Rather than a full how to Manuel this is more of a diary of my experiences. A bit less formal with all my success’s and failure’s in all their glory.
A bit of history
I have gardened for most of my life, starting when I was just a little girl. I remember kneeling alongside my mother trying to help plant seed and weed. In fact most of my memories of my mother are in the garden. Planting, looking after our myriad of animals and when I was a little older drinking tea under the silver birch tree.
This is a hobby you dont tend to admit as a teenager, its not like your all hanging out on the street corner discussing how to take cuttings successfully. So it wasn’t until my late twenties that I actively pursued gardening as a career. Starting as a plants person in a local garden centre and growing veg for early season sales. After a while I decided to start my own garden maintenance business and eventually left the garden centre. My business went from maintenance to design work and now we are a full design and build company with 13 years experience.
So I’m not new to this but that does not mean I know everything and planning a flower farm is completely different to planning a garden.
In a way I’m learning a new way of looking at flowers as a crop instead of as pretty things to look at but not to touch. I love learning new things so I am embracing this change but I still hesitate with the knife before cutting a stem for a vase. And it still seems a little alien to plant rows and rows of the same variety. Instead I’m used to following the three or five rule you normally use to get a ‘natural look’ for a garden.
I have to work out how to balance wanting to give flowers for bees and insects to thrive on whilst still cutting them before they fully open for the perfect bouquet.
All our plants, flowers and veg are grown using no pesticides or herbicides which give its own challenges. We have a strong ethos of growing everything as environmentally friendly as possible. No peat is used and so we are now starting to spread a soil improver on the site. The soil is PH neutral but with little to no nutrients which we need to add. The soil improver comes from a local biomass facility. This is a rich organic and high nutrient product from the production of Biogas. Once spread we will rotavate it in when we dig over each new flower bed.
Then it should be a simple matter of planting and by the time we are ready it should be the perfect time to plant out and start thinking about sowing outdoors.
My plot isn’t the largest and so I need to make the most by planning carefully. Deciding which flowers I think will not only pack a punch but give me the longest season and enough variety. That will be my next post.