Bursting into flower: the growth of sustainable blooms

Close to the River Teme, in the shadow of the Malvern Hills, with three farm cats playing around your feet, Meg Edmonds is showing an old barn that she uses to store, arrange and wrap her flowers. It is busy with color and life. There are tulips of every shade in crates, narcissi, and ranunculi in buckets and vases. There are pots of snakeshead fritillary just outside the door, and a vase of blue and white anemones by the window, in water, so that Edmonds can make a note of how many times they open and close in the sun before they’re over.

“I want to be able to tell people that information,” she says. They’re currently on number four. She pulls out a huge green stem that looks as if it has been ripped out of Jurassic Park. It turns out to be from an artichoke plant. There are dried artichokes elsewhere, their fluffy innards bursting out, to be used in dried arrangements over winter.

Everything here is useful. It has also been grown within walking distance, either on the family farm or on a patch of land next to the farm shop, at the other end of the village, where Edmonds’s flowers sell in big, beautiful bunches. Edmonds and her husband farm livestock and vegetables on his family farm (they are the third generation) and converted to organic practices 20 years ago. After moving away from selling the farm’s livestock to supermarkets in favor of selling in their own farm shop, she started to think that there might be a way of doing the same for flowers. “I didn’t realize that there was this burgeoning market for local seasonal, mixed, beautiful things like I had in my garden and like my friends raved over,” she says.

Read the complete article at www.theguardian.com.

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