Ruth Fortune Flowers was started in a very small way in 2013 and has been growing slowly but surely since then.
I am a self taught grower and florist (I studied architecture and worked in that area before escaping back to West Cork)
My flower field is small - less than one acre including 2 polytunnels - and almost all of the work is done by hand.
The flowers I sell are not certified organic but I follow a lot of organic growing and permaculture principles such as building a healthy soil and feeding plants with comfrey, nettle and seaweed. The only weedkiller I use is vinegar but mainly I deal with weeds by hoeing, hand weeding and mulching.
I sell flowers from March through to October. I always pick flowers when they’re at their best and some only have a short flowering season. A May bouquet and a June bouquet may be totally different but that, to me, is the true meaning of seasonality and sets my flowers apart from imported ones grown in climate controlled greenhouses.
People often ask what kind of flowers I grow. How long is a piece of string? And how’s your Latin? Some of the more poetic ones are Love-in-a-mist (Nigella) Love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus) and Granny’s Bonnet (Aquilegia). I haven’t grown Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate (Persicaria Orientale) yet but I hope to try!
I am a member of Flower Farmers of Ireland and encourage flower lovers to always ask where the flowers they buy are coming from.