Happy Christmas. It has been an interesting year, lots to think about now a thinking space is hoving into view ( a whole ten days off over Christmas before getting stuck back into a book project and planning next year's flowers!).
I've just walked the dogs through a fabulous frosty morning, could not help but feel elated, possibly particularly because there is no mud in evidence. No we didn't get quite all our bulbs in, No I didn't get organised to do any of the wonderful Christmas fairs on offer, No I haven't started doing any preparation for our own Christmas yet as I still have flower orders to do this week, No I didn't get the grass cut or the place tidied up as I should have done before winter really set in. But I'm sure most things will happen as they need to because that is the nature of things. (I hope)
I'd like to thank everybody who has supported us this year, every customer whether you have bought a small bunch of flowers from a market stall or filled a church and marquee for a wedding. There are too many lovely brides and grooms to mention, weddings have ranged from fairly formal to fairly freehand and special thanks have to go to Claire for asking for crowns and allowing me to make an asparagus headdress for her husband! Catherine and Jamie's wedding stands out as the one with the smiliest photographs, Sarah must have been the most relaxed bride ever and of course we'll remember Jess and Neil's cowparsley and wildflower wedding for ever because it was a family affair. The strangest request of the year must have been the 12 edible bouquets, and the company have never paid me for the extra delivery charges despite about ten reminders. Very bad form. Ditto the frightfully pleasant lady who bought flowers for her daughters' weddings and whose cheques have bounced and bounced and bounced. Definitely not on. But they are a tiny tiny minority among all the very appreciative customers.
Thanks to businesses who have taken a punt on us particularly the Jigsaw clothing company who took us on at a particularly difficult time of year when their 45 shops were hot and bright providing a rough environment for real flowers. Thanks for your business and it was interesting solving a last minute christmas request for you!
Meg has been utterly brilliant all year and is still here and taking on more of a Head Gardener role when we get going in February with a new helper. Thanks Meg, I am very very lucky to have you working with me and putting up with every day's new plan and my mad chaotic expansionism. And thanks to everyone else who has helped here over the year, with special thanks to my husband David www.goffee.co.uk who built me a wonderful flower studio this year and has to put up with my growing obsession while setting the world on fire!
We have all sorts of exciting ideas for the coming year, and quite a few national magazines and newspapers have promised publicity, starting I believe with a small feature in Wedding Flowers magazine in February and continuing from there. One of the most exciting ventures will be at the beginning of July. Gardens Illustrated have kindly asked if we'd like to exhibit in their Pavilion at the RHS Flower Show at Hampton Court Palace, and they have an article about us the same month. I've never thought about doing a big show before and am already terrifically excited and dreaming about what the stand is going to look like and what's going to be on it! (Yes I know, it's quite a long way away and people who do these kind of stands all the time would think I'm crazy but it's a big deal for me and I am genuinely excited!). But there's a lot to do before then as we're almost doubling the size of the growing area again now the first bits are beginning to get established. And that probably means more than doubling the amount of weeds as well as hopefully doubling the amount of orders. It's going to be busy.
So thanks everyone for your support, have a wonderful christmas holiday and come back and visit next year. The website will be revamped over the next few weeks and we start sending out flowers at the end of March, but there should first be beautiful dynamic decorated dogwood hearts for Valentine's day.