Tag Archives | peonies

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


Promising Peonies and Poppies

My ranunculus have been cooking in the oven of our polytunnel but whilst mourning their demise I have been considering the alternatives for our May weddings and 'ready to launch' mail order service. Fortunately the peonies and poppies are showing a lot of promise.

In fact I am amazed at the number of buds on my peonies which are only two years old, I have four varieties to choose from: Kansas, Festiva Maxima, Duchess de Nemours and Sarah Bernhardt. They have obviously enjoyed the cold winter and warm spring, so fingers crossed. I will pick them at the 'marshmallow stage' and combine them with my sweet peas, hesperis and mint for beautifully scented arrangements and bouquets.



Now the poppies: Icelandic 'Meadow Pastels' …they are dreamy in lemons, apricots and creams. I can't believe how long they last in the vase, their petals look so delicate and tissue-like but even unseared I have had a good five days in this hot weather.


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Other flowers making an early apearance this year by a good three weeks include cornflowers, alliums, nigella, iris and delphiniums.


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All we need now is some gentle rain for about a week to water in all the recent plantings and encourage nice long stems.