Tag Archives | flower farming

Sweet Pea Grow Along – Part 3

Your carefully sown seeds should be showing some signs of life by now. Remember to keep them cool and bright as they start to grow.

The next job is preparing the ground outside, probably not terribly appealing right now unless you are outside the UK!  If your ground is too wet to dig, a mulch of compost would be better than nothing at the moment. Sweet peas like a rich, moisture-retentive soil.

They prefer an open, sunny position,  so avoid anywhere that is in shade for more than a couple of hours a day.

I plant in long 25m rows so I can have an overwhelming quantity to harvest. If you are planning on something smaller, a teepee/wigmam is attractive (made from hazel or older bamboo canes). Sweet peas must be picked or dead headed to keep flowering. I find it hard to reach the flowers in the centre of a teepee, which can make this task a bit of a chore.

I also do not enjoy tying in, as it is far too labour intensive. I find bean netting offers enough support for sweet peas to do most of this bit themselves. It is cheap, quick to erect and creates a veritable wall of scent once the netting is clothed with Sweet Peas. Here is a picture of our indoor sweet peas at this time last year. Note the sunshine….




Here’s how we prepare our rows. Ground is dug over (ideally in the autumn) with plenty of well rotted FYM. Stout 2.4m posts are banged in at intervals, approx. 3-4m apart. A hole is drilled through the top of each post, wire (electric fence wire) is threaded through and at the same time woven through the top of the netting and tied as taut as you can . Think of it like hanging a simple curtain,  with the bean netting secured to the post using a staple gun to stop any wafting about. Depending on the length of your rows, your end rows may need bracing with a post section notched in and dug into the ground.





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This picture was taken by Shannon Robinson last year, when we let the public pick their own. Our next installment will cover hardening off and planting.

Rachel Siegfried


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