What is ‘Floral Notes’ about?
Floral Notes is my notebook on growing cut flowers and growing a business.
A weekly newsletter on growing cut flowers naturally in whatever space you have to do so. My aim is to encourage and support an appreciation for locally and naturally grown cut flowers. So that you can cut for your own table and you will choose locally and naturally grown for for your next celebration.
Why ‘Floral Notes’?
The title is a play on words. Delibertly provocative. A well know phrase for describing scent in food, perfume and wine. It has connotations of nature, beauty, fragrance, luxury and delicacy. Ironically, the flower industry stinks. Seemingly natural products in a world lacking true connection, lacking joined up thinking for the good of the planet and people.
Tragically, scent is one of the first things to be bred out of imported, chemically grown flowers. Those flowers that you find at supermarkets. Lost leaders and the end of a tragic journey for over 70% of the flowers sold in the Uk. Of the remaining 30%, fewer than 20% are British Grown, and even less naturally grown. That is, with little benefit to the environment.
We are missing those ‘floral notes’ in our society. Mostly bought by women, often dismissed as an extraneous purchase in our modern life, yet interestingly the business is worth more that the UK music industry. So surely worthy of some attention. But certainly, the hypocritical and poisonous industry sits in plain sight, in pride of place on our kitchen tables, in bridal bouquets and on coffins. I am certain, this is not what the customer thought their weekly bunch was at all.
Who writes Floral Notes?
Me, Anna Taylor. I am a horticulturalist, plants woman and long time garden designer. Now, 8 years into growing my own palette of flowers for arranging and sale.
I grow entirely naturally and chemically free on 0.4 acre plots called ‘Anna’s Flower Farm’ in Audley End, Saffron Walden. Inland, in East Anglia on the Cambridgeshire Essex border. I’ve been a growing, gardening professional in one way or another since 2001 but I reckon it’s since I have grown cut flowers, and paid close attention to my soils, that I have really begun learning.
I arrange flowers for intimate celebrations and for like-valued institutions. Also for florists for their weddings and photos shoots, showcasing the best in naturally grown garden flowers.
I am interested mostly in tonal combinations, complex synergy between texture, shape and of course scent. The way I grow is connected, attentive and intuitive.
Who read’s Floral Notes?
Those that are wanting to be deeply connected to their space, that want to work with their soil and gardens. That want long term deeply satisfying results. These are home gardeners, allotmenteers, church flower arrangers, florists, professionals that want to know more about flowers doing good for the soil and biodiversity and other small creative businesses.
I help florists and flower growers grow their business. First by noticing what they can offer their client and what their client needs from them to buy, client (and it’s not just flowers) helping them do that. You see, to do good business, we need to be sustaining (not just in the environmental sense but financially); I believe this starts with growing ourselves so we can grow good flowers and do good business.
I love the individual voice, offer and systems that a small business needs to help it thrive. I write about what I have learnt and through conversation and collaborations with other institutions and partnerships I have made. Spoiler. There is a lot about passion, self worth, confidence and simply turning up. It’s about a community. Your own supportive net and being interested. Day in and day out. I love it.
And in 8 years, I have pretty much done it all, expanded, contracted, pivoted and fallen over. Now I have a business that is sustaining and I want to help you cut at least a few years off that journey. Mostly for all the brilliant (mostly women!) small business owners, creatives and artists that want to do good work. Because we don’t have time to waste, there will always be demand. There is business and good to be done.
Come for the growing tips, stay to grow with me.
I send out a weekly ‘On Growing Flowers’ Newsletter. This is and will always be a free newsletter. But I also believe in paying for peoples work, especially in a space where this labour is often undervalued. If you love this newsletter, get value out of it and please consider a paid subscription.
A special thanks to those subscribers that do pay for my publication and I know expense it as an educational resource, for cpd, training and subscriptions.