Call us optimistic, but despite having not a seed in the ground, we are planning to open THIS summer!
The timing is key, but the beauty of cut flowers is that you can go from bare earth to bounty in just a few weeks, by utilising nature’s showoffs - the annuals. Annuals are flowers that go from seed to flower to die all in one season. They are often showy and colourful, which is perfect for our plans, and can get huge in what seems like no time at all. If you’ve ever grown a sunflower, you’ll know what we’re talking about!
We are also planning a whole rainbow of deliciously decadent dahlias. These are the absolute beauty queens of the flower world. In a kaleidoscope of colours, and with forms ranging from tiny pom-poms to enormous, shaggy dinner plate-sized blooms, they are taking the flower world by storm at the moment, and we think people will LOVE being allowed to cut and take home their favourites.
We are also hoping to offer a huge range of bulbs, perennials and foliage plants (these are the green fillers that create space in a bouquet and allow the star blooms to really pop).
This all means seeds on every surface - my brand new greenhouse is well and truly full steam ahead, and the windowsills in my sunroom & kitchen are packed. Emma’s neighbour on the farm has a polytunnel which she has snuck sweet peas and trays of snapdragons into, and we are doing all we can to generate as much life and colour as we can.
To save space, I’ve started using a technique called soil blocking. This uses a special press to form a compost mix into little cubes you plant straight into, meaning you don’t have to use endless plastic pots. It’s also very space-efficient; my little blocker makes 20 cubes, and many of the baby plants get big & strong enough to go straight outside. The cubes are slightly separated, so roots reach the edge and are air-pruned, which makes for a sturdy rootball and a healthy baby plant.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a farm certainly isn’t established in a season; the flower farm will improve massively over the next few years, but we can use tricks of the trade and do all we can to get a colourful and bounteous summer in 2021. After all, I think we all need it!