This weekend (August 16th, 2019) is “The Flower Farmers’ Big Weekend; a Britain-wide event organised to showcase British Flowers and growers. There are events held all over the country this weekend (despite the weather!), many people are opening their plots to the public so you can go and see behind the scenes of British Flower Farmers.
https://www.flowerfarmersbigweekend.co.uk for more details and events close to you.
I’m not taking tours on my flower patch; I have the tiniest drive ever to park in, that’s 1960’s bungalows for you! However, to make up for it, I have put together these photos so you can have a mini behind the scenes private tour anyway……..
I grow on just under half an acre site, not all of it is turned over to flower growing; about half of it, divided from the rest by a short steep slope and a stream is woodland.
The woodland is home to red squirrels, lots of different birds, a handful of rabbits, hedgehogs and lots of insects. And very importantly, my compost heaps – these provide the food for growing flowers, and are a way of re-using most of my waste. All my flowers are packaged in biodegradable packaging; brown paper, paper tape and string – all things, including the flowers themselves, are fit to go on the compost heap. I have a shredder to make twiggy and tough things into smaller pieces, they rot down so much quicker and provide a finer compost…….I am quite obsessed with my compost heaps, and over the years have got it down to a fine art and the soil in the flower beds is much better for it!
The flower growing side of it: I have 2 greenhouses, one in the sun and one in the shade. When it’s hot in the summer (not at the moment sadly….!) I germinate seeds in the shadier one, it’s a lot cooler and draftier. Both have beds in for growing plants (not snoozing, that would be too tempting), and help extend the growing season. To this end I also have 2 mini moveable tunnels, covered in a sort of thermal mesh which lets the water and a bit of breeze through whilst providing some warmth and protection from the elements.
As you can see, sometimes things grow too much……..
Insects can be a pain too, I don’t spray with pesticides, the strongest things I use are liquid soap and seaweed in terms of pesticides and fertilisers. Insect damage to me is just part of flower growing; we all have a responsibility to try not to damage the environment, so I will protect plants with physical barriers if it gets really bad, but normally with a balanced ecosystem, the birds take care of a lot of the pests.
I also grow dandelions for these two
So this is me – normally wet and muddy.
Well, I hope I have shown you a little of what a small scale flower growing plot might look like…..if I’ve inspired you to want to know more, have a look at the Flowers from the Farm website, and in the link above, go and have a look at other growers! Every plot is different.
And if you would like some of my flowers to cheer your weekend up, I have some for sale in the grocers, Eden Valley Produce in Kirkby Stephen, or for £20 I can deliver a bunch locally (within 10 miles of Kirkby Stephen).
The Flowers from the Farm website (www.flowersfromthefarm.co.uk) is great if you want to give flowers to someone far away from you as it lists all the UK growers on a map; give one a call!
Any questions, or you would like some flowers, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!