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It’s been interesting to reflect on how our business has evolved over the past 4 and a half seasons, what’s changed, what’s developed and what has stayed central to how we run it and its ethos. When we were thinking about starting our cut flower business in 2020 we had two names on the table: WHERE WE GROW and WE GROW COLOUR. Both of these options reflected two fundamental aspects that we were passionate about and wanted to have in our business name. Connection to place, ourselves, our community and connection to colour.

WE GROW COLOUR was the one we happily settled on and it couldn’t really have been anything else given my absolute passion and need to surround myself with colour in what I wear, our home furnishings and our life in general. When choosing our branding we wanted it to have a strong, colourful, playful vibe that reflected the flowers and herbs we love to grow.

Neither of us have any formal training but we visited local growers, attended many one day flower growing and floristry courses, Rory did a course on Permaculture and we read every single book we could find.  One flower farmer told us to just go for it - that we’d learn a lot as we went along and this advice has been brilliant! 

My background is in Printed Textiles, Surface Pattern Design and Printmaking. Once I discovered the wonders of British flowers I knew this was the direction I wanted my life to go in and slowly made the transition to flower farmer florist. The process of nurturing the stems, knowing what stage to cut, how to condition and then to work creatively with them feels like such a privilege and it’s special to be able to create with living, colourful blooms that I’ve grown. I love to create bright joyful arrangements for weddings, events  and the ‘big life moments’. It’s a chance to create with varied briefs and work closely with clients to fulfill their floral dreams. 

There really is something very powerful in how different colours can make us feel. For me the jewel tones lift me up and give me life but for another person bright pink could have the opposite effect. 

Our responses to colour are as different as we are and there’s nothing I like more than getting into an in depth discussion over why a particular shade of blue is someone’s personal favourite, how an orange hue can  bring an arrangement together or alternatively is just a distraction and doesn’t work at all! 

It is well known that yellow is a very controversial colour in the flower world but some of my absolute favourites are yellow! Think of the varying shades of Calendula, vibrant and subtle yellows of Roses in June, and the wonders of yellow Irises en-masse. 

I’ve always been surrounded by strong women, passionate about growing and who knew that having your hands in the earth and nurturing a garden was good for the soul. I didn’t fall in love with growing plants until my early twenties but it brought me a profound sense of comfort and connection at a time when I was embarking upon a journey of grief after losing my mother.  

This quote, from one of my all time favourite books ‘Braiding Sweet Grass by Robin Wall Kimmerer says it all:

‘This is really why I made my daughters learn to garden—so they would always have a mother to love them, long after I am gone.

My maternal grandparents were Jewish Refugees with my grandmother coming to Britain on the Kindertransport from Vienna  when she was 11, along with her sister aged 9. This family history combined with my own personal loss has deeply influenced how I see the world and I’ve found a way of connecting with my lost loved ones through growing flowers and the uplifting  power of colour. Plants are just so filled with hope! 

We want our flowers to bring this type of connection to others and use our voices to advocate for the refugee community. We really feel that allowing individuals to explore the senses through our flowers in multiple ways, is beneficial for wellbeing and a brilliant starting point to open up discussions and potentially difficult conversations - including around mental health and loss. The sight, smell or taste of a flower often brings back memories for individuals, and can allow conversation about traditions from the places  they originate from.  

It was such an honour to work with We Are Bread And Roses and Divina Botanica  on the first Floristry Pilot outside London for Refugee Women living in Bristol. I’m currently working with the Bread and Roses  team to try and bring this amazing initiative to Bournemouth this Autumn. 

“Plants are also integral to reweaving the connection between land and people. A place becomes a home when it sustains you, when it feeds you in body as well as spirit. To recreate a home, the plants must also return.”

Braiding Sweet Grass - Robin Wall Kimmerer

The concept  of place is one we come back to again and again, particularly having moved to West Dorset in 2021. We’ve returned to my husband Rory’s childhood home and it's special to be stewarding this land and bringing up our daughter here. We are striving to create an abundant place that allows all its inhabitants to thrive. We are introducing not only flowers and herbs, but forest guilds and different habitats alongside growing vegetables and raising chickens and ducks. 

I suppose the overarching themes here are about our common humanity and wellbeing - for the eco-system in which we are a part of and which we depend on and how we are in ourselves. 

We all deserve to live in safety and have the chance to put our hands in the soil of our chosen place.


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