October news from the farm
It’s the third of October and I’m sitting in the studio, door open, watery sunshine bathing the field in gentle light. It’s cool enough for socks on the feet and a gillet to keep the draught off the kidneys, but warm nights so far mean that I’m beetling on with jobs I can do before the weather turns colder.
Our cut flower season officially finished last week with some really wow factor events: a sell out garden tour, an amazing three day eco flowers retreat in which our students made some of the loveliest work, which you can see here, and a career change flower farming workshop in which eight students brought their hopes and dreams of growing flowers for sale to the farm and we used the space here, the way we grow here, and the business we have here as a template on which they could paste and shape their own flower growing future. I don’t ever tell people how people must do things: my job, whether I’m teaching floristry, flower growing, lifestyle business, social media or sowing sweet peas, is to inspire and enable (while managing expectations a little bit.)
We finished the week with end of season flowers for a gorgeous hen party and now all I have is a short list of events to flower through the autumn.
Which is good, because there are dahlias to lift and store, bulbs to plant for naturalising, tulips to plant for cropping, space to be cleared for veg growing, and a lovely series of autumn workshops and demos to deliver.
And most important, all the growing spaces here need mulching between now and the end of next February.
The new studio up the field, which will be the hub of the newly laid out flower farm, is almost coming into flower.
It’s been one of those slow projects, like a seedling which sulks when planted out, which seems to have taken forever to bud up, but suddenly there’s a roof, and the electricians are here first fixing, and I can really begin to see how Common Farm Flowers will look when the interior fencing has all been ripped out and the flower growing spaces radiate from the new studio in a much more efficient and easily accessible (for both me, the flower farmer, and my visiting students,) way.
For more on the redesign of the flower farm, how the studio will serve effectively the flower farming business as well as the farm aesthetic, please take a look at my YouTube Club.
We’ve been hanging back, but now it’s October, so I’m going to mention Christmas.
First of all, do take a look at our upcoming festive online demos. These start on 7th November so are worthy of a mention now as that doesn't feel like that long away. You can book just one demo or all three (with a worthwhile discount.)
I’m sure you know that our workshops and demos, both online and at the farm, are all considered five star by our students, and that they therefore make excellent Christmas gifts. Our 2024 workshops and demos have now mostly been added to the website so do take a look and hopefully be inspired (for yourself, if not for someone else perhaps!)
We also offer vouchers so that if you know someone would love to take one of our sessions but you’re not sure which you can give them a voucher, and they can choose.
Vouchers are also great if you want to contribute to someone taking one of our workshops or demos.
We know that people sometimes like to take two or three workshops or demos on a theme as a kind of bespoke course, and so for next year we've made collections of workshops and demos which can be ordered together with a good discount for booking several at once. We've three new collections added to the website with hopefully more to come.
There’s also membership of our very popular YouTube club which could make a top-notch present.
Of course, The Flower Farmer’s Year, and Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers are perennial favourite books for Christmas and we have ordered more so that we have lots in stock for signing with special wishes for your friends and family who love a good flower growing book.
So on with my list.
I’m giving a hand-tie demo online later today, Wednesday (book by 4pm UK time Wednesday to join in but we will also make the recording available to buy afterwards if you miss out.)
I’m flowering a weekend house party with autumn bounty on Friday.
I’m giving an autumn wreath demo online Friday evening.
Later in the month, I'll be doing workshops online focused on pricing cut flowers to sell and how to plan a successful lifestyle business and make it work. Both these workshops have been popular this year so we've added these as extra dates!
Have a wonderful October everybody – let’s keep our Vitamin D levels topped up for the winter by being outside as much as possible.