March news from the farm

March news from the farm

I’m not sure I can leap into March with so much mud sticking to my boots.  But in the spirit of counting my blessings at least the tulip crop (coming along nicely thankyou) won’t need watering this year! 

Still, what a relief it is that we have light in the evenings now, that I can fall out of bed and take the dog up the field without a torch.  If I can’t actually smell the sap rising, I can feel it in my energy levels as I shake off my winter sluggishness. 

All through the garden there are signs of spring: the greenhouse full of germinating seeds, the polytunnel full of ranunculus plants fattening up, and over-wintered cuttings settling into their big-girl pots… not to mention the annual glut of wild garlic by the ditch in the gaerde with handfuls of which I’m dosing myself daily while stocks last.

It’s still so wet to get up the field and mulching, but a few dryer days this week should mean I finish pruning the roses and get mulching at the weekend.  The farm needs to be up together and ready for the season for when we start harvesting properly from 1st April.  We have a month! 

Exciting times though.  Lots of Affordable Wedding Flowers bookings have been coming in.  I’m enjoying our new approach to wedding flowers: specialising in working with people who don’t want their events to cost the earth financially or ecologically means I’m encouraging other people to get creative with the flowers we grow, to see possibilities for a gorgeous framing of their day with arrangements of flowers and foliage they’ve made themselves.  Our first wedding for 2024 is booked in for late April and I’m dreaming of apple blossom and forget-me-nots, tulips and white flowered, zingy green no sting nettles, cowslips and ranunculus for this day. 

If you’re local to us then do order wedding or event flowers by the mixed bucket – you can order here.

If you’re looking for flowers grown with a similar ethos to ours but are further away, please do look at our list of Affordable Wedding Flowers affiliates.  This is the first year we are running this invitation only affiliation scheme and we’re enjoying being able to confidently recommend our colleagues around the country this way.

And if you would like some inspiration and technical knowhow for your floristry please do join us for one of our floristry demos being held online through the summer. 

Equally, we have specific workshops online for wedding flowers preparation and creating the flowers for the bridal party.  And for the ultimate gift to yourself you could book yourself (and bring a friend!) on one or more days of our Eco Floral Retreat, three days cutting and creating with flowers here on the farm.

Why come on a workshop with me?  Because I’ve been growing, selling and arranging with garden grown flowers as my profession for fifteen years.  I charge enough for my workshops and demos that I keep no secrets.  There’s no such thing as a stupid question.  I want to share my skills with as many people as possible because the more people grow flowers the happier the invertebrates will be.  The more people arrange flowers using sustainable floristry skills the happier the environment will be.  And you know our snappy business ethos: look after the invertebrates, and the rest of the food chain will look after itself.

Meanwhile, in the small tunnel the sweet peas we planted out before Christmas are fattening up and almost reaching for the netting, thinking about starting to climb.  And the second crop, sown just a week or so ago, are germinating nicely. 

We are sowing extra seed with every variety so that there’s a little extra for our Common Good Plant Sale which will be held here in Charlton Musgrove on 11th May (Village Hall, 10am, bring your spare plants to donate and buy ours too, in aid of village hall, churches, The Treatment Bag and our local horticultural charity The Growing Space in Wincanton.)

If you are going to hold a Common Good Plant Sale on 11th May for your local horticultural charity do please let us know by emailing where and your Instagram handle if you have one so we can add you to the list of people joining in this idea.  As I hoped, we have people joining in from all around the world, as far away as New Zealand, to nearerby in Shropshire.  For more about the sale please do have a read here and for tips we’ve started a playlist on YouTube and intend to add more clips with tips and tricks for holding a local sale in the months leading up to 11th May.

By the end of March we should be moving into the new studio up the field at last!  It’s been quite a long haul, but I’m very happy with how it’s worked out.  I like building slowly because it gives time for good ideas to surface and we’ve made a much better space than was originally planned because we’ve had time to consider each development and make sure that we’ve made the most of what’s quite a small 8x8m space.  We had a live Q&A chat on this week’s Live at Five over on my YouTube Club (now 370 members!) all about top tips and what I’ve learned over the years and during this particular project re creating a useful working studio.  This is my third studio in fifteen years: at first Common Farm Flowers really was a kitchen table business and so the studio was the house, then we reroofed the old barn attached to the house and I’ve been there for nearly ten years, and now I’ll finally have a commute with the business moving up the field to another derelict barn which had no roof but which will now be home and hub for this flower farm.

So happy gardening friends.  Enjoy your seed sowing, bed prep, and mulching.  I hope you have time to stand back and sniff the narcissi, listen to the birdsong as it grows in volume, and that your boots don’t get completely stuck in the mud.

Georgie x

Eco friendly flower farming at Common Farm Flowers

Eco friendly flower farming at Common Farm Flowers

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