I love the process of growing flowers, – from the early stages of poring over seed catalogues, to seedlings emerging, to finally getting to harvest and create with them, it’s a joy and no two seasons (or indeed weeks) are the same. When I began creating wedding flowers back in 2010, I was working mainly with imported flowers and I noticed that people would often ask whether the flowers were real – there’s no denying that imported flowers are beautiful, but there is an artificiality to them – almost too perfect, and with rare exception, no scent. My own flowers have a more natural beauty, and because I grow flowers that don’t always travel well, it means I can offer something unique and different from the high-street florist or supermarket.
Here at The Secret Garden we grow a wide variety of flowers, each year trialling new varieties and forms, as well as keeping the old favourites. In spring you can see narcissi, tulips, wallflowers, hyacinths, fritillary, hellebores, lily of the valley, anemones and ranunculus. As we move into early summer we find larkspur, sweet peas, roses, dianthus, poppies, love-in-a-mist, cornflowers, Queen Anne’s Lace, Scabious, calendula, snapdragons, achillea, astrantia, astilbe and more…. Late summer sees the arrival of dahlias, hydrangeas, sunflowers and cosmos which take us well into Autumn, when we have the additions of autumnal foliage, seed heads and berries. We also grow lots of herbs, especially rosemary and mint, and different foliage, essential for any arrangement. The winter months can be lean but there is plenty of evergreen foliage, early narcissi, snowdrops, hellebores and forced bulbs to keep us going. We’ve also been known to do the odd spot of foraging……
We grow sustainably here – no pesticides or chemicals, so the bees and butterflies get to enjoy the blooms as much as we do. If you are planning your wedding a year in advance, you are welcome to visit and look at what is in bloom in your season. We will always try and accommodate specific floral requests, but please bear in mind that flowers do not read gardening books or go by calendars, so don’t always perform when they are supposed to. It’s their way of letting us know that we’re not really in charge.