Winter is here and according to predictions it is going to be a cold one. I've spent in total almost a decade of my life living in England so the cold is relative for me in subtropical Auckland. For farmer florists it is meant to be our down time but the downside or upside depending on how you look at it is the ability to stretch the season in Auckland beyond colder climates. Bulbs go in later when the ground has cooled. Seedlings can be started thoughout the winter months. Things are left longer than they should or in some cases stared earlier than they should be.
I am enjoying this time, making plans and meeting lovely brides and excitedly planning their most magical days with them.
I have big plans for next season, I am transitioning from gardener to farmer, with a field to cultivate and basically turn from a muddy (read swampy) paddock to a blossoming flower field. I will have 200 roses in a various array of colours, as well as a selection of various annuals and perennials that catch my eye.
It is certainly not an easy task but the end result is what keeps me motivated. People ask me whether I prefer growing or floristry but I can't choose between the two, in my mind they go hand in hand and one can't exist without the other.
I feel I should explain my motivation for growing my own flowers, from a purely aesthetic point of view these flowers are not what you buy in your average florist shop, they are delicate, dainty, unusual, they can be fleeting, and they add a sense of lightness, air and delicacy to an arrangement that simply would not be available with mass produced flowers.
Just like the movement towards naturally grown vegetables and fruit, there is a movement towards naturally grown flowers. Most flowers that you see available for sale have been grown in vast greenhouses, sprayed with chemicals or worse they have been imported from vast corners of the globe to sell in an opposing season. The flowers that myself and other flowers grow are different, they are grown mostly without these harsh chemicals and sprays they are natural, full of life and scent.
I hope if you've read this far you care as much as I do about all of these things.