Kate Hurst is a flower farmer, florist and Rhino gardener. Camomile & Cornflowers is part of Flowers From the Farm - a co-operative dedicated to supporting local flower farming that is better for the environment and the economy. As a Rhino owner, we invited Kate to share her story with us.

Bouquet of pink ranunculus and roses cut flowers flowers from the farm

I’ve always been interested in protecting our natural environment so I was thrilled to work for the Environment Agency as a Hydrologist for 10 years but young children persuaded me to take a step back and make the most of their exciting little lives.  Gardening and flowers didn’t really take my interest until I moved to the beautiful Teme Valley in Worcestershire and I suddenly had a 3 acre mature garden to discover and look after.

Created in the 1980s by very keen gardeners this sloping garden includes hundreds of unusual trees a lake and mini wood full of bluebells, wood anemones & snow drops in the Spring.  Even now 8 years later I am discovering new plants that pop up throughout the year.  It was this garden and its hidden gems that inspired me to start my flower business back in 2014 and it’s been a steep learning curve ever since.

Having a garden this beautiful deserves to be shared and it’s the flowering shrubs, trees and perennials that I harvest and use for most of my floral arrangements. But I still need a good supply of classic cutting flowers hence I grow flowers in a small cutting patch overlooking the Malvern hills supplied by the biggest water butt I’ve ever seen – also installed in the 1980s. 

Seedlings in the Rhino greenhouse of flower farmer Kate Hurst, Camomile and Cornflowers, Flowers from the farm

For several years I’ve grown seedlings in my conservatory but germination rates were a bit hit and miss and I got fed up of soil everywhere.  So when I saw the beautiful Rhino Greenhouses at the Malvern Spring show last year I just knew I had to have one. Every year I go to the Malvern show to showcase the work of Flowers From The Farm. Flowers from the Farm is a multi award-winning, not-for-profit, co-operative of British cut flower growers, set up in 2011 it now has over 700 members supplying flowers around the country for all sorts of events.  Check out their website for a grower or florist near you https://www.flowersfromthefarm.co.uk/

 My lovely Tuscan Olive green 10’ by 8’ greenhouse was installed in November last year during the atrocious wet weather on sloping clay that even now isn’t really level but it’s been secured and now houses hundreds of little seedlings like Anthirinums, blue Poppies, diamond gyp, calendula and Ammi Majus.  I’m also growing a few vegetable seeds at the moment, it’s fascinating to see the different seedlings pop up – I’m sure one day Ill be able to identify each seedling by it’s first tiny shoot but for now they get labelled in a variety of ways as I struggle to find a biodegradable but weather resistant labelling system. 

Growing from seed is unpredictable, time consuming, relaxing and so satisfying – give it a go.

 

 Rainbow wreath made with freshly cut locally grown seasonal flowers

 

Camomile & Cornflowers Ltd

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Flowers From the Farm

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Written by Kate Hurst