There is nothing more satisfying than walking through your own garden, gathering flowers that you have grown from seed and popping them in a vase in your home..... ok maybe i have been a little over dramatic there....i am sure there are many other things more satisfying, but....i'm not lying when i tell you it truly is a beautiful thing to do; it will warm your heart, make you feel proud and you will feel as fresh, beautiful & rustic (think the lady from the 90s timotei advert but with even more 'swish")
I'm going to share a few hints & tips to get you started, over the next few months each blog will talk you through a little more of your progress....lets call it our "Mud to Bouquet" journey shall we?
Tip One ......Size doesn't matter!
I am lucky, I grow on a large scale supplying not just my own shop, but local florists and Brides to be; but you really don't need a huge patch to supply yourself with beautiful cut flowers throughout the season.
A good starting rule for size is 3m x 1m area, this means that you can reach all of your flowers from any size and can grow a fairly nice selection (but lets not get too hung up on size....if you have a patch of soil no matter the size...put down some seed and see what happens!
Tip Two......Choose your annuals
Annuals are great....they are perfect cutting flowers, basically an annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in "one year" (hence annual) from the germination of the seed...to flower...to production of seed all in one year...cool heh? i feel less like a flower butcher picking the annuals, and just enjoy their vase beauty.
Tip Three.....becoming a seedaholic!
If you are getting lost in seed catalogues & garden centres and are just unsure what to get here is my top ten list of flowers that i love to grow...you don't have to follow it but its a fab starting point (It is at this stage I should warn you.....its an addiction! I have a true weakness for "adding to basket" as far as seed shopping is concerned)
I am a complete romantic & my entire ethos for flower work is based on The Victorian Language of Flowers, and that is how i choose my list every year:
*Sweetpeas.....Gratitude & Happiness
*Scabiosa...warmth, love, purity & peace
*Larkspur.....strong bonds of love
*Nigella....bonds that bind people together
*Ammi....sanctuary & warmth
*Godetai....enthusiasm & charm
*Antirrinhum (snapdragons) ....graciousness
*sunflowers (who doesn't love!!!)...adaption, loyalty & longevity
*Borage (for the bees!)....courage & power
I'm going to stop chatting for now...I think thats enough stuff for you to be thinking about until my next blog in a few days time (I will be checking up on you!).....go check out your garden and find your patch (or casually beg a friend/neighbour/local farmer for a teeny bit of land!) and make a list of all your annuals that you want to grow! (check out my shop...i have a small range of seeds and gardening equipment that is growing by the day)
On a Final Note:
We all love the image of waltzing through our flowers in white linen and wicker baskets gathering our petals......be warned.....i have that image to but the reality is i wear a pair of farming overalls, a woolly hat until atlas April and wellyboots (but i do turn up for the odd photoshoot in pretty clothes and a cute summer hat)....be prepared to get muddy knees, smudges of dirt on your nose and mud under your fingernails....but it is so so worth it!