5 December 2021
With the launch of our field flowers gift subscription for 2022 we thought now would be a good time to look back on the best things we grew in 2021. We were lucky enough to manage a very tricky start to the growing year with bizarrely late frosts running well in to the Spring, along with an April in which we got 2mm of rain over the whole month. Despite this we had very few crop failures and plenty of big wins, the best of which we’ve described below. Ultimately, the aim of field flowers was to bring unusual varieties to our customers and we’ve made a great start at doing that!
What’s not to love. They travel well, last well over a week, come in every shade and shape imaginable. Some with stripes and frills, others with tie dye petals spanning all the colours of the rainbow. They are a little tricky to grow, and the mice go nuts for their bulbs (called corms or claws) so each season we’ve been experimenting with different methods to keep the corms safe from the plentiful local rodent population. We sold every single stem we grew last year so have doubled our numbers for next year with new varieties and some of the favourites from last year.
We only managed a few boxes of anemones last year so are doubling our efforts this year. Although they don’t last as long as their ranunculus cousins they are adored by everyone. Their signature black velvet centres are instantly recognisable and as they are expensive for us to import it’s exciting to be able to grow our own interesting varieties. One of their greatest features is their striking and vivid colours and we’ve got some pale blue and blush ones coming in 2022 that we hope will blow you away.
We’ve got insane smokey grey and dark cerise delphiniums that will be back next year (cos they’re perennial innit). These are long hefty spires with beautiful double florets that open all the way up the stems. The added bonus is that when these flowers are past their best they made great confetti! The petals shatter at the end of their vase life but the end of something’s vase-life has never looked so good.
The annual cousin to Delphiniums, these beautiful slender spires are a cottage garden staple. We’ve got our mits on some truly gorgeous shades that are a little more unusual and not found on the cut flower auction. These have a vase lift of nearly a week and are very, very pretty.
We’re weren’t totally sure that it would be worth us doing sweet peas. We have to be realistic with what we send out and the reality is that customers will always compare vase life to what they think is normal (often what they find at the supermarket). When it comes to something like sweet peas that have a short vase life anyway and we were a little concerned about complaints. But their intoxicating scent and delicate beauty have won out, and our ability to cut one day and them be in a vase in someone’s home the next goes some way to helping with the longevity. We’ve got loads of different colours for next year so you’ll be able to fill your boots.
This was a wild card that we’re so happy we did. They took up a lot of space in our polytunnels and we weren’t sure how they would bloom or travel but we were ecstatic with the result. We were drowning in Clarkia. Clarkia that is the most beautiful pearly sea shell shape with soft blush accents as if someone has just applied blusher to their petals. It was one of those crops that went so hard for 2 weeks and then was over, just to keep us on our toes. We send them out in ‘cracking bud’ and they open on arrival, going for well over a week. We are trialling an extra salmon colour for 2022 that we’re really excited about.
If i’m honest i was the least excited about snapdragons. And then they arrived. And i was bowled over. The snapdragons I import don’t have a scent so i was really surprised how wonderful they smelt – almost like red apple. Again the vase life was well over a week and the flowers bloomed and open over that time, even changing in colour to beautiful soft variations of their starting colour. I chose varieties with interesting shaped trumpets so we had a mixture of frilly edged ones and little bells. They were also the work horses of the field, giving us flowers from May until October (and that’s only because we had to clear the bed!). We have an exciting mix of varieties for 2o22.
We aren’t that into regular yellow sunflowers as a bouquet flower. Their chunky stems are really tricky to use in our Petalon bouquets and their ubiquity makes them tricky to do new things with. But last year we grew a gazillion ‘double dandy’ sunflowers – a beautiful variety that were small, with slender stems so not too cumbersome in the delivery boxes. The colours and shapes were so textured and interesting. Terracotta, plum and toffee coloured petals in raggedy form with double layers and teddy bear centres with subtle variation in shape and shade. We’ve got a creamy variety and a different plum coloured one for next year.
Long associated with garage forecourts it was a concern that they wouldn’t sell, but you cannot argue with the beauty, scent and longevity of these incredible flowers. Our heirloom varieties are a big step away from the mass produced ones common in supermarkets and they were the perfect end to our field flower season, with customers raving about three week long vase life as late as the second half of November
This list could have been a lot longer and we can’t wait to make it again next year. We’re doing field flower gift subscriptions for Christmas so if you fancy buying yourself or someone else the gift of weekly Cornish flowers that will begin to arrive once our main season begins in the Spring you can do that here.Back to blog