if the year has spun by this quickly, then I only have about five minutes before I need a hundred beautiful willow wreaths made and I’m worrying that I haven’t done any Christmas shopping for my own family.
But let’s get through the news quickly. Great fun was had by all when we got to watch daytime tv last Monday and there we were on Escape to the Country - you can catch up with the episode we were on via i-player for the next three weeks or so. Shy Fabrizio was always behind the camera, though the wildflowers here at Common Farm are all thanks to his efforts. Do have a look to see the wealth of wildlife we have here after fifteen years of sustained effort, creating perennial wildflower meadows and an environment thick with nectar to support all the bees and butterflies you see on the film. If you’d like to find out more about how we create wildflower meadows here, Fabrizio’s workshop is listed already for next June. We also have garden tours in June when you can see the meadow at its best and hopefully be inspired to create your own. I’m also shining a little with a little Condé Nast gloss as we are featured as a top gift idea in House and Gardenmagazine in their December issue. As ex American Vogue (in the dim and distant nineties I worked at US Vogue in Paris… a lifetime ago,) I’m still a little girl when it comes to being mentioned in a Condé Nast magazine, absolutely squeaking with excitement and rushing off to polish my pearls and tie a jaunty knot in my mother’s vintage Hermès scarf.
To find out more about how you too can get amazing press without ever employing any kind of PR agency, come on one of our social media workshops next year. We also have small business workshops coming up (LIVE THE DREAM!) and Career Change Flower Farming workshops. I have found myself recently talking to people about how we’re all going to make a living in the coming post consumer age… small business based on strong ethics selling sustainable products beautifully made is the future for business. On all our different business workshops we look at how to achieve the balance of creating a business that means a great deal AND making a living.
We have also added a new workshop to our list: how to hold workshops yourself. Something that people really love to do (in a world where we all have enough stuff,) is learn to do something new. If you have a skill or a craft you’d like to teach, then come on our workshop and we’ll take you through the way to hold a successful day, cover everything from insurance to health and safety to marketing, to pacing the day. We’ve been teaching workshops here at Common Farm for ten years, and next year will hold at least thirty five days with people coming here to learn, experience, and hopefully have great fun. Come along and learn how we do it, so that you can teach people how to create or make like you do.
Our Christmas pages are now up and running - Christmas Flowers and Wreaths and Christmas Gifts. As House and Garden suggests, we do have wonderful gift ideas, from the year of flowers they feature, to Christmas wreaths, seasonal flower packages, or just a beautiful bunch of sustainably grown, British flowers, delivered to a door you choose. Our flowers are the antithesis of letterbox flowers, arriving arranged in a beautiful bouquet, in water, and ready to be popped into a vase to dress your kitchen table, your hall, your drawing room (still feeling the Condé Nast polish here,) or as a posy in your boudoir (did you know that the French verb ‘bouder,’ means to sulk? So therefore your boudoir is your sulkery? Getting more don’t-get-out-of-bed-for-less-than-£10,000-a-day by the minute here!)
And of course, a day at Common Farm for a workshop is a fabulous experience - with top notch lunch by our neighbours at The Kitchen at Kimbers, the best cakes ever, small groups, working round a table, never in rows, and me doing what I love best, which is sharing information and helping my students learn exactly what they’ve come for, no holds barred. One recent workshop attendee left a glowing review for us, "Great three days spent with the inspiring Georgie at the fabulous Common Farm Flowers learning about how to set up and run our own flower business. Georgie was generous with her time, experience, knowledge and flowers. Another bonus which I hadn't realised would be of such value was meeting 6 other attendees to keep in touch with and share the experience. Georgie did a fantastic job of ensuring that the course was tailored to meet all our needs at a pace that allowed lots of questions as well as being practical and hands on. Lots of relevant information that is just not available anywhere else that builds confidence and helps your structure your business from every angle. Highly recommended, will definitely come again for another workshop." You can read more (and indeed leave) reviews over on our Google Business page.
But enough sales. There are dahlias to be cleared, tulip bulbs to be planted, roses to be pruned, seeds to be ordered (here I must recommend my friend Ben at Higgledy Garden who needs a new engine for his narrowboat and is running an amazing offer mid November - let’s help him get his engine running again by ordering from him too!) The gardening year here never ends, but as seasons turn it’s always exciting to look forward. With your Christmas shopping try and support the small businesses I was talking about earlier, the ones producing the very best quality work, sustainably, with strong ethics on which their businesses are based.
And thank you for your custom this year. You’ve carried us through an interesting year. With your continued support (please buy lots of Christmas presents from us!) we will carry on making our beautiful wildlife garden interspersed with swathes of beautiful flowers.