UK: Organic grower on an environmental mission

Rosebie, founder and flower farmer at the Real Flower Company, has always had a mission to grow flowers as nature intended. She planted her first rose bushes for cutting in 1992 and is adamant that it is our duty to leave the land we farm and the world around us in a better condition than we found it. Each year the company increase its efforts to support bee and insect life, improve the soil and make the farm a haven for wildlife. Here are some of the ways they contribute to making the world a better place.

Certified sustainable cut flowers
The farm has been awarded a LEAF Marque, which certifies that their flowers are grown sustainably and with care for the environment. LEAF looks at how they manage soil and water, conserve energy, protect our crops, enhance wildlife habitats and work with the local community.

Animals and wildlife on the flower farm
The Real Flower Company is a member of the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group. The whole farm is fenced against deer and rabbits, as deer love scented garden roses. This means the chickens, ducks and guinea fowl on the farm can roam freely, helping to keep aphids and unwanted insects at bay. They leave undisturbed straw piles in the autumn for hedgehogs to hibernate in and last year the farm manager Rob built a pond to encourage beneficial insects – which has also provided a safe home for ducklings this spring.

The buzz on bees
Last year the company planted a hectare of red clover above the rose paddock, which provides a haven for bees. They have hives dotted around the farm and continually take care to support and encourage the bee population.

Beneficial insects
They use integrated pest-management techniques to ensure that the way they grow their flowers has a minimal impact – or where possible a positive impact – on the environment. They introduce and encourage beneficial insects such as lacewings, hoverflies and ladybirds. They have a meadow close to the rose paddock that helps to attract a diverse insect population.

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