A Foulden-based florist is proving that locally-grown flowers can be blooming good business by forming a new partnership.
Paula Baxter adapted four acres of derelict land in Foulden into a smallholding specialising in native blooms.
Mill Pond Farm now grows sustainable British flowers, specialising in those that love wet boggy ground.
Paula says: “Many of our varieties are scented and colourful cottage garden flowers, from sweet peas and buttercups to dahlias and cornflowers.
“After last summer being the wettest for many years, many growers were nervous about their produce this time around.
“But apart from everything coming through late, this summer’s yield has been great, and I’ve got more to come next year when the perennials I’ve planted all come through.”
As well as selling bunches of flowers at her farm gate, Paula is entering into a partnership with a local flower shop.
Julia Reavley of Berwick’s Flower Room says the new flowers are a boon. “Last year we had lots of requests from brides-to-be, wanting flowers like this, and now we can offer them some really special local flowers like sweetpeas.”
Paula says that people might be surprised to learn where their bouquets come from.
“For the past few years, very few flowers sold in Britain have been British,” she said. “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.”
Paula and Julie offer mixed buckets of freshly picked flowers to be arranged as required for weddings, natural funerals, parties and events.