January has been a bit of a cold and dreary month and not really the time for wanting to get outdoors into the garden. At the latter end of the month though, we had a few warmer days and it has got me thinking more about what flowers I’ll be growing this year.
I started growing cut flowers for the first time last year – lockdown probably had something to do with it as it gave me an activity to keep me outside in the garden during the glorious weather we had and it helped to supplement all the lovely flowers from my local Surrey growers in my bouquets.
What I’m growing
In a fit of excitement at the end of Summer I ordered masses of seeds and now have a huge selection of things to grow in 2021 (whether I have the space to grow them all is another matter)! So this year will be a bit experimental again as I continue with my successes from last year but also test out lots of new varieties to see what works for me and which flowers hold up well as cut varieties. This is so important as a florist – something might look beautiful in the garden, but if it wilts within a day or two of being in a vase then it’s not very useful to me – no-one wants their bouquets or wedding flowers to look anything other than perfect! Which is why I throughly test out every variety myself to ensure that those going out to my customers and couples are just right.
Over the Winter my husband and I have been planning the expansion of the cutting garden and have put in new growing beds (which look very uninteresting currently!) and a new area for perennials. Being able to grow myself, means I can choose the varieties which perfectly suit my style of floristry, but I can also grow specific flowers that will fit with my couples’ wedding schemes too. So if there’s something particular that you’re desperate to have included in your wedding flowers, just let me know, and providing it’s in the right season I should be able to grow it for you.
The benefits of growing
There are so many benefits to growing my own cut flowers – not least the reduction in carbon footprint of your flowers – they travel a matter of metres from the cutting garden to my studio and then directly on to you. It also means I can choose the way in which they’re grown – so I don’t use harmful pesticides or chemicals. I can also choose varieties for qualities like their scent or beauty rather than robustness as they don’t have to travel squashed in lorries!
In line with nature
I planted quite a lot in my greenhouse over Autumn in an attempt to give the flowers a head start this year and while some of them have thrived, some have fallen foul to mice. They have actually nested in a cosy corner of the greenhouse but I couldn’t bear to destroy their nest or put down traps so I’m just hoping they’ve filled up enough over Winter to leave my Spring planted seeds alone! I’m probably a bit soft to be a grower but I do want to make sure that everything I do is working sustainably in line with nature rather than against it and if that means allowing the mice a few of my sweet peas then I can probably cope…!
I’ll keep you updated on the progress of my cutting garden. Is there anything you’d love to see me growing?
Send me a message or leave a comment if there is and I’ll see what I can do!