March 2020 newsletter

Flower Farm news – March 2020
So a very peculiar month – this newsletter seems to be a list of cancelled activities. One thing that can’t be cancelled though are the plants that are growing and flowering.  Although we can’t get out to deliver flowers, and florists everywhere have shut up shop, we have decided to carry on sowing and planting with the hope that we’ll have lots of blooms when some sort of normality returns.  We’ll keep writing about what we are doing and what’s flowering. 

Flowers on their way
There are narcissus and tulips in bloom this month and ranunculus almost ready in the tunnel.  The first ranunculus to flower will be the clementine variety – a lovely bright orange.
We have a big seed sowing schedule which lists the seeds to be planted each week throughout the season.  March is one of the busiest seed sowing months – mainly the hardy annuals, cornflowers, snapdragons, ammi, cerinthe, nigella  – all of which germinate within a week or so, get pricked out for a couple of weeks and then planted out.  They’ll be flowering by the end of May or beginning of June.  They flower for about 6-8 weeks before we pull them out and plant some more.  Its important to have a continuous supply of flowers all through the season so a schedule is essential. 


Cut & Arrange Workshops
I’ve cancelled these for the moment
Open days
These have all been either cancelled or postponed until later in the year when we may know more about what is happening
On-line shop
Our on-line shop is temporarily closed until we have confirmation about whether we are able to deliver flowers.
We’ve been putting spare bunches of flowers outside the gate for locals to help themselves as they walk by.  

Look after yourselves

Nic & Zoe – Orchard Farm Flowers

February 2020 Newsletter

Flower Farm news – February 2020

Its been a very mild but very wet winter here at Orchard Farm Flowers.
So what have we been up to and when can you start to buy flowers from us again?

At the moment, the fields are covered in lots of black plastic and weed suppressant fabric (or would be if Storm Dennis hadn’t blown through and thrown it all about!).  This is the no-dig method of farming – the fabric stops light and nutrients getting through and kills all the weeds.  We put down cardboard and manure, leaf mould and compost and then the fabric on top.  The worms will turn it into wonderful soil that we can plant into in April and May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers on their way
Our hardy annuals have mostly made it through the winter very well. The ammi and orlaya, corncockles, nigella, daucus, briza, stocks and larkspur are all planted either in the tunnel or outside.  The forget-me-nots and linaria were eaten by some hungry rabbits who managed to make their way through a hole in the fence!  We’ll plant some more as soon as the weather dries up.  I’ve been busy in the greenhouse, and the propagators are on full pelt to get the first of the season’s seedlings going.  We’ve got poppies (some beautiful new grey ones), larkspur and feverfew germinated and pricked out.  There are cornflowers, snapdragons, rudbeckia and bells of Ireland currently in the propagator, with scabious, stocks, foxgloves, gypsophila and dill all waiting patiently in the queue. We’ll be sowing some seeds every week from now on to make sure we have a succession of flowers throughout the season.

All the roses have been pruned and we have just had some manure delivered which they’ll love – just got to barrow it up to them! The quite big tractor delivering it got a bit stuck and had to be pulled out by an ENORMOUS tractor!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut & Arrange Workshops
Over the coming weeks, there will be plenty more flowers, anemones, ranunculus scented narcissus and tulips which will start flowering towards the end of March.
By March we’ll have gift bouquets again and by April we’ll be able to start our subscriptions, but weather and pests permitting there should be plenty for all by the middle of April. Check our social media feeds on Facebook and Instagram for up to the date details of what’s available.
Starting in April we’re going to have a monthly ‘Cut & Arrange’ workshop.  Bring a vase and come and pick a bucket of flowers from the field and learn a new way of arranging them.  More information on our website.

Open days
We’ll be opening the farm on 15 June (NB this is a week earlier than I said last month) and 16th August this year from 2.00pm to 5.00pm.
If you know anyone that’s getting married and would like to visit us to see the flowers we have, then we’re holding open evenings for brides on 3 June, 15 July and 2 September. More information is available here https://orchardfarmflowers.co.uk/bridal-evenings/

On-line shop
New for 2020 is our on-line shop which will make it easier to buy gift bouquets, flower arrangers buckets and book onto workshops.  You’re still welcome to use e-mail and phones as well. This should be live next month all ready for the start of the season in March – watch this space.

Nic & Zoe – Orchard Farm Flowers

January 2020 newsletter

Happy new year to everyone.

What are we doing on the flower farm this month?

We’ve ordered and planted several hundred shrubs and perennials to extend the season.   We realised last year that we needed more flowers in October to go with the lovely dahlias. We’re soaking and sowing another big batch of anemones and ranunculus some of which are a lovely burgundy colour – new this year – they should be ready towards the end of April.

Although all our seed has been ordered we try not to sow any of it until February the fifteenth when we get ten hours of daylight: seed sown under cover in February or March will catch up with seed sown in January, and make stronger, straighter plants which will do much better.

Sweet peas have been planted in the tunnel and I’m keeping a close eye on the seedlings planted in there (ammi, stocks, orlaya and bells of Ireland) careful not to over water, and never to water after mid day, or if a frost is forecast.  And when it’s as wet as this I’m trying to keep off the land as much as possible and not get blown away.

Open days
We’ll be opening the farm on 21 June and 16th August this year from 2.00pm to 5.00pm.
If you know anyone that’s getting married and would like to visit us to see the flowers we have, then we’re holding open evenings for brides on 3 June, 15 July and 2 September. More information is available here https://orchardfarmflowers.co.uk/bridal-evenings/

On-line shop
New for 2020 is our on-line shop which will make it easier to buy gift bouquets, flower arrangers buckets and book onto workshops.  You’re still welcome to use e-mail and phones as well. This should be live next month all ready for the start of the season in March – watch this space.

Social Media
If you’re on facebook or instagram or twitter follow along with the hashtag #flowerfarmerama to read stories from us and other flower farmers up and down the country all through January.

Nic & Zoe – Orchard Farm Flowers

December 2019 newsletter

Wishing you a very happy Christmas.
This year has been a busy and productive one with lots of news from the flower farm.

We’ve worked with some amazing people and organisations; our flowers have appeared in homes and venues across the region as well as at the Royal Opera House in London during British Flowers Week.

In August we opened up our farm as part of the Flower Farmers Big Weekend.  It was a great success and we’ll definitely be taking part again next year.

Dried flowers are definitely back in fashion and we’ve saved and dried masses of our summer and autumn blooms to use in bouquets, table arrangements and wreaths. Dried flower clouds have appeared at many a wedding.
 
The early spring flowers have all been planted and we’re expecting a profusion of colour and scent with ranunculus, anemones and narcissus beginning the season in March, but for now we’re having a planting break.  The planning continues however, with thousands of seeds to be sown from next month, we’re working out which new varieties to sow along with all our favourites from previous seasons. We’ll keep you posted!

Seasonal Greetings,
Nic & Zoe – Orchard Farm Flowers
 We’re looking forward to next year

Mothers Day

For Mother’s Day last weekend, here in East Sussex, we picked tulips, scented narcissi, flowering currant, tonnes of anemones, rosemary, plum blossom, hornbeam and other foraged foliage. They all went into our mixed buckets for local delivery or were made into bouquets and jam jar posies for collection and local shops.
We pick flowers constantly from April to October so if you’d like some just contact us.