The Flower Patch was imagined and created by me (Maria), in 2014 after realising that I could make gardening a way of life. Working in the garden makes me appreciate the changing seasons even more; it’s a joy to pick flowers and immediately create something beautiful and individual that I know was grown sustainably and with love.
I come from a family of gardeners where it is the norm to grow your own fruit & veg. I knew from an early age I had the gardening gene and was the only one of 5 children to enjoy weeding and would help Dad regularly in the garden.
Over the years I have attended many floristry courses but unfortunately working with flowers on a day-to-day basis has never come to fruition. As the years went by I kept thinking of how I could get into floristry and so in 2013 I treated myself to a floristry course at the academy of flowers in Covent Garden, I was hooked. I realised it would be much harder work than sitting in an office all day, but in my heart I new I had to give it a go or I would always say ‘what if?’
Using garden flowers in my work was important to me, I had grown lots of flowers for drying back in the eighties, however it hadn’t occurred to me to grow fresh cut flowers on a larger scale until I visited Gill Hodgson’s farm in 2013. Gill is the founder of Flowers from the Farm, a network of growers working to promote British Flowers. Gill inspired me and so the vision for The Flower Patch was created.
With my passion for growing reignited I now needed somewhere to grow my flowers. I have a fairly large cottage garden however I knew this wouldn’t produce enough to run a successful business. Fortunately for me my Dad has a very large plot. It just so happened that he wanted to cut down on his vegetable growing (we could never get through that many veg anyway!) and so has let me take over his veg patch! The flowers are also gradually taking over the borders and these are filled with perennial planting too.
So last Spring with the help of my Dad (Ken) and husband (Andy), we got started on reorganising the patch; digging, sowing, planting and staking. By the end of September we had also managed to erect a polytunnel ready to plant with early bloomers to extend my season.
The soil is in excellent condition as my Dad has always had his own composting heaps and feeds the soil regularly with well-rotted manure and natural fertilizers. By gardening in an eco friendly sustainable way we encourage pollinating insects & wildlife into the garden.
Now we are a small family business, thanks to my dad, husband and daughter who are able to manage all the different aspects of flower farming, from tending the patch to social media and photography. Even on a small scale it is hard work and the weather dictates everything we do, this is not a 9 to 5 job, it’s a way of life. We are passionate about our flowers and aim to offer something different from the usual imported varieties commonly available on the High street. We want to show what beauty lies within the reach of a British garden.
Our growing season is from April to October, outside of the season we can source from other UK growers in the south, however these do take longer to acquire.