Our Flower Patch

Inspiring a new generation of growers


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World Book Day

World book day gardening books

Just a few of Sara’s favourites.

As World Book Day approaches  – it’s on Thursday March 5th – we’re certainly not short of reading material on Our Flower Patch , having been the lucky recipients of several garden-related books to review. Sara went to the launch of Charles Dowding’s latest book at the Garden Museum in London recently and Cally has been working her way through a series of exciting, new and beautifully illustrated books. Keep your eyes peeled here for reviews over the coming weeks before the business of sowing begins in earnest and you are spending every spare moment tending your seedlings rather than reading in front of the fire.

To celebrate the day itself Cally’s daughter is dressing up as Scout (To Kill a Mocking Bird). There are sure to be several well known literary characters masquerading as teachers at school. Cally even gardened as the witch from ‘Room on the Broom’ once. This year however we are marking the occasion with a give away. You could be the lucky recipient of a copy of Georgie Newbery’s book on flower farming. In case you missed it first time around here is Sara’s review of this popular and beautifully photographed guide to the Somerset flower farmer’s patch.

To be in with a chance of getting your hands on a copy, all you have to do is subscribe to our blog and leave a comment here telling us what is your favourite gardening book. By subscribing to the blog, you’ll be sure never to miss out on hints. tips, reviews and giveaways for the school gardener or home flower farmer. It’s a win win situation. We’ll pick a winner at random on March 20th and publish the name of the lucky recipient here. (You must live in the UK to be eligible for this competition)

Tell us. What’s your recommendation for World Book Day for gardeners?

 

Our Flower Patch reviews The Flower Farmer's year by Georgie Newbery.

Enter to win this!


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Celebrating British Flowers Week

British Flowers Week Logo New Covent Garden Market

The beautiful British Flowers Week logo from New Covent Garden Market

This week has been British Flowers Week, a celebration of the revival of the British Flower Growing industry. Unlike thirty years ago, the bulk of flowers sold in this country (and that’s HUGE amounts) are not grown in Britain. People have already woken up to the importance of the availability of locally grown, seasonal food and there has been a revival in the numbers of people and schools growing their own. Now it’s the turn of flowers. At Our Flower Patch we want to turn the map of Britain flowery with schools in every local education authority growing a flower patch and making their blooms available to members of their local community.

Dog with British Flowers for British Flowers Week Ourflowerpatch.co.uk

Sara’s dog Tilly has created quite a stir on Twitter posing with British Flowers.

Sara is already supplying shops and businesses in her area. You can see how here on Katie Spicer’s blog.

Nigella & geum Katie Spicer Photography British flowers week ourflowerpatch.co.uk

Nigella, Geum, Feverfew, a pretty country meadow look.

 

Cally has been helping Fitzmaurice School in Bradford on Avon, our very first member school grow and sell their blooms to parents, teachers and friends at school and also through a shop in the town. They now have regular customers and an opportunity to spread the word further by running a flower stall at the school Strawberry Fair on Saturday.

Lonely bouquet for British Flowers week ourflowerpatch.co.uk

This Lonely Bouquet has made its way to North Wales from Wiltshire.

To celebrate British Flowers Week the young growers will be leaving a lonely bouquet somewhere in town. If you find it, take it home to enjoy or spread the love by passing it on to someone. Do let us know where it ends up though.

There’s still time (just) to enter the competition over on Wellywoman’s blog to win a copy of her fabulous book The Cut Flower Patch in her post about British Flowers Week. The competition closes at midnight Friday 20th June so hurry hurry! Its a really well written book, full of great information and gorgeous photos.

And if you want to support the revival of British grown flowers from the grass roots, why not talk to your local primary school and sponsor a flower patch? Details are on our website. You could help local children grow flowers like these.

Bees like the selection of flowers grown by Our Flower Patch school garden group members

Bees like ‘Our Flower Patch’


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Sweet peas for schools – are you feeling competitive (from March 17th)

young child sowing sweet peas for Our Flower Patch

Piers sowing sweet peas for Our Flower Patch

young child sowing sweet peas for Our Flower Patch

Piers sowing sweet peas for Our Flower Patch

young child sowing sweet peas for Our Flower Patch

Piers sowing sweet peas for Our Flower Patch.

Today would have been the one hundredth birthday of Cally’s gran. This year may well become known as the year of the poppy, as meadows spring up all over the UK to commemorate the centenary of the start of the Great War. But sweet peas would be more appropriate for this fiesty Welsh woman. She knew a thing or two about sweet peas.

How apt then, today, that two Twitter ladies signposted us in the direction of Mr Fothergill’s sweet pea competition for schools, which is to take place at Capel Manor College in July. Thanks Val and Marie.

There’s still time to sow sweet peas under cover ready to plant out later. Be one of the first 100 schools to claim a free packet of seeds, use the seeds from your pack if you are one of our member schools or buy some. You won’t regret it.

As you see from the picture, some of our young growers started early but don’t despair. By July any seeds planted now will be ready to take on the competition. And anyway, what have you got to lose? Planting a few sweet peas will bring happiness, irrespective of whether you’re competitive or not.


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Growing for Gold (from March 6th)

Sunflower with bees at Our Flower Patch

A cheery Sunflower busy with bees at Our Flower Patch.

Glorious sunflowers! What could be better? Free sunflower seeds? Well yes… that would be good! The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) are giving away free packs of mixed sunflower seeds to celebrate 50 years of Britain in Bloom. Seeds are available on a first-come first-served basis. To qualify you must be registered for one of the following

 

  • Bloom (all Bloom groups can apply for seeds – regional and national)
  • It’s Your Neighbourhood
  • RHS Affiliated Societies
  • RHS Campaign for School Gardening

and complete an online form before 26th March 2014. For more details see here.

 

Our members will receive calendula and eschscholzia seeds as part of their starter packs of seeds when they join Our Flower Patch. These are amongst other golden or yellow plants recommended as perfect for pollinators in the list produced to help celebrate the golden anniversary.