Our Little Blog

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We hope you enjoy reading our hints and tips and of course, all about our lovely real flower petal confetti and wildflower seed packets :)

By rekeeley, Oct 10 2015 06:00AM

Here at Natural Favours HQ we LOVE flowers (if you hadn't noticed). Once upon a time, Mr NF would pop home from the supermarket with a bunch of cheap & cheerful flowers happily tucked under his arm & they'd brighten up our lounge for the next few days before making their shrivelled way onto the compost heap.

But I started thinking, where do these flowers come from? How many miles have they travelled? How are they grown? Are they covered in harmful pesticides?

We grow many of our natural confetti flowers here, the rest we get from other British growers. This year we have also started to supply beautiful DIY flowers for weddings & events. Since doing this we have noticed how bee and butterfly friendly Natural Favours HQ has become. We're passionate about making our little patch of green as wildlife friendly as possible.

By choosing British flowers you opt for zero air miles, seasonal non-intensive growing, habitat to support native bees & butterflies, beautiful flowers you can't find at the florists & support for small businesses in a local economy. Some flowers can't be grown all year long which is why the seasons dictate which flowers we supply as part of our DIY flower service. If you're desperate to have roses in December or hydrangeas in May, we are members of our local flower market so can usually source your bloom of choice. However, we'd always encourage a seasonal selection where possible & recommend a beautiful British alternative.

For details of our service please pop over to www.naturalfavours.com

By rekeeley, May 8 2015 12:58PM

You may remember from an earlier blog post last year that we are helping a friend who is getting married in August by growing all the flowers for her wedding. This is quite a challenge for us as we haven’t done anything on this scale before - buttonholes, bouquets, jam jar posies, the lot eek!

The groundwork was done at the start of the year to build the raised beds here at Natural Favours HQ, and we have started to sow the seeds for our cut-flower beds. Much to the annoyance of Mr Natural Favours, the windowsills are crowded with my little green leafy babies! We’re using lot of classic country garden flowers for this relaxed outdoor marquee wedding. Think beautifully scented sweetpeas and stocks, old fashioned dahlias, heavenly gypsophila and vibrant cosmos. If it all comes together at the right time it promises to be spectacular!

Some of our flowers will be blooming early, so to share the love we’d thought we’d offer them up for some lucky Derbyshire locals! We’re really excited to have our first ever stand at this year’s Belper Goes Green Festival on 30th May 2015 at Belper Rugby Club where we will have for sale jam jar posies. At this time of year our spring plants will be out in force, so lots of bluebells and aquilegia on offer. We’ll also have our fab real flower petal confetti and wildflower seed packets for sale direct for the first time. If you’re in the area please pop down and say hello!

Stay tuned for further updates on our DIY Wedding flower growing results!

By rekeeley, Oct 10 2014 01:08PM

If you were to list the top 5 elements you couldn’t do without on your wedding day, we think the flowers would be up there. The importance of the bride’s bouquet goes without saying, but don’t forget the bridesmaids posies, groomsmen’s buttonholes, flowergirl petals, venue decorations and even “thank you” flowers.

All of this mounts up to what can be a huge chunk of your wedding budget. Rather than go without or scrimp on the quality, have you ever considered DIY flowers? There are many British growers out there who are offering this kind of service. Basically, you can either pop out to a flower farm and cut your own (just think of summer strawberry picking farms but with flowers instead) or they will pick them for you and send them out for you to arrange yourself. This reduces the cost to you tremendously, and with a few creative friends and family the night before the big day you could have beautifully rustic jam jar posies galore adourning your venue.

We are going one step further and helping a good friend to grow her own wedding flowers for August 2015. Provided you have the space and time there is no reason why you too couldn’t give it a go. We will provide regular blog updates here on our progress, alongwith tips for each month as to what you should be doing. The key to success is research and planning.

This winter we will be ordering old English roses that should arrive in December as bare root stock. We have already ordered dahlia tubers that will be delivered in February for planting after the risk of frost has passed.

You may think thing that all the sowing and planting would be done in Spring, but actually we have already started planting and sowing seeds this year. Plant biennials in the late summer in the year before you need them, this tricks the plant into flowering in its first full summer. We’ve planted up foxgloves in this manner, but you can also try sweet William and astrantia too. Hardy annuals directly sown into flowerbeds in Sept/Oct time establish themselves now and create healthy, strong plants come Spring. Go for things like delphinium, cornflower, calendula and ammi majus to name but a few. We also use our delphinium crop for our real flower petal confetti which you could try as well if you manage to grow enough.

What you plant now should flower nice and early in the season. You want as long a cutting season as possible, so plant the same things again as well as your half-hardy annuals come Spring and these will flower later thus giving you a long growing window.

Of course there are bulbs galore to choose from too and most of these will need planting in the winter before you need them. We’ve selected ranunculus for their beautiful peony-like flowers and freesias (athough these won’t be planted until next year after the frost risk has passed) for their fantastic scent.

The most important thing is to give it a go, experiment and have fun. We are lucky in that our bride is nice and relaxed and the whole wedding will have a chilled out village fete vibe. Yes we feel the pressure to produce something beautiful, but with so many fantastic growers out there, there’s always a fallback!

Please check back regularly to see our progress. Do also check out some where we got some of our seed from; the lovely Higgeldy Garden www.higgledygarden.com and fabulous Sarah Raven www.sarahraven.com who both offer great choice and advice.

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