A Day in the Life … Wild Bunch: living and learning the joy of flowers on a beautiful farm on the Herefordshire Welsh borders
I was so thrilled when Tammy from Wild Bunch got in touch keen to do ‘A Day in the Life’ blog post having read the ones written by Pyrus and The Garden Gate Flower Company (I’d recommend you go read them too!). She got photographer Nic Rue (who also captured Pyrus’ beautiful garden and studio) to come to her little piece of flower paradise on the Herefordshire / Shropshire border.
The photos are gorgeous, the words are beautiful, and the flowers…well the flowers are stunning! Need I say more…
Over to Tammy…
Entering the second year of my little cut flower business I was searching for a point of reflection on where I was at with my new found work and passion. And when I came across the beautiful work of the photographer Nic Rue, I tentatively asked if she would be interested in working with me to document my garden and flowers.
It was a big step for me asking a photographer into my little world, but Nic was inspirational and really helped me see and think about my garden and flowers with new eyes.
I have discovered the garden and world of flowers is a world of wonder. But, no matter the vision in mind that I wish to create with companion planting, beautiful combinations of colour and texture, and havens for wildlife – the reality, or my garden reality is like most work, and aside from a passion and a vision, also requires a clear and structured approach.
So although I plan and grow all my flowers and foliage, the structure of my metre wide planting rows, making their way down an acre paddock at the front of our house, and ending in the first of two planned large Spanish style polytunnels, is thanks to the pragmatism of who my children call ‘farmer James’, their dad.
When I discovered the joy of growing flowers, starting off with dahlias, it amazed me the almost unrivalled joy it seemed to give people when you landed a bunch of them fresh from the garden in their arms. Back then it was dahlias, cosmos and sweet peas that I mastered while still working full time, away from the farm.
I loved it – the three dimensionality of it, the tactile and physical sensibility was an inspiration, and I certainly never had that reaction of joy when submitting a planning application. So slowly I plucked up the courage to abandon a safe largely office bound job, for getting back to nature and working with the seasons.
Now I have learnt that part of my joy in working with flowers is working with the seasons, the colours, the textures, and I think largely the unexpected unpredictability of growing flowers for your vision and your business. These realisations I translate to brides to be, that everything depends on the weather.
I often reflect on how it used to drive me mad when I would ask my partner, (farmer) James something about going somewhere or doing something, and the reply “…it depends on the weather” came!
So I am hugely grateful that I have had such lovely and relaxed brides, who are generally more than happy to converse about the beauty of flowers as expressed through ideas of colour, texture and style as opposed to specific variety’s of flower and foliage
Having said that, I know there are some years that have exceptional growing seasons, and this year has been one of them. I remember a few local farmers, holding up gates, and predicting this early in the year!
The crops on the farm have been good this year, and so have my flowers. Some have been lovingly cared for, but time has been short in the garden as working towards weddings has been fast and furious this year.
And so I’m amazed at how forgiving many flowers are, I’m still picking snaps growing strong and tall under a carpet of cosmos. And divine blousy peachy chrysanthenums are growing almost horizontally after I neglected to stake them – not to worry, they are perfect in vases for table arrangements, and the ever loved café au lait dahlia is still going strong as are the roses in the Spanish polytunnel for my late summer brides.
Some of my favourite grasses after recently being relieved of thick garlands of weeds wrapping around them, they are the most perfect accompaniment for so many arrangements and bouquets.
These grasses and my sun soaked and browning paniculata hydrangeas are so beautiful to use with my still flowering sweet peas and their tendrils, grown in a 30m line down the paddock, and I only hope for no frosts over the next few weeks – that some locals are predicting if this weather high continues.
Now that both of my children are at school full time I hope my days will be more structured, where I will work on various elements of working with flowers that sustain me creatively as well as the required business and gardening side of running a cut flower garden.
Having Nic working with me early this summer helped me realise the huge value and creative necessity of making time in the day for exploring ideas through flowers for yourself, and not just saving this creative time for your brides and other special orders.
This and of course making more time to be working in the garden where even those jobs such as weeding and giving space to a flower to grow can give a huge sense of achievement and job satisfaction.
A big thank you to the lovely Tammy for sharing her story – we hope to bring you some more of these ‘A Day in the Life’ type blog posts as they give a lovely insight to the behind-the-scenes workings of our fab TNWC recommended businesses.
For all you brides-to-be who might be interested in booking Wild Bunch to create your wedding flowers then you can visit their website http://wildbunchflowersfromthegarden.co.uk. Alternatively you can find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Images: Nic Rue
Categories: Suppliers + Products