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A competition to win a book all about how to start your own cut flower patch – I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me! Well that’s what I have for all you lucky readers today.

I was delighted to be contacted about a new book that’s just been published called The Cut Flower Patch: Grow Your Own Flowers All Year Round by Louise Curley, and to then receive a copy in the post to review. Rather than keeping this beautiful book all to myself, I’ve decided to run a competition for one of you to win it.

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You’ll also find an offer code at the bottom of the blog post if you wish to buy yourself or someone else a copy – now that I’m giving away my copy I’ll be off to put in an order! A big thanks to publishers Frances Lincoln for sending me a copy to review and giveaway.

The Cut Flower Patch: Grow Your Own Flowers All Year Round 

What I first noticed about this book as a I started to read it, was how accessible it was – I might be a huge fan of cut flowers and growing my own veggies, but I’m by no means an expert, so it’s great to find a book that explains it all in a way that made me feel confident I could have a go myself. And if I did get stuck, I could just dip into the book for advice.

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The book is broken down into various sections from planning and making your cutting patch, through to cutting and arranging your homegrown flowers. For all you brides-to-be out there planning on growing flowers for your own wedding, you’ll be delighted to hear there’s a section on growing flowers for a wedding, including essential top tips.

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Wedding flowers in old oil drums

We’re back today with the lovely Lucy from Lucy Says I Do, who is sharing with us some of the wonderful DIY projects from her own country wedding.  If you missed her first guest blog on designing and creating her bridesmaids dresses, do check it out here. Over to Lucy…

We wanted to embrace the location of the wedding and play with the English Country Garden idea.  I love flowers and plants that are found in wild flower meadows and old walled gardens, and I wanted to incorporate these into our wedding.  We were also heavily inspired by the wonderful Petersham Nurseries, and their beautiful plants and flowers.

Antique watering can with nasturtiums

We decorated the area outside of the marquee with a multitude of plants and flowers, many of which we grew from seedlings specifically for the wedding.  We decided on the plants and flowers we wanted, and made sure they were likely to be flowering or at least alive at the time of the wedding and set to work planting and potting them up.

Mismatched flea market plant containers

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Colourful summer bouquet from Green & Gorgeous

There really are some wonderful and exciting courses and workshops popping up at the moment, I must book onto a few more as those that I have done I have loved.  TNWC business Green & Gorgeous always have a fabulous programme of courses throughout the year, but have just added to new ones especially for those getting married – and I have a special discount on them just for you!

This summer Green & Gorgeous will be running two special courses, one called ‘Grow You Own Wedding Flowers’ and the other ‘Arrange Your Own Wedding Flowers’.  Rachel from Green & Gorgeous told me that it will be a great opportunity “to enjoy the unique and deeply satisfying experience of watching your wedding flowers grow from a few seeds to armfuls of fresh, garden grown blooms.”

Floral arrangement of cornflowers and scabious

Having previously attending a Green & Gorgeous flower course I can definitely recommend them – I went with my mum just before my own wedding and we learnt how to arrange with cut flowers.  You can read about my experience here and see the beautiful arrangements we created.

Below is a little more detail on each of the courses, which are being run on multiple dates during April 2013, and then the special TNWC discount.

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Last week on the New Wives Club we started this two part feature on how to grow cut flowers by looking at what to grow.  If you missed the part one, make sure you catch up by reading ‘how to grow your own cut flowers – what to grow’ first.

Today I have the concluding part of this lovely feature by Chloe from BareBlooms, looking at the equipment you need and a step-by-step guide on how to grow your chosen flowers.  You’ll also find some top tips from Chloe at the bottom of the post, along with a glossary like we included in part one.  So without further ado I hand you over to Chloe…

Equipment

There is a lot of choice out there (seed trays, modules, pots etc) but as a lover of thrift I’m going to concentrate on the budget options.  I like to sow larger seeds into Jiffy 7s – these are little dehydrated compost pellets – and the advantage of these is that you don’t need to buy bags of seed compost, which is handy if you’re short of space.  For those who are environmentally-minded you can get peat-free ones made from coir.

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jam jars of homegrown flowers

The idea of growing your own cut flowers seems to be popular at the moment, with many of us dreaming of a small patch of ground dedicated to our own supply of pretty blooms that we can raid to decorate ours homes.  The most difficult part, I find, is translating that dream into a reality.

In a bid to get myself a small patch of cut flowers, and to encourage and help you to as well, I’ve enlisted the help of Chloe from BareBlooms to share some of her tips on how to start your own cutting garden.  Chloe grows many of her own flowers for her business BareBlooms, which provides beautiful seasonal flowers for weddings, you may well have seen some of her work when I featured Rhiannon’s wild September bouquet on the blog.

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Can you believe it – this stunning wildflower meadow was grown especially for a wedding on this pretty organic farm?  I’m a bit bowled over and hadn’t even considered that a florist might be able to grow you a wildflower meadow especially for your wedding. I’m sure ordinary florists can’t, but this is what I think is so fantastic and special about the wonderful businesses listed on the directory.  Some of them can grow you a wildflower meadow, like this one which was grown by Charlie Ryrie of The Real Cut Flower Garden for a bride who wanted colourful meadow flowers […]

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