Tag Archives | courses

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




Fun with Flowers


I've really enjoyed teaching the floristry workshops this spring. It's amazing how different all the arrangements turn out, even when we're all working with the same ingredients. Everybody has their own style and something to add. There is usually a broad spectrum of experience within the group, but that really doesn't seem to matter. Every one is there to have fun with flowers, pick up some handy tips and hopefully feel inspired to create some arrangements with their own garden ingredients.
The day starts with a few demonstrations of how to create a hand tie. I show 2 different techniques and talk about how to create texture and keep the bouquet looking soft and natural. After that, each person is offered their own bucket of garden flowers to create a hand tie bouquet to go home with.


After a coffee break and a slice of Rachel's home baked cake, I talk through different containers. I explain what makes the perfect jug and give a few 'cheats' on how to make the 'not so perfect' jug work. I give a couple of demonstrations of larger arrangements, before arranging flowers into a tea cup. Everybody gets their second bucket of flowers and a tea cup to work with.

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By this time we're all ready for our hard earned (ha ha!) lunch, usually prepared by both Rachel and Ash with garden ingredients and served from our flower studio. So far, the weather has been kind enough to allow to lunch outside, which has been lovely. Rachel is usually around to give everyone a garden tour and a few planting tips. Our final creation in the floristry workshop is a ribbon wrapped corsage, which really does show off everybody's individual style. Mine usually ends up a bit on the large side, when working to my own brief, I can't seem to hold back. When it's time to end, it's quite a sight to see all the ladies proudly wearing their corsages, carrying off armfuls of flowers. I do hope they wear their corsage all the way home, even if they stop for petrol and coffee!
 Jo Wise