Archive | roses

First Flower Club – June

My first Flower Club was a cake-fuelled floral extravaganza! We had some sunshine too, but it was not too hot – perfect weather for wandering through the cutting beds picking and designing a bouquet.


A bit daunted at first, everyone came back with buckets to condition in our chiller before taking them home to practice later.  Each selection could not have been more different,  a unique expression of what is looking good in the garden right now.


After sampling the results of my latest bake – chocolate pecan nut brownies and lemon drizzle cake. I went to work demonstrating how to make a natural, sumptuous hand tie – this was my pick of the garden – Rose ‘Just Joey’, Dahlia ‘Cafe au Lait’, Alstromeria ‘Elvira’, Astrantia, Campanula lactiflora, Scabious ‘Ping Pong’, Dill, Rosa glauca, Nigella seedpods and Eryngium planum.


With a generous selection of flowers set out in my new smart buckets (previously picked and conditioned) it was now time for everyone to make some more decisions and make their way to the flower studio and in quiet concentration put together some beautiful hand ties.




We finished with an aquapacking session and tissue lined bags were filled and at the ready for everyone’s artistry to be carried home.

Here is what Linda Dixon said about the morning “I had a fabulous time on Sunday; it was fun, instructive and challenging – looking forward to the next Flower Club”.

On the subject of floristry I am gearing up for my floral demonstration at Hampton Court next week, I will be in the Roses and Floristry Marquee on Thursday 10th July at 5pm. My subject is ‘Natural Showstoppers’ which will be basically something big and wild without the use of florist’s foam.



Our NGS Open Day is fast approaching too, on the 13th July, 12-5pm. Refreshments, plant sale and floral displays…


Want to be a Flower Farmer?

It is a question I asked myself seven years ago. I was hundred percent sure that the answer was Yes, but the next question led to a lot more uncertainty – how can I actually make a living growing cut flowers?

Over the years many people have attended the growing course I run with that question in mind. So I thought it was high time I came up with a day which is geared solely towards all those people on the brink of starting a cut flower business.

The weather has finally driven me inside so writing a new course is just the thing to keep me busy and thinking of flowers.

Flower Farming for Beginners will run on Sunday 16th March here at Green and Gorgeous, there are only six places available so contact me if you would like more information about the day.

Whilst mulling over the content, I found these pictures taken by photographer Shannon Robinson last summer, which I think illustrate the words ‘flower farm’ beautifully.


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Sweet Pea ‘Winter Sunshine’ varieties jostling for space in the polytunnel, the best choice for an early crop.


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Delphinium ‘Pagan Purple’ a New Zealand hybrid, much stronger than their English counterparts.

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 An overwhelming amount of Peonies, we grow early and late varieties but the late Spring made them all come at once this year. Breathtakingly beautiful but also slightly painful!

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My favourite outdoor Alstroemeria called ‘Friendship’, think beyond ‘garage forecourt’, these are far superior and so productive.

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More New Zealand Delphiniums, the smokey lilac one is called ‘Sweethearts’, great for pedestals.


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You have to have roses, well I do anyway, this one is ‘Just Joey’, huge coppery apricot blooms.


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And finally, the striking Digitalis ‘Pam’s Choice’ – you can’t have too many foxgloves. I love the new summer flowering varieties so we can have foxgloves from June till August.

Rachel Siegfried


New Year Plans

It has been a long time since I wrote
my last blog, I think it was in June when the rain and wind came,
after that I was too busy battling with the elements. It certainly
tested my resolve as a flower grower as I watched countless flowers
rot in the ground or be flattened by the wind.

As we were not able to grow some G&G
favourites new flowers were discovered and took centre stage. Many of
these were from the group that really saved the season – perennials.
These proved to be far more weather resistant than many of the
annuals and because of all the rain grew taller and more prolifically
than normal and those prone to mildew like Asters, Monarda and Phlox
were spared.

 The real stars were the perennials sown
from seed in February/March which went on to produce buckets of
flowers from June onwards. They included Achillea, Galega and
Tanacetum which all proved to have good 'cut and come again' value and
a wildflower- look for our natural style bouquets.





Our new field of perennials planted
mostly as bare root in the autumn of 2011 also grew in very well
thanks to all the rain. It was a joy to wander in there one evening
when supplies and spirits were low in the cutting garden to discover
row upon row of new and exciting things to cut.

So the extreme weather meant different
flowers to work with, a new palette with unexpected combinations and
some beautiful results.





After seeing off the most challenging
year for growing cut flowers I am full of plans for 2013, which include adding to our mail order
range and developing a Pick Your Own cutting garden. More news on
that in the coming weeks. 

We have also come up with some new

Jo and I have put our heads together
and developed a two day course for DIY brides on how to grow and
arrange wedding flowers.




I am offering an in depth growing guide
to three of our favourites – sweet peas, roses and dahlias as half
day workshops.

If you would like to find out more have
a look at our Courses page on the website.

Rachel Siegfried