Summer may be about over, but for local flower farmer Paula Baxter, planning for next year’s bouquets has already started.
Foulden based Mill Pond Flower Farm became operational in April this year, providing locally grown, fresh cut flowers and after a busy summer Paula is about to start planting spring bulbs and perennials for next year.
“This year was very much about testing out ideas, finding what people want and seeing what the response from customers would be,” said Paula, who is thrilled with the feedback she has had so far from satisfied customers.
“In fact, I’ve been delighted with progress and have sold lots of flowers through orders and also at the farmgate from our flower stall in Foulden. People have really loved to be able to have flowers that you can’t buy in the supermarket and that smell and look gorgeous.
“We’ve had a lot of demand for sweet peas, cornflowers and wild or natural looking flowers for parties and weddings so I’ll be planting more of these over the next few months, as well as plants that flower early and late so that we can extend the availability of our flowers to more of the year.”
This season the four acres of derelict, wet, boggy ground at Mill Pond Flower Farm have produced a variety of scented flowers, foliage and herbs - sweet peas, campanula, cosmos, roses, foxgloves, lupins and scabious, lemon balm, applemint, burpleurum etc. The native flowers are freshly picked for weddings, funerals, parties and other events.
The farm’s flowers were sold at their farm gate and at the Flower Room in Berwick, run by Julia Reavley, and the fact that the flowers are grown locally is going down well with customers.
“For the past few years, very few flowers sold in Britain have been British,” said Paula.
“Some British flowers are even taken over to Holland as bulbs and grown there, then sold back. But we can offer people homegrown flowers. And it’s not just roses and lilies. We offer cornflowers, nigella and dahlias.
“They’re used to being grown outdoors, even as far north as this, so even though they look quite fragile, they’re pretty sturdy.”
For 2014 Paula plans on growing more flowers and a bigger variety to meet the demand for scented flowers and a natural look.
Paula can be contacted on 01289 386538 or via www.newmainsfarm.co.uk.