Down on the Flower Farm
Pam Moseley of Quirky Flowers has been a flower farmer for a decade, but she’s noticed just lately that British flowers have suddenly become really fashionable. She’s done a fair few farmer’s markets and says older people react to her flowers with pangs of nostalgia and younger people have started asking, “What’s that?”
Our tour of her farm begins in the poly tunnel at the top of a field where Pam brings on young plants. Sweet peas fill the space with rich perfume as they wind up bamboo canes. Pam plants out dusty millers for some future silvery statement foliage to add to her arrangements as Barry the dog excitedly bounds up and down. “The poly tunnel isn’t great for keeping off the pests”, remarks Pam who doesn’t use sprays but swears by cow manure as a feed.
Sat on a hill overlooking her dairy farm in the Staffordshire countryside an acre plot is teaming with wildlife and colourful swaying British blooms of every colour. One side is devoted to perennials and the other is waited to be planted up with annuals – a task that has been delayed due to the biblical downpours we’ve been having lately.
Bees jostle for position on a bed of cirsium. “It’s a bee orgy!” laughs Pam. As she picks the flowers for a hand tied bouquet the bees hitch a ride. Pam uses raffia, brown paper and used dog food tins to present her flowers to stay environmentally friendly. Pam avoids floral foam and favours old fashioned methods such as buckets with chicken wire to make her displays.
Old favourites at Pam’s flower farm are dahlias, lupins, astrantia and mint for foliage. The delphiniums look particularly striking towering over the plot. It’s easy to get swept away with the romance of it all as peacock butterflies and cabbage whites flutter by and Pam encourages ladybirds to deal with the odd attack of greenfly. A brook babbles behind the hedgerow and dozy pheasants wade through the long grass.
The season starts in early March and ends in September as the position of the farm means it’s a bit of a “frost pocket”. This year Pam is providing cut flowers for four weddings and admits she loves to do floral tributes for funerals. “The families are so appreciative. It’s lovely for them to come up here and choose the flowers among all the other things that have to be done.”
Pam also runs flower party workshops with her sister for groups such as hen parties. You can learn how to make a floral crown, buttonholes or bouquets.
She will also be throwing open the gates to visitors along with over 100 growers from the Flowers from the Farm cooperative for the first ever Flower Farmers Big Weekend taking place over three days from 16th– 18th August.
Pam is planning ‘Pick Your Own’ days so you can go along and snap up a freshly picked, beautiful bunch of locally grown, scented seasonal flowers.
An incredible 90% of the flowers sold through UK florists, supermarkets and wholesalers are imported not just from Holland but flown from as far afield as Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya and even Ethiopia.
Flowers from the Farm aims to reduce travel miles by promoting locally-grown flowers and developing a network of British cut flower growers across the country.