March Meet Amanda
Lucy Vail - 1 min read
If you have been following LVF's journey for some time now, you will know that in 2020 I collaborated with my family to start our very own Floriston Flower Farm in Suffolk. This is such a wonderful opportunity for me as a florist because it means that I can both advise and influence which blooms are planted at the farm each year based on current luxury floral market trends and also what flowers are also needed for upcoming LVF's projects.
Year three at Floriston Flower Farm has absolutely hit the ground running. The first harvest of the year is a spectacular display of anemones with the longest stems, which continue to grow in your vases - perfect for adding to bouquets, or even urns!
Last week I stopped by the farm to see how this year's blooms were coming along and spoke with Amanda Vail, my mum, about what makes Floriston's flowers so special and her plans for this year.
What is the most important to you as a flower farmer?
For me, the priority has to be growing the most beautiful and original flowers. At Floriston we have purposely chosen to not provide a huge volume of flowers each year so that we can focus on the quality of each individual flower that's grown. I only want to start increasing the variety of flowers we grow once I have perfected our existing crop's originality in colour, stem length and longevity.
How big is the farm?
At the moment our farm is 1 acre and constantly expanding. I get very excited sowing my seeds in the pollen tunnel and find it incredibly therapeutic so our plant volume seems to be multiplying...
What are you long-term goals for the farm?
I have put my heart and soul into the flower farm. My hope is that one day I will become a well- respected UK flower grower who can teach others how to start their own farms.
You already are well-respected mum! You've grown your instagram following to just over 1k in one year which is just amazing. What's changed on the farm since last year?
Last year was full of trial and error, and candidly the beginning of 2022 has been much the same when it comes to my ranunculus and anemones. However, so far we've been very lucky; I don't believe that anyone has longer stemmed or larger petals of anemones than I have. This year we have tripled in size so I'm absolutely shattered, all I do is dream plants! But I love it.
How are you thinking more sustainably on the farm?
Nothing goes to waste. Any waste from cutting the flowers and planting goes straight into the compost to rejuvenate the soil. All brown paper is also reused on the soil, either into the compost or covering it to stop weeds.
What are you experimenting on this year?
We know that you will be using lots of ranunculus and bearded irises for projects this year, so we've planted lots of varieties of each flower. Our aim is to provide you with the most amazing plants possible. Bearded irises are wonderful and I want to prove to everyone that they are great to use as a cut flower. I have planted 600 ranunculus plants - including 4 different types - so all being well we'll have a whole rainbow of pastels. They should be popping up in the next couple of weeks so I cannot wait to see how they turn out.