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UK: Family campaigns to fund flower barn at 'paradise' site

Zanna and Jonny Hoskins have transformed a one-acre paddock they bought near Axminster in 2012 into a paradise of flowers and wildlife using permaculture. Now they are two-thirds of the way to raising £40,000 to build an environmentally friendly flower barn so that more people can enjoy this wonderful garden.

The flower barn, at Wootton Fitzpaine, will provide cool storage for cut flowers and foliage, thanks to the eco-friendly construction (timber frame with hemp and lime walls). This will increase production as well as enable courses for small groups to be staged. The building will include an office, washing facilities, and somewhere to make refreshments, bringing real benefit to everyone who works at the site, especially volunteers, some of whom are elderly.

This will allow Spindle Flowers, formerly known as Champernhayes Flowers and Foliage, to operate more easily throughout the year, supplying flowers and foliage to leading florists as well as local floristry and wholesale. Spindle focus on cut stems with variety, scent, shape, texture, and freshness, the kind of stems you won’t find in a supermarket.

The family lived on-site with three children in caravans for two years, using off-grid technology for water and electricity while they built up Spindle Flowers, which requires long hours with early and late shifts for cutting.

Residential planning was refused and they moved to Lyme Regis in September 2020 after gaining permission for the newly designed barn. This required a rethink about the business. Zanna’s floristry is sought by people wishing to create an event or something special for a loved one, especially if they share her principles of sustainability. More and more people are buying British flowers as awareness grows about the environmental damage of imported flowers.

Zanna has developed her own style and you may have seen her installations and arrangements in the area. She has been renting a unit for the past few years on St. Michael’s estate in Bridport opposite the Red Brick Café.

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