Whew, it's the 2nd half of July, and what a Summer it's been so far!
For those who havn't noticed that i've been a bit quiet on Social Media recently, You may not know that i've had a nasty bout of pneumonia which attacked me in British Flowers week. Obviously I couldn't be ill at a quiet time of the year! It really knocked me out, and as someone not used to being ill, or even keeping still, it hasn't been easy. I have to say an enormous Thank you, to my family, friends and florists, who all pulled together, watered, picked and planted for me. and put up with me directing from my bed or a chair in the corner, while they did all the work.
I've also got to say the biggest Thank-you to Dana Leigh and David Pile, my fantastic friends who looked after the farm so that I could go on Holiday and finish my recuperation without worrying. Even though we've had the longest dry spell since i've been Flower farming, and everything is curling up it's toes and refusing to grow tall, I could be confident that it would all be alive when I got back, and with my brilliant parents on potting up duty, I'm even up to date on next year's Biennials. Now i've just got to have another x-ray next week, to check all the nasty stuff has gone away.
So I havn't been able to keep you up to date with details of everything i've been involved in over the last couple of months.
1st there was my great Florists Open Day in June. We had 15 Florists in the barn making "Jam Jars with a difference" and after a fantastic inspirational demo from Jay Archer, there were amazing results. (and lots of smiling happy ladies)
Thanks to Jay and Emma Davies, who again helped us to take better photos of our creations.
I then had 2 public open days, where I had visitors from all over the country, thanks to mentions in the English Garden Magazine, The Garden magazine, and the British Flowers week website.
There were less visitors than my weekend open days, but they all stayed longer, and showed amazing interest in what I was up to. (And sat and chatted in the barn with tea and cake for longer) I also ran out of Flowers from the Farm postcards, so hopefully they will go away and find their local flower farmers to buy from. I had some amazing volunteers help on these open days, as my normal weekend crew were all at School, - so thank you Penny and Judy, Claire and Julie and Alyson, Plus Mum and Dad (again)
As well as Florists orders, (lots of them) the field also produced flowers for Midsummer flower mandelas at Clandon Wood Burial Ground , and more DIY wedding boxes - Here one going off in the car boot with Laura to be made into scented displays for a wedding at RHS Wisley.
If I hadn't been poorly I would have been demonstrating at Parham House in Sussex, which i'm so disappointed to have missed out on,- and I also couldn't help out at Hampton Court with the Flowers from the Farm Floristry Stand, - however my flowers did take part, and i've already been contacted by several new florists keen to come and see my farm for flowers in the future.
The Display was designed by Rachel At Green and Gorgeous, and it showed off British Summer flowers wonderfully. Here's one of the pictures that Rona Wheeldon took, and there are lots more on her wonderful Flowerona blog
well done everyone in the Flowers from the Farm team who took part, and especially those who covered my shifts for me.
While I was away in France, I made time to go inland in Normandy, and visit the team at the Tea Garden in Sallen. - I will share more about what Lucy and Freya are doing, as I have amazing pictures of their flowers, and they were so welcoming, - amazing what a few tweets as contact can do.
Since my return, As well as doing record numbers of Florist orders, and Party flowers, plus local bouquets, i've also run a "Designing the cutting garden" course at Wisley. I loved using my old workplace as a backdrop to a course. It was lovely to have the facilities to do a full day workshop. I'm very honoured to have been given "carte blanche" to demonstrate deadheading and at what stage to pick flowers to my group in the Wisley borders of the Rose Garden and the cottage garden.
I'll keep you updated about any future courses i'll be doing.
Whew, do you think August might be quieter? - somehow with rather a lot of wedding flowers already booked in, plus the boy to look after, I think not.