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Hello! with some January Bulbs
Intro to Local Flower Farming
As with so many people, flowers have always been a part of my life, starting with growing, picking and pressing them when I was little, to farming, cutting and selling them today. It’s been quite the journey, with enormous family influence and support. Earlier last year, I managed to top it all off: I finally got my own beautiful Rhino Greenhouse. This has now given me the resources I need to grow beautiful, vibrant flowers all year round! I would love to share with you what I have learnt, and show how you too can grow flowers for yourself in your garden all year round.
Today, 90% of the flowers sold in the UK are grown abroad, shipped to Holland, and then distributed to the UK. The carbon footprint of the flower industry is considerable, and that doesn’t include the chemicals used. One study estimates that the carbon footprint of a single bouquet grown overseas is around 10 times that of locally grown. So why not grow some of your own? I will mainly be sharing what I am doing with La-Di Dardy Flowers (my own homegrown flower farming and artisan floristry business) as I grow my flowers throughout the year, and I will try and show how you can walk into your garden, or out of your back door, and pick a handful of stems for a beautiful seasonal bunch of flowers, for every month of the year. Now wouldn’t that be lovely?
This Month's Seasonal Flowers
For La-Di Dardy Flowers, January starts with the heavenly fragrance of the evergreen Sarcococca, and indoor grown paperwhite narcissus and hyacinths. Paperwhites and hyacinths are grown in glass vases with gravel and water. These are located on bright window sills and then moved wherever I want them. Paperwhites are fast growers and can be grown in succession to provide an extended flowering period. Hyacinths are started off in a dark cupboard and then moved to a bright spot when the shoots are about 2 inches high. If you would like to do this too make sure you buy the bulbs in good time as they do sell out. And for those who love them, and that includes me, there are the sumptuous amaryllis for a real wow factor in all shades from pure white, to pink and deep red.
The Sarcococca is grown outside in a shady spot next to the front gate and I take care not to over-prune as I want long stems. Flowering occurs on last years stems. I pick the stems to go with young hazel catkins, narcissus, rosemary, bay and a couple of interesting stems such as brown bracken and ivy berries. Have a go and don’t be afraid to mix it up and make it interesting. Try to stick to odd numbers of stems and look at the shapes being created in the vase. I am always happy to add any dried grass or flower stems that I may have. I grow a lot of everlasting flowers for drying and have just put some bunches together for the newly opened Makers Gallery in Crickhowell. These consist of hydrangeas, Helichrysum, poppies, Rodgersia, alliums, grasses, Gypsophila, teasels.
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