JW Blooms Visit
Jan and Amanda of JW Blooms welcomed WBA members for a tour of their flower field and workshop on a sunny July evening.
Following drinks and a chance to chat, Jan explained to us how she'd started out growing organic flowers to sell at farmers markets, and moved on from that to growing and preparing bespoke organic flowers, particularly for weddings.
Jan and Amanda grow their flowers in a dedicated field, using the no dig method. Their operation is fully organic, though they have found it impractical to gain organic certification - "The certification process is almost totally focussed on vegetables" said Jan, "almost everything we grow is not listed as standard and so requires a large amount of extra paperwork for each and every variety - it's just not practical to do that". Keeping up with the growing and florestry, especially during the peak wedding season, is hard work, but clearly a life they both enjoy - their enthusiasm is evident all evening.
JW Blooms was an early part of the organic flowers movement, and have grown steadily as more and more people seek out high quality locally grown flowers in preference to intensively farmed standard varieties flow in from abroad. "Many of our brides - and grooms - like to come out to the flower field to select the flowers with us" said Jan.
Responding to a question about handling stressed brides, Jan said "I can honestly say we've never once had a 'bridezilla' - our 'look' is very much relaxed and carefree, and both that and our ethics attract a more laid back kind of person".
In addition to growing and arranging flowers, Jan and Amanda hold training sessions in their workshop - "Quite a few bridal parties like to create their own table decorations", said Jan "they'll come down and spend some time with us learning how to make floral arrangments".
They have recently started opening their flower field on a Sunday, from 10am to 2pm. As well as buying a bunch of flowers, Visitors can wander around the flower field and poly tunnels and relax with a coffee in the workshop. They also send boxed flower arrangements by post, to anywhere in the UK.
At the end of the evening, no-one seemed in any hurry to leave Jan and Amanda's little corner of paradise!