Our First Blog Post

  • By Leon Longhurst
  • 14 Jun, 2016

It’s official, we have a blog and I think we know how to use it!!

We have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to our site. Our aim is to keep you updated with all our flowery adventures, good and not so good! This being our first year as cut flower farmers.... I'm sure we will have lots of up's and down's! Lot's of learning curves and hints and tips to share too.
We were extremely grateful to be offered a stand at the East Ruston Old Vicarage plant fair on Saturday. This was our first ever event!! Very nerve racking and took us quite a few weeks to prep for it. Overall though we were very chuffed with our efforts and we received lots of positive comments. Charlene's little 'pick me up' arrangements sold like hot cakes and we had lot's of interest in our 'grow your own bouquet' boxes.
We can't wait to be part of it again next year.
Next month we are setting up shop at Acle Farmers market. Another new adventure for us!! It's on Saturday 9th of July, so if you happen to be passing please pop in and cast your eye over our goodies :)

F & F News

By Leon Longhurst 14 Nov, 2016
October has now been and gone....it seems like summer has just passed by in a blur. We've still been really busy in the plot planting bulbs for Spring and more batches of hardy annuals. The soil has been warm enough to bring on the Ammi, Daucus and Larkspur outside in the beds and they should be a good size before they hunker down for Winter. All the beds of Alliums are now planted, this year we've gone for some dainty Allium unifolium, some nice bright blue caerulium and a batch of Nectoscordum....that should satisfy the florist's need for Alliums!! We've also got a greenhouse full of little buckets of Narcissus 'Minnow', Muscari and Snakehead Fritillary.....these are sat on benches to keep any hungry mice off them.
The Anemone coronaria and Ranunculus are popping up in the tunnel beds and all being well they'll be our first cut flower of the year....hopefully Feb/March. Charlene's been busy with wedding consultations and has been finalising details with her December wedding bride as well as taking bookings for her popular Christmas flower workshops.
By Leon Longhurst 01 Oct, 2016
Well, what a busy month September turned out to be. With the fantastic warm sunny days right through September everything has been continuing to grow like mad. Having sown the first batch of hardy annuals for next Spring they've been shooting up and I've found myself willing them to slow down and not start flowering!! So far so good....we've got some lovely varieties on the go for next Spring including Ammi, Daucus (a wild carrot with similar flowers to Ammi but vivid crimson!!), a scented annual snapdragon, an almost white calendula, several beds of Anemone de Caen as well as 4 different Ranunculus. Exciting times at flower patch HQ and we're looking forward to the 1st of the flowers for cutting in late Feb/early March. We had a fantastic weekend at Holkham Hall plant fair with lots of people enjoying Charlene's flower arranging demonstration as well as my interview for the BBC Radio Norfolk 'Garden party' that broadcast live from the fair. Charlene has been busy with wedding consultations for next year as well as a fantastic winter wedding to prepare for in December. We also have some exciting news on Christmas flower workshops coming soon...so keep an eye out on Facebook, Twitter and our website for that. Oh..... and for some Autumn/Winter colour to brighten up your garden we have a lovely selection of Violas and Pansies available from our flower shed at the front of our home.
By Leon Longhurst 12 Aug, 2016
August found us busy putting up sheds and new display tables for our plants and flowers. 
With such a sunny spot outside our home we needed a little shade for our cut flowers to help keep them fresh and rosy! So Charlene purchased a little cheap and cheerful shed to help with the situation.
She had grand ideas for it and was soon painting away!! Blue on the outside, cream trim ad white on the inside (to keep it bright and fresh). I think it became a bit of an obsession as three weeks later she was still painting!! However, the end result looked fabulous and we had lots of passing comments on our 'beach hut', 'holiday home' and 'somewhere to put the husband when he is misbehaving'!! ( all comments from our lovely neighbours!).
Since the shed has been up we've now been creating little hand tied designs and 'pick me up's' to place inside it. We even have some little mixed succulents and some twigs! (which Charlene assures me are 'on trend'!).
In the flower plot we have had cosmos, marigolds, larkspur, ammi, snapdragons, stocks, foxgloves and borage all making an appearance. 
I've been sowing and potting on like a crazy thing in preparation for the Holkham hall plant fair. We have violas and pansies, achillea, tanacetum, astrantia, geums and salvia's to name but a few.
A couple more new raised beds have gone in ready for next years cut flowers and we have lot's of lovely bulbs coming in soon which we'll be planting for spring flowering.
The sunflowers all came to an end a couple of weeks back now and so next year we're planning on staggering the sowing a bit more to keep them going a little longer. This will also apply to most of our cutting flowers.



By Leon Longhurst 04 Jul, 2016
Well, where do I start! June has been a month of big learning curves!!
It all started off quite well with lots of little plants planted out in the raised beds, this included cosmos and gypsophilia, scabiosa and calendula. We have been a little behind this year due to only getting the plot up and running in April, but we soldiered on and hoped for the best.
The gypsophila in the polytunnel had been doing tremendously with an abundance of flowers, even though it had been pretty toasty in there. We wanted to plant some of the gypsophilia out in the beds too to see how it faired outside in the elements too.
Our cosmos had also been coming along nicely, we had a pretty variety called 'daydream'.
But then.....one morning whilst checking on our plants we found that we had had a little furry visitor in the night!! Little Peter rabbit had munched his way through about 3 trays of potted cosmos, all the cosmos in the raised beds...totally stripped the gypsophilia and finished off by munching half the scabiosa!! It was not a pretty sight...believe me. All our hard work gone...and into the belly of a rather gutsy rabbit!
So, as you can imagine the next few days consisted of rabbit proofing all the beds and reinforcing our fencing around the outside of the plot to ensure he wouldn't be visiting again.
We have since sown, grown on and planted out some more cosmos and gypsophilia (fully caged) and we are hoping that we may(at least) get a few flowers from these this year.
But....it didn't stop there!!
Next we were confronted with the weather. Torrential down pours and gusty winds left a lot of our cornflowers flattened. Seedlings without enough cover were washed out of their trays and petals were shattered from the anemones.
Crikey...we were thinking. This is pretty tricky business!
So, again we had to think up solutions to the potential issues. Hence, a few days later we had made a protective shelter for our seedlings (with enough light and air flow) and we had staked all our taller, bushier flowers.
Anyway, apart from all the drama we did have a success story.
Our nigella was looking amazing!! We had sown this freely in the polytunnel, and although it had got pretty hot in there on a few occasions they seemed to love it and it's been a total success.
Most of our sunflowers are coming along too, although we did lose a few through rot (due to the high amounts of rain).
Overall, although there's been quite a few 'down moments' this month we also feel that we're much  more clued up for next year.



By Leon Longhurst 14 Jun, 2016
We have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to our site. Our aim is to keep you updated with all our flowery adventures, good and not so good! This being our first year as cut flower farmers.... I'm sure we will have lots of up's and down's! Lot's of learning curves and hints and tips to share too.
We were extremely grateful to be offered a stand at the East Ruston Old Vicarage plant fair on Saturday. This was our first ever event!! Very nerve racking and took us quite a few weeks to prep for it. Overall though we were very chuffed with our efforts and we received lots of positive comments. Charlene's little 'pick me up' arrangements sold like hot cakes and we had lot's of interest in our 'grow your own bouquet' boxes.
We can't wait to be part of it again next year.
Next month we are setting up shop at Acle Farmers market. Another new adventure for us!! It's on Saturday 9th of July, so if you happen to be passing please pop in and cast your eye over our goodies :)

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