We’re very excited to have Charlotte Tombs, an experienced Dorset flower farmer at Northcombe Flowers in Sturminster Marshall, sharing her growing year and seasonal thoughts with us.
So much excitement on the flower farm this week – Sweetpea Florist in Blandford placed an order with us hinting that there was a Very Important Person coming to Blandford. Her lips were sealed as to the recipient’s identity; she did however hint that she had designed and supplied flowers for this particular Royal before…
As you can imagine the weather forecast was checked then doubled checked – the conditions
have to be right to pick flowers (like many other premium crops). First thing in the morning or at dusk once the sun is off them is preferable, and wind and rain are not good; which often make it a challenge in a British summer! Flowers need to be hydrated and kept cool after picking, overnight is good as we strive for optimum ‘vase life’, the flower grower’s holy grail.For this particular special order, flowers were selected for scent, colour and ‘Britishness’:
cornflowers, poppies, lavender and of course roses among the varieties used.
They were delivered to Sweetpea for Laura to work her magic. Sadly Blandford Camp reported that no one managed to get a photograph of HRH Princess Anne with the flowers!
I belong to a great organisation called ‘Flowers from the Farm’ which is an award winning membership association, supporting professional flower growers all over the country. With over a 1000 members we are gaining a strong voice in championing British flowers and enlightening the public who are increasingly aware of their food air miles but not flower air miles.
The Flowers from the Farm growers are passionate about the flowers they grow, many varieties of which are scented. Did you know that some imported flowers have had the scent bred out of them, focussing solely on appearance? Many of the flowers grown by the Flowers from the Farm growers bring back memories of childhood, lost scents, evocative and full of nostalgia. It amazes me that the scent of the much loved sweetpea can transport you back decades.It is possible to send flowers through the Flowers from the Farm website, they have a brilliant search feature; type in a postcode and details of the growers in that locality appear.
By: Charlotte Tombs