Thank you so much to everyone who came on a damp day to the course yesterday. I felt that it was a very successful day, with a collection of very well motivated and delightful people. I think it won't be long before some more successful cut flower businesses are hitting the market places of Britain. Look out for the Garrod family who came over from Tunbridge Wells and have already started their new gardens by clearing polytunnels and beginning to cultivate 2 acres of what sounds very suitable land, and Marie and Martin are also on the brink of starting their new gardens in Warwickshire. Julie is already starting to sell to local restaurants and businesses in her Bristol area, and Claire from the Bath area has recently got the on line shop Mabel and Rose www.mabelandrose.com up and running - check it out for vintage garden items and clever ideas, and perhaps flowers coming soon, though how she has the energy to do it all with a young family as well heaven knows. And Claire will try to send some photos from the day when she has the chance, as I have currently given up with my camera - a card reader also failed to manage to download stored photos, and I think I shall have to bite the bullet and purchase a new model.
Jane, already a well established and talented garden designer, came from Nottinghamshire to see what we are up to and share her experiences of working in another area of the industry, and to get some idea how the business side works - I hope she wasn't too disappointed to find I can shed little light on the best way to run the business as I am on the verge of getting admin help and getting better organised but am definitely not there yet. As an experienced professional designer she was also a little alarmed at the level of weeds here, and I'm not sure it was very reassuring when Meg, who was a fabulous help yesterday, told her that I simply don't see them! Samantha on the other hand works for the BBC Wildlife team, so wasn't phased by the level of wildness, and the other participant was another Charlie, who lives locally and plans to set up a new flower growing venture involving the children at a new school site, a very interesting idea.
The course reminded me how much fun it is spending time discussing possibilities with other interested growers and potential growers, I had intended to do many more courses this year but somehow time just filled up with other commitments, but I will do more next year as I am trying to get the business side more balanced and plan the diary rather better! I have been approached several times recently by London markets to ask if I might be interested in selling there, and I have tended to think it was rather a mad idea, but am considering a monthly slot next year, changing my mind to think it could actually be rather fun - plus I would get to gatecrash my children's social life one weekend a month as both are living in the city, and catch up with some London friends.
Talking of children, yesterday finished with my son plus thirteen friends appearing for their annual weekend partying and canoeing down the Wye. As it was so wet in the evening they decided that putting tents up in the dark was not ideal, so instead every mattress and sofa in the cottage was occupied... Sometimes I think we lead a very slow quiet life here but I think I possibly suffer from the social equivalent of body dysmorphia.....