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It’s the end of February 2020 and for many this has been an awful month with so much flooding and damage. Now, as I write this, snow is also falling in various places.
The only solace I can find at the moment is in my dried flowers which I am sorting out for some Mother’s Day and Easter Workshops being held in The Maker’s Crickhowell and the Felin-Fach Griffin near Brecon. We will be making some finely detailed flowery wreaths to start the spring with. As usual all my materials are locally sourced and grown in my Rhino Greenhouse and La-di Dardy Flowers' cutting garden. This year, as I've mentioned before, I will certainly be focusing efforts on growing alot more of the dried flowers as they really give me something to play with during the winter months.
I am also finding inspiration for my flower farming and floristry in some of my books. Sarah Raven’s "The Bold and Brilliant Garden” and "The Cutting Garden" have provided me with years of reading and inspiration. These have then been supplemented with the "Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden" and, most recently "The Flower Farmer's Year". Both books have been written by the flower farming superstar Erin Benzakein. With these two ladies, you can't go far wrong. Located in the Skagit Valley, USA, Erin’s books are an inspiration and at the forefront of the Flower Farmer Florist movement. Given that we also have a similar climate, they are very relevant to us here in the UK.
Like many of us, Erin started off with growing sweet peas in her back garden. Over the years she has built an incredible and beautiful business that produces acres of blooms that many of us can only dream of. In the early days, Erin would set herself the weekly challenge of picking a bouquet of flowers from her garden and foraging for foliage, gradually building up an enviable skill in putting seasonal bouquets and arrangements together. It sounds like a lot of fun and with a bit more confidence something we could all be trying to do too. It's not about being perfect with lots of straight stems and there are no rules for this one. Embrace the imperfections and ‘follow the flowers,’ I say. In the UK, we also have the luxury of flower farmers across the country growing beautiful seasonal blooms which we can order for ourselves. Most flower farmers also have floristry skills so are able to put beautiful bouquets and arrangements together, and with Mother’s Day next month, this could be a great chance to locate a local flower farmer. Take a look at the Flowers From The farm website where there is a map of flower farmers across the UK. There are over 700 members to choose from. Many of them also offer subscriptions.
In the meantime I will be hoping for a break in the weather so that I can plant out some autumn grown seedlings and find a little time to have a peep at my new book. I cant wait.
If you'd like to find out more about La-Di Dardy Flowers, you can find them on Instagram or go to https://www.flowersfromthefarm.co.uk/members/la-di-dardy-flowers