It is May already. The days are flying by and the list of jobs to do gets longer every day. Tasks this week should include planting, planting and more planting, weeding, pricking out, potting on and propagating. The dahlias need to go in, the sweet peas need tying in to their supports and two beds in the polytunnel need clearing ready for the next crops to go in. But it is pointless growing everything unless you can cut and sell it and so every week we spend a large portion of our time cutting, processing and marketing our product. This weekend will see us providing market bouquets for three retail outlets, stocking our own little flower shed, filling wholesale and retail orders and selling our produce at a busy market in Bedford.
I always feel like bunching and selling flowers is not real work. To me the work is the growing side. So I tend to get frustrated when I don’t get time to work in the field or greenhouse. On the growing side the work is never done – there are always more weeds to pull, more plants you could grow, so it is very difficult to draw a line under it and say I’ve done enough. There is never enough time.
So here is the funniest thing – I absolutely love going to the Bedford Flea market once a month. It’s the one time every month when I interact with customers face to face. My chance to showcase British grown cut flowers to the general public. And that’s what I am all about!
On a more practical note – feedback from the tulip crop this year. It has been a good year for tulip growing, with a very high proportion of good quality, long stemmed blooms being produced. We cut our first stems in the last week of March – first was the Exotic Emperor closely followed by Avant Garde, and we are still cutting now – the last two varieties to harvest will be Menton Exotic and Renown Unique. Best varieties for us this year – Victoria’s secret, Apricot Parrot, Columbus, Backpacker and Renown Unique.