On Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th, we welcomed 27 visitors to the Flower Farm for a peek behind the scenes. Many were customers who have been enjoying our flowers, often for several years, & curious to see where their flowers grow. Others were keen gardeners wanting to see how we grow so many flowers up a hill side in South West Scotland.
The event was part of the much larger 'Flower Farmers Big Weekend' organised by the British co-operative of Flower Farmers 'Flowers From The Farm'. Earlier in the year when we were asked if we would take part, it seemed so easy to say 'yes'. As doubtless did over 100 Flower Farmers across the UK.
As the weekend grew closer, I began to wonder what we had agreed to. For a few weeks, the event seemed to be mentioned in every glossy magazine I opened - the press coverage was fabulous & resulted in tickets selling out fast. We never even got as far as adding the event to our social media pages - just the press & our newsletter sold the tickets. Sunday sold out in days.
After appalling wet & windy weather, for a short while I considered cancelling as inevitably this did slow down the blooms. We tidied, swept, weeded, worried about access, parking, insurance & trip hazards. But decided to go ahead as actually a weeds, warts & all view of flower farming is sometimes what needs to be given. It isn't easy to grow & sell large volumes of quality flowers. British, locally grown cut flowers take effort & skill to produce.
Occasionally press articles do rather give the impression growing flowers is an easy way to make money, (IMHO) portraying flower farmers simply wafting around their patch on a sunny morning, wearing a pretty linen dress, floppy sunhat & sandals. Er, no - not this one at any rate. More often I'm seen not-so-stylishly attired in wellington boots, with wet hair & please - don't look at the state of my fingernails!
So we went ahead anyway & were lucky on both days the tour completed before the heavens opened. Perfect timing for tea, cake & good chat with flower enthusiasts. Only afterwards did Ken & I realise neither of us remembered to take any pictures...
We had no idea if anyone would be interested in seeing what we do, weeds, mud & all. And were delighted to discover people interested in the provenance of their flowers & how they're grown. Your encouragement, enthusiasm & ideas for what we should do next in our flower growing business were so uplifting.
Thank you all so much!
Rosie Gray of Galloway Flowers. Artisan Florist & Cut Flower Farmer near Castle Douglas, in South West Scotland. Using 100% Flowers & Foliage grown in British Isles, all year round.