At the Tetbury Flower Company our speciality is growing annual and perennial flowers and foliage that have superior stem length for use in event floristry and deliver the wow factor for our customers. We focus on propagating, cultivating and growing varieties that really do thrive in our particular climate and clay soil here in on our farm in the South Cotswolds. By seeking out our own growing range for tall stems and developing this in line with our particular growing conditions, we offer healthy, robust and often unusual flowers and foliage that florists and brides might not be able to find elsewhere.
We are conscious that as the extremes in our weather increase, so too must our approach to planting varieties that can tolerate these conditions without compromising on quality. We are passionate about trialling English cut flower varieties that would have been found in traditional cutting gardens of years gone by, perhaps forgotten about now, and used in country houses and local events. Each year we scour the country for trial plant varieties, testing them for stem length, health, scent and look.
We also produce around 250 new dahlia varieties a year; our ‘Pot Luck Dahlia’ range. Those that make the grade and thrive in our field are lifted and propagated from the following year, those that don’t are donated to our village plant stall or given away. On average, we keep between 10 – 15 Pot Lucks a year.
2023 will see the planting of 250 traditional English roses here at the farm, some proven and established producers and others to test for robustness as our seasons change year on year.
A Local Environment
The most important factor for us is the health of our soil. We source all our mulch from organic farms nearby and use this to add nutrients and diversity to our heavy clay growing conditions. After an initial scarification in laying out our beds, we follow the no dig method and mulch once or twice a year depending on what is in the bed. Potting compost is sourced from less than 5 miles away and we also use sheep fleece taken from the flock on the farm. It is important to us to use local materials firstly to reduce shipping mileage, but also because we believe this will naturally enhance our growing conditions.
Creating a Wildlife Haven
We are in the process of planting hedgerows and fruit trees not only to provide fantastic foliage but also to create a better habitat for the wildlife on the farm. We are fortunate to be surrounded by an abundance of birdlife, hedgehogs, insects, deer and rabbits. Whilst the flower fields are fenced, we are keen to build up shelter and a foodsource on the perimeter to provide a sustainable and long term environment for the wildlife around us. We also grow fruit for the birds and deer down in our orchard.