The cut flower industry in Britain is huge but I wonder how many of you, picking up a bunch of flowers to brighten a gloomy Winter’s day realise that 95% of the flowers sold in Britain are grown overseas? That’s a change from thirty years ago when only about 5% of the flowers sold in Britain came from overseas.
Send your love in a floral way
The buy local, eat seasonal approach to fruit and veg consumption applies just as much to flowers. Of course that means that you can’t always have what you want but that doesn’t mean that a beautiful bouquet can’t grace your home all year round. It can. And we are one of dozens of growers making that happen.
The bees go crazy in the summer for the flowers
With the decline in habitats for butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects, buying British grown flowers is an easy way to do your bit along with planting flowering plants to bloom throughout the seasons in your gardens. British flowers in your vase have already helped increase the biodiversity of the area in which their grown and provided food all the way up the chain. Many allotmenteers here at Hartley Farm grow a proportion of flowers for cutting alongside their veggies for that reason as well as the obvious advantages of having a few buckets of blooms to arrange around the house.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, one of the biggest days for florists in the whole year we’ve been thinking about what #britishflowers alternatives could be promoted instead of the ubiquitous red roses, which whilst lovely when home grown and are in reality poor unperfumed jet-lagged things that have been flown hundreds of miles to represent love in the UK in February!
Hellebore’s from the garden
Here are our favourites to include in homegrown Valentine’s bouquets
• Anemones in jewel colours are very seasonal for February, not to mention totally stunning.
• Dainty bulbs planted in pretty vintage teacups and miniature bulbs planted in heart-shaped planters
• Heart shaped woven wreaths
• Hyacinths, pussy willow, viburnum and blackthorn make a lovely bouquet
• Myrtle -despite not flowering in February the dark green glossy leaves have the
There’s a little of time to think about how you might support local, seasonal flowers for Valentine’s Day. Pop into Young Blooms to chat about what they could do to bring a bit of romance to your Valentine. Perhaps a gift voucher for one of our upcoming workshops would hit the spot with that special someone.
Maybe the colour of Valentine’s Day should be a rich purple not scarlet. It’s certainly the colour of the season in homegrown terms?
A party isn’t a party without flowers and we’ve had plenty to celebrate recently in the garden. Weddings, christenings, birthdays and our very own mini music festival, the Party in the Paddock have all benefited from our locally grown beautiful blooms.
Last weekend we held a very special celebration, throwing open the gates of the Not so Secret Garden to all Grace’s nearest and dearest for her mum’s seventieth birthday celebration.
Gathered in the Not So Secret Garden for the Birthday photo
Following on from that, the Party in the Paddock , Hartley Farm’s very own mini-festival, with food demos, live music, delicious grub and much more was a great success, despite the Glastonburyesque weather. It was a foody’s ideal day out and a real celebration of local produce, both food and flowers. We love doing our bit to promote the cause of British flowers and reduce flower miles for our customers. It’s always a delight to show brides and others what’s blooming just a few yards from our shop and a thrill to pop out in the morning to cut from our very own patch. And it’s abundant right now. Come and see it.
Our favourite zinnia
There’s plenty of opportunity to wander around the Not so Secret Garden to enjoy what’s blooming well, see what we’ve been up to recently and hear our plans for next year. Despite the dreary bank holiday weather, the rest of the week looks set fair. Celebrate the end of the summer holidays by popping in and taking home a bouquet of fabulously fragrant, gorgeous locally grown flowers from Young Blooms.
The dahlia patch is exploding into colour.
We’re looking forward to spotting you among the zinnias and dahlias.
I’m sitting by the log-fire writing this blog as the temperature has certainly dropped over the last couple of days! We are slowly putting the garden to to rest for the Winter and it’s been great to look back over our first year and see what’s been achieved.
Extending the hazel tunnel
We have extended the hazel tunnel up the slope and round to the shed. It’s looking fabulous and I’m hoping to grow the cuttings of mandevilla that I took this year over it in 2015.
Spring bulbs getting planted
Over the last month or so we have been planting lots of tulips, daffodils and ranunculus for lots of spring colour next year. Though having not grown ranunculus before, I’ve started them off in the greenhouse to see how they get on. Then I’ll plant them out next year.
Lots and lots of the good stuff to put on the beds
Having the garden based at Hartley Farm is fantastic as we have manure on tap! Richard has been brilliant and brought down lots of the good stuff, we are about half way through getting all the beds done. Pam who works in the garden and is *The best weeder EVER* has been working hard at getting them ready. Some of the patches have been harder than others as the ground, especially by the wild flower patch is incredibly clay like. We are hoping that putting the manure on now will break down the clay texture and make it more workable for next year.
Bertha the ‘Gin Shed’ looking festive
I’ve been working on making the Shed looking slightly more glamorously rustic, sitting in there having a coffee while it was drizzlingly was quite novel, as we had no windows, fairly drastic holes in the bottom and a very leaky roof! But thanks to Mr Bowles and a lick of paint it’s on its way.
I wanted to share these photos of a funeral that we supplied the flowers for. The family wanted very natural and informal style of flowers and that’s exactly what we could do with all that we have grown.
I think sometimes flowers can speak for themselves….
This was ordered through Young Blooms for a burial here, so no oasis, wire, tape or cellophane was allowed to be used.
A very natural styled arrangement
I gathered a selection of flowers from the garden, most of the time customers have a set colour that they want to stick to. But if you think of cottage gardens or hedgerows, you don’t only see pinks & purples or orange and yellow (unless your a very organised gardener!) As you see the arrangements I went for a wild mix, Lupins, foxgloves, mint, lavender, dill, love-in-the-mist and so on…..