I've been thinking recently about the gap between how one might perceive the life of a flower farmer and the reality! We flower farmers trade in Beauty so of course that's what we show to our customers and potential customers...be it on social media or in our shop window (in my case market stall). We probably all decided to work with flowers because they are so beautiful and on a cold rainy day like today (the first of May!) it's that beauty that sustains us.
So that really is the bottom line. But....but...that doesn't mean it isn't hard work and completely un-glamorous a lot of the time. I just posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook of a beautiful pile of Ranunculus just picked last Friday to use in Saturday's Farmers Market bouquets - but just before that I was hosing pigeon poo off my work table because a pair of pigeons seem to have set up home in the large shed I work in! Now no-one likes a moaner, and no-one on social media really wants to see a picture of my work table after a pigeon fly by...but I do feel like there is room for a little light hearted look at the reality of the situation and maybe this is the place for it!
So next time you imagine your friendly local flower farmer floating around in a cotton dress and a sunhat, gaily snipping roses...here are a few alternative images:
- Dumping 300+ soggy mouldy tulips definitely not good enough to sell (victims of Tulip Fire, I now know to plant all those tulip bulbs in a new location every 3 years to avoid this fungal disease)
- The nightly slug patrol, torch in mouth, jam jar in hand. This will be starting soon once the dahlias start to sprout. Slugs go in the jam jar, it gets filled right to the brim with water and the lid is put on. Not so nice for the slugs but it's a lot better than slug pellets and my dahlias get to live. The jam jar gets a bit stinky though.
- Friday lunch time, lying on my living room floor to give my back a rest having spent the morning repeatedly bending over snipping those beautiful blooms.
Maybe I should stop there! I actually quite enjoy the slug patrol but it doesn't make for good Instagram :)
Click here to see Gill from Field House Flowers in Yorkshire also living the dream.