Welcome to the first ever blog from The Sussex Flower Farm!
I have been pondering at great length as to what may be of interest to you regarding our flower farm: flowers about to come into bloom, growing methods, flower care etc, and thought that at first, you would probably prefer to know more about us.
So here goes!
My name is Shelley Marks-Thomson, I am married to Mike and we have two wonderful sons called Ben & Josh. Both are in their early twenties and are the light of my life.
My dear friend and business partner on the farm is Debbie Chalmers, she is married to Richard, they have two delightful teenagers – Thomas and Anna, who do a good job in the life lighting department too!
Debbie and I met many years ago on our allotments. We are both passionate about growing, whether it be flowers, fruit or vegetables. Because we have always ‘grown our own’, we fully embrace the seasonality of our lovely British produce.
We are located on the Wiston Estate and are the proud custodians of a one acre smallholding, complete with polytunnel, abundant wildlife and stunning views to the South Downs.
We started The Sussex Flower Farm in February last year… In fact, our business is one year old today. A cause for celebration I think!
We wanted to grow flowers, masses and masses of glorious flowers. And we did! Our aim is to promote the seasonality of our flowers and also the fact that they are British grown and delivered or collected locally.
When we began our adventure, we had some sweet peas sown the previous October, some very, very pot-bound dianthus sown the previous July, masses of flower seed packets and bundles of excitement. Every waking moment was filled with planning, sowing, digging, planting and re-planning.
We were nervously confident that we would find customers for our flowers, despite having encountered some initial knock-backs from the more traditional high-street florist. We were told that British flowers didn’t last, and that we couldn’t compete with the ‘Dutch lorry’. Well, to us that was never the point. We don’t want to complete with flowers flown in from Holland or elsewhere; our flowers are different. The Dutch markets cannot supply beautiful nodding heads of aquilegia in spring, intensely scented sweet peas in summer or bold and brilliant dahlias in the autumn. We can, and do, and have been delighted to discover an alternative breed of florist, floral designer and bride, who truly appreciate the value of locally grown and glorious British flowers.
Our heartfelt thanks to all who have supported us in endeavour, and we look forward to another year filled with beautiful, seasonal, scented British blooms.
I have really enjoyed writing our first blog post, and please, if you have enjoyed reading, do share, tweet and like!