Veg Patch

To read the story of my Veg Patch in chronological order use the links in the Blog Archive

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A flower farm, a trip to France and more Seedypenpals.

Finally I have something to write about. Rather than ramble on about nothing in particular, I have waited and waited for something to happen in my garden. Sadly because of the rather rubbish weather, I am still waiting, but in the last two weeks I have had a few adventures and so now I have stuff to share. 

Just in case you have missed the date, Friday is Valentines day. That means flowers and chocolates are everywhere and companies are publicising their products. Now last weekend in the UK a major floristry company made a bit of a hash of advertising a bunch of flowers for a ridiculous amount of money. It was noticed immediately by lots of people I know , as the company were claiming that some of the flowers in this bouquet were grown in Britain. It was simply not possible. If you looked at the picture in the advert, none of them were flowers that are currently in season here. 

So step up the British Flower community. In a very timely article in a major national newspaper, an interview with Georgie Newbery at Common Farm Flowers was published. Those that read regularly will know I visit the farm occasionally. As I read the article entitled "Win a heart with local British Flowers"  it occurred to me that she may be getting rather more orders than normal, So with time on my hands I emailed and offered some help, I had barely hit the send button and back came the reply of "Yes Please." 

Yesterday morning found me up with the lark and off on a shortish but rather wet and  slow drive to Common Farm in Somerset. I arrived to the usual cheery welcome and mug of coffee . First order of the day was sorting out the huge piles of greenery that Georgie's husband Fabrizio had cut , all sorts of lovely bundles of Ivy and Bay were trimmed and popped into buckets. Then the flowers arrived. 

In the summer months the flowers are all grown on the farm, but at this time of year it is just not possible, so boxes and boxes arrived fresh from Cornwall. They were beautiful . We set to work opening all the boxes and unwrapping the flowers. The table soon began to fill up and the aroma was wonderful. 

Now the serious business began, Georgie and Emily began to create the posies and larger bouquets.

The chat was hilarious, with much singing along to classic FM. All the while beautiful creations were lining up on the dresser. And then I was shown how to aqua pack the flowers. I started slowly but was soon twirling my raffia ties with a flourish and casually flipping huge bunches of flowers upside down with one hand... Never thought I would learn how to do that. 

Then after a quick bit of photography for The Common Farm website..

The flowers went into huge boxes for the journey to their lucky recipients. 

After several tea stops we had finished. It had been a long day and I still had the drive home, but it was a brilliant experience and I have already been signed up for Mothers day. 

Here are some of the flowers that you could have on your table at the moment if you buy British . I think you will agree that they are rather special.

And then on to other things, in fact other countries. Last week Jim and I took the opportunity to visit our friends who live in South West France for a few days. Jim was going to be doing some car stuff so I contacted  a lady who I met last spring though the Seedypenpals Scheme. Sarah also lives in the same area, in fact only 20 minutes from my friends so we arranged to visit her. We drove into the pretty village where she lives exclaiming with pleasure when we spotted her house. 

We had a brilliant afternoon chatting all things flowers, food and music with Sarah and her husband Michael. And in true seedaholic fashion, I had some seeds with me to give to her. Now I have a large seed collection, but it was put to shame when Sarah went and brought her boxes in for me to rummage through. 

I was very impressed. They were huge and bursting with all sorts of interesting things, so I came away with new things to try this summer, including some french squash which  apparently grow like a long skinny butternut squash with a bend in the middle . 

You can all visit Sarah as her Villa is a Chambre d'hote, or B&B in english . Visit her website  for more details Villa Leon

And then back where we were staying I went for a short stroll around the tiny village. Its a very agricultural area, and every house has a barn of some description and loads of animals. Some of the barns were very old and beautiful, As were the hens and cockerels

Imagine walking our of your front door every day to a view like this 

Back in the UK I was the lucky recipient of a plethora of bounties from my current Seedypenpal,  Bev. 

I shall enjoy growing them all. And just to prove I haven't given up gardening, even though the weather gods are determined to make it as difficult as possible, I have planted loads more sweet peas, chilli's and quite a lot of different perennial plants. 

And finally taking advantage of a rare few hours sunshine, Gibson sunning himself on the beach .

Have a great week wherever you are and stay dry . 


  1. Lovely post Lorraine glad you had such a lovely time hoping you have a great season along with everyone else

  2. Lovely to see two people we know via the Internet 'at home'. It shows the power of real contact over virtual contact.

  3. Very jealous. I never thought i'd say that either!

  4. Wow, that certainly is an action-packed post! A very interesting insight into the world of floristry too. A lot more problems to cope with right now, I imagine. I suspect that the flowers from Cornwall will be scarcer than previously.

  5. Your "work" at the flower shop is hilarious! Am glad you got to do something you really enjoyed . Some gorgeous bouquets - the white one is my favorite:) Always love it when photographers are photographed unaware:):

  6. Wonderful flowers, really enjoyed reading about your day helping out. Very envious of your South of France trip too!

  7. Freelance florist! Who knew that was a job?

  8. What gorgeous flowers!

  9. Wow! So many of them!
    Gorgeous ones, it is a pity they don't grow so well here.

  10. Looks like a lot of fun preparing the flowers!! Also exciting to see those seedlings!

  11. Great post, the Common Farm looks like a absolutely wonderful place ! And what beautiful flower bouquets, so fresh.

  12. Lovely Pics and post, gift flower to your friend and family online at affordable price with Commande Fleurs.
    Fleurit le Cadeau à la France