3 March 2024

Rain Makes The Flowers Grow

You need rain to make the flowers grow, so the saying goes. Which is true, but before those flowers are even flowers, you also need it to stop flipping raining so you can plant the seedlings.

What a soggy winter it’s been. When we’re not in season and harvesting flowers, our time is spent sowing, planting and preparing for the next season and this year the relentless rain has certainly made a lot of that work challenging. It’s either torrential, which is horrible for the team to be working in or we just can’t work the ground because it’s sodden.

March is a busy month on the farm and in the studio. On the field there are lots of things that need to be planted out, like the re-sowing of failed autumn sowings such as nigella and larkspur (we think we did these a bit too late so plan to do them a month earlier next time), as well as rudbekia, ammi and the second succession of poppies.

It’s also the month when we sow our summer tenders, such as zinnias, celosia and sunflowers. These are flowers that don’t like it too cold so wouldn’t survive winter as they’re sensitive to frost. But if you get too behind with planting out in March it has a bit of a domino domino effect – you want to have the things you need to plant planted out, so you have the cell trays available for the things you need to sow in March to have blooming in summer. With the rain this winter making it tricky to stick to our planting schedule, we’re really hoping for a drier March. Best laid plans and all that!

Then of course we have Mother’s Day which is one of the busiest, if not the busiest week of the year and our field staff lend a helping hand to the studio staff to get all our orders out the door. Not something to be anything but grateful about, of course, it just means a bit more jiggling about in March to be done – having field staff help out during that week is a known quantity we can plan for, the amount of rain we’ve had this winter was not!

All this being said, despite the relentless rain, our spirits cannot be crushed – every morning we pop our heads in to the polytunnel and another 10 poppies or so have popped. Our excitement for the season ahead grows a little more with every burst of colour and every unfurling of a bud. So, to take the saying about rain back to what it really means, you need the bad times to really appreciate the good times. In that case, it’s going to be a very good spring indeed.

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