Too many cut flowers are still flown in from all over the world, and many are grown in regimes using exploited labour and pesticides at dangerous levels.
British-grown flowers are gathering strength as people discover the joy of an eco-friendly, ever-changing bunch of flowers, and with awareness growing, weddings and funerals are also going green. Our flowers are absolutely buzzing with bees, hoverflies, butterflies & all sorts of wildlife, and there will be no airmiles and virtually no shoe miles with our flowers! Amy has been growing successfully in her garden, but now we need more space.
We will be growing flowers as the seasons intended, in an environmentally-friendly no-dig system. No-dig preserves the structure and ecosystem of the soil, and massively reduces the inputs needed for healthy plants. We have set it up before in a few different places, and have always been amazed by the vigour of the plants.
We are also very aware of the fact that we are gardening within the remains of an ancient monument, so the less we disturb the ground, the better.
The plot is small, but we aim to work smart, and use the space as efficiently as possible. For reference, on 6” spacing you can fit hundreds of annuals in a 1x10m bed, so it is plenty of space! It is in the most beautiful location, on the site of a medieval Benedictine Abbey, with views of a medieval tithe barn, the abbey ruins and St Catherine’s Chapel on its terraced hill. From the top of the plot you can see the sea - it will be battered by storms, but in West Dorset, that’s par for the course!
We are Amy and Emma. We met at our childrens toddler group, and have been friends ever since - we even did the flowers for Emma’s wedding a few years ago.
Amy is an experienced gardener with 20 years experience of growing wildflowers, vegetables and selling local produce, and has been growing cut flowers to sell for several years already.
Emma’s expertise is with animals, but as manager of a busy veterinary hydrotherapy practice she has the organisational skills to make a business work. Living & working on a farm, she’s not afraid of hard work or dirty nails!
The flowers will be sold as locally as possible, including in our own shop, and we also aim to grow fresh produce to supply the restaurant at Abbey Barns - literally a stone’s throw away from the field!
Perhaps the most exciting part is that people will be able to visit and pick their own flowers! Inspired by the colour and vigour of our own dahlias, we would love to see people visiting to fill a vase with their own creation. Dahlias, sunflowers and wild-style annuals, by the vase or jam jar, and all in the most beautiful Dorset landscape.
WHERE WILL YOUR MONEY GO?
The money raised will be used for initial set-up costs: compost for the no-dig beds, dahlia tubers for the first PYO beds, seeds and bulbs, storage and infrastructure such as compost bins. After that, we fully intend to grow the business organically, growing as the customer base grows.
We are not asking for money for nothing - rewards include PYO sessions, a delivery of fresh flowers and a private wreath workshop, so we’re hoping crowdfunding will also be a fantastic way to meet some new customers and show off our flowers!
We are really excited about having families, brides, church ladies, tourists and anyone who needs a floral pick-me-up come and choose their own flowers, and we’d love to see you all there - just give us a chance to get some seeds in the ground first!