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June 2013

Natural Flowers for a Natural Burial Ground

Today, i've been doing something completely different. I've been somewhere that is already beautiful, and where in the future, there will be Peace, Tranquillity, and a Self Sustaining Wildlife Environment.

My Flowers and I have been taking part in the Opening Day at Clandon Wood Natural Burial ground

Farewell flowers clandon wood-1
I've done a large amount of research to make sure that all the flowers are not only beautiful and natural, but are meaningful and signify emotions and feelings that need to be expressed at a farewell.

The Sweet peas are for Mourning, the Rosemary is for Rememberance, and the Balm is for Sympathy.

Clandon wood burial ground-1
Even on a dull day, the beauty of this Space is already wonderful, and from just past the lake, you can even make out the roof of my barn, so it's very local to me.

The Day started with a ribbon cutting by the Mayor of Guildford and dedication of the wonderful glass building that looks out onto the landscape. There was information about Clandon Wood and Natural Burials in general, and then we followed the horse and cart in procession to the burial site.

Opening day - Clandon wood-2
I loved overhearing comments about the lovely posy the Lady Mayor was given (made by me) and I talked to some really interesting people including a Civil Celebant (someone who takes your funeral who isn't a minister) and a company that laser carve personal memorials in wood.

There's another open day tomorrow, so i'll be scooting between there, and the Horsley Garden Society Show (2-4pm West Horsley Village Hall) - Both are worth a visit.


Cherfold Cottage Flowers, - lessons from a year in Flower farming

Yesterday afternoon, I had a lovely Jolly, when really I should have been planting out my Amaranthus, - to go and see Caroline from Cherfold Cottage Flowers.

I met up with Caroline through Twitter and Flowers from the farm. and as the nearest flower grower to me, we've been in contact over the last few months sharing hints and tips, and a bit of friendly rivalry.

Conus at Cherfold cottage-2
Unlike me, who had a bare field to start with, - Caroline is flower farming in her family garden, and the flowers have to fit in, around every day living. - She's not allowed a Polytunnel, although her greenhouse is doing a good job of producing sweet peas. - but does have a Pond with fantastic Primulas that I'm jealous of, and fences in flat areas which she's turned into cutting beds.

It was wonderful to talk through what has worked for her over the last year, and to learn her plans. Plus we have plenty of seed swapping and propagation sessions coming up.

Cherfold cottage x 4-1

If you're not in the Plantpassion postcode area, but you're in the Surrey/ West Sussex border area, please check out Caroline on Facebook, and get her number stashed away for when you need a lovely bouquet.


British Flowers week - The message is getting out

This Week, - 17th- 21st June - New Covent Garden Market. - The premier Wholesale flower market, are promoting a British Flowers week.- a Flower Market celebration of all things British and floral!

Talk about great timing for me, - my Flower farm is now really becoming floriferous, and I need to start shouting out, - BUY MY ENGLISH FLOWERS

Bucket of sunday flowers sweetpeas-1
One of the reasons that I started growing my own cut flowers, - years ago, before I started this project, was that I wouldn't let Ashley (my Hubby) buy me flowers that had been flown in from abroad.

It looks like this message is now getting out to a lot more people, and i'm very pleased to see that at the Flower market, 22 out of 30 Wholesalers do stock British Flowers. - Let's hope this week can persuade more people that locally grown Seasonal flowers can be more Scented, and a lot more Sustainable than anything flown in from abroad, via the Dutch markets

June flower posies-2
So how about treating yourself, or someone you love, to a bunch of flowers fresh from the Plantpassion Flower farm, to celebrate British Flower Week.

Call me on 07813 456865 or email claire@plantpassion.co.uk

more details on the website

 


Border Planting Country garden border, - What a difference a year makes

As well as Flower farming at the moment, I am making time to go back and see some of the borders i've planted up in the last couple of years.

Ilonkajune13-1
This border was looking great in dappled sunshine this week, With the Deutzia in the background flowering its socks off, and the Alliums and tulips keeping the colour theme going.

We started this border in April last year, - at the time it was full of Large shrubs which had been vigourously pruned, and a large amount of Ground elder and Bindweed, as well as some spreading Geraniums. The soil is easy to work and sandy, but it has underlying clay. This means it keeps moisture well, but is impossible to work in the wet

Ilonkabefore&lastyear-2
We cleared the border of most of the plants, and added a range of Herbaceous perennials to give a full season of colour, which can be viewed from the terrace.

By the late summer the border had filled out well, but it  looked quite untidy, so we took out another couple of the shrubs, the fence was painted black to fade into the background, and a path was laid to edge the border and keep the grass away from the plants

We also moved around some of the original plants, now that we knew what colour they flowered, so we have kept to colour themes for different times of the year.

Ilonka tulips may13-4
The early season tulips were a great mix of colours, including the salmon orange at the front. There are other bright colours that will fill that space later in the summer, but for now, the cooler colours reign.

Ilonkaborderx3June13-3


June Flower Colour at Hill top farm

Just 10 days ago, when My opening event took place, there were no flowers prepared to brave the wind and rain. But now the field has lots of colour, and i've been having fun making them into bouquets.

Beginning of june flowers-1
All at once, with a bit of sun, and some watering, I've got Ranunculus, Delphiniums, Cerinthe, Alliums, Gypsophila, Sweet Williams, Sweet peas, Cornflowers and Anemones all out.

Of course i'm already planning what I want more of next year.

Which ones are your favourite colour?

Flower colour June 4th-2