Sunday, 31 January 2010
Friday, 29 January 2010
Thursday, 28 January 2010
Apparently I have some national publicity coming up for home grown Valentine's Day, I will have something on the site for next week although we won't have the whole site redone yet as the designers are rebuilding the system for me so that I will be able to update the site myself as and when I need to. I hope all their hard work is worth it and that I will get round to updating things as often as I need to... I am inspired by Tess at Ochre and Ocre who is incredibly efficient at all these things and who is selling my flowers and bits and pieces as they fit well with her lovely well thought out eco wares.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
I just remembered that I forgot to rant about a current tv programme hitting our screens with Monty Don at the helm at the moment. It's called something like my Dream farm and I was interested to give it a go because he's featuring two young flower girls somewhere down the line. It made me furious. I know that people volunteer to go on his programme thinking it's all going to help and all that and maybe it does but I spent half an hour shouting at the telly. A couple plus two children had moved from a cosy life in Holland to a cosyish life in a lovely farmhouse on Dartmoor to take up farming on 30 acres or so and improve the quality of their life so they weren’t stressily working outside the home all the time.
Obviously they weren’t going to make many readies from farming sheep on that scale, so they wanted to do a bit of diversifying with lots of Country Living malarchey and all very nice too, Mrs is very charming and go-ahead and accommodating, and lots of ideas for finished products, Mr is also very charming and jolly hard working and very positive. But he has arthritis as Monty told us every three minutes.
To cut a long story short Mrs had come up with the idea of making duvets using the sheep fleeces and Monty thought this was the way ahead. So research was done and Monty decided the way to start was to get the buyers from some huge hotel chain and from John Lewis down to take a gander. Gosh, start at the bottom why don’t you, keep control of your lives, do what you want……. that sounded just like a wonderful home industry to add to the quality of their life etc etc etc
To cut another long story short Mr and Mrs bought in hundreds of fleeces (hard to find 500 fleeces from their farm or how many it is for the minimum amount to be processed down the mill) and got stuck in to working out the commercial process. John Lewis et al thought all a bit pricey but a local store thought wonderful.
Now if I was moving to a farm to improve the quality of my life would I want to start a manufacturing process where I was not using my own produce because I couldn’t produce enough and where I was going to be in charge of a business which would mean I had no time to farm anyway. Marvellous.
It would be like me deciding my dream was to grow flowers for home grown cut flower production then actually buying everything in to satisfy a different business idea rather than following what I want to do. I am well aware of companies who do just that, buy in flowers and imply they are home grown to make them seem special, and they have made a very successful business from that. But actually following your dream should mean just that. And for the record Mr Don it can mean a perfectly workable business on a small scale too.
OK Rant over.
I don't know whether to be delighted or concerned that people are daily phoning to see if I can send flowers even though it does say (somewhere) on the website that my main season is from March. It would be lovely to be able to send at least some jolly nosegays but all I have is hellebores and foliages right now, and only enough for an occasional bouquet.
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Yesterday the rain stopped, the snow went, and all seemed plausible. Today we're under snow again. I had put myself down for picking all the foliages and a few winter flowers - hellebores and winter flowering honeysuckle mainly - for a wedding this weekend. I can't collect anything. So instead I think we're going to go for plan B, lots of painted stems and seedheads among whatever greeneries I can find and some white narcissi from a Cornish friend if I can get them here in time. Ironically it will probably be OK tomorrow, perhaps the snow will have gone again and flowers will be pickable but I don't feel I can quite risk it.
It is a little hard to think about romance when fingers and toes are solidifying with cold and the air has become damp and full of chill after such beautiful crisp blue-sky days. But Valentine's day cometh apace, so I must get out next week and chop down dogwood and start weaving the hearts. This year we'll be doing twiggy freestyle forms and some with eucalpytus.
Saturday, 9 January 2010
Friday, 8 January 2010
Yes it's one of those things I've been meaning to do for ages but now it is actually happening, I am finally getting sorted so that patient and wonderful web designers bwa-design.co.uk (totally ethical company who usually work for rather larger clients than us but thankfully are continuing to sort me out) can rehash the site and make it even more beautiful and easier to use. I hope to have a wonderful gaggle of wedding photos up so brides can get a better idea what they are getting, as well as better bouquet shots and of course some lovely ones of the gardens. At the moment they are completely white but peppered with rabbit tracks which is not encouraging, as well as more than one fox, lots of wee creatures but at least no deer in sight!
Firstly, let me take this opportunity to congratulate you both on your fourth coming wedding. Secondly thank you for your visit to the xxxx House Country Hotel website and considering it as a possible venue for yourreception (and the ceremoney if required.) '