Just after I set up the flower farm almost 5 and a half years ago, I went to a meeting of other flower farmers in Devon. There I met Gill Hodgson, the founder of Flowers from the Farm, and became a member, of a group of (then) about 30 growers across the country.
This week, Flowers from the Farm is promoting British Flowers at the pinnacle of horticultural excellence - The Chelsea flower show. In the centre of the Great Marquee is a stand showcasing the best in locally grown seasonal blooms created and designed by FFTF members. It has flowers supplied by FFTF members (94 of them) and is sponsored by members (now over 500 of them) and has no external funding.
Wow!, what a feat, what a team, what a display, and in what a year! The hard work will all be worth it when this coming Wednesday evening, they'll be a feature on the TV coverage of the show that follows the growers through the season. ** Updated, and the Stand got a GOLD**
So are my flowers there on the stand? Well, no actually one of the most wonderful parts of Flowers from the Farm is that there are now so many capable, experienced and talented members, growing in gardens, allotments, fields and glasshouses, and working as a team sharing knowledge and experiences, that between us, we can promote British Flowers all over the country without over stretching us all and creating problems in our individual businesses. My flowers will be off to Hampton Court at the beginning of July to continue educating the public that locally grown and seasonal flowers are the best.
I have to say though that thanks to one of my regular florists, there are some of my flowers gracing a couple of the display stands at the RHS Chelsea flowers show, and there's a copy of my book there somewhere to help with any reference queries.
So i'm a really proud member of Flowers from the Farm. If you're planning to go to the Chelsea flower show this week, please do go and find the FFTF team and enjoy the full range of the flowers available in May. If not, join me on the sofa on Wednesday evening at 7pm on BBC 2.