A New Year

A New Year

Welcome to 2017 – Before I start please bear with me and read on…..I know this has lots of text but I really wanted to tell you about ‘stuff’ and I have never been one for keeping it short. We have lots of plans for the forthcoming year and I am super excited about what lies ahead.  I hope you all had wonderful holidays and got to spend some time with loved ones and unwind a little before going back to work.  For those of you who did work over the holiday period I was right there with you while I worked on the last wedding of the year which took place on the 28th December.  

So looking back to 2016 it was a turning point for Emma Sousa Flowers….we went from fabulous florists to flower farming grower/florists with the start of what I hope will become a wonderful journey for my flowery adventures……A lot of people when I speak to them haven’t really understood what we are trying to do so here is a brief explanation of the why’s, whats’ and how’s of what we are doing.   So after being a florist for pretty much 10 years now and building up a small but successful business working with flowers, a few years ago I became really interested in where my flowers came from!  I felt a little uncomfortable about the amount of imported flowers I was using and began to look at alternatives. Now, although there are lots of growers here in the UK,  living in London (albeit on the outskirts) it wasn’t that easy to find growers and more importantly buy in small enough quantities for the days when I wasn’t doing a wedding and therefore need to buy smaller amounts.  I decided then that it was time to teach this old dog some new tricks and I began to learn how to grow flowers in my back garden, on my allotments and anywhere else there was a window ledge, greenhouse or piece of earth! I grew everything from seed (or tuber, bulb or cutting) and in the first year I had lots of lovely flowers which were used as experiments from when was the best time to cut, when to sow, vase life and longevity of each flower etc  and at the same time I began to search for a piece of land from which I could officially grow and sell from (I am not allowed to sell from my allotments and they are purely there as a a place to experiment and learn). This was not an easy task being in London but as luck would have it a client of mine whom I had been delivering flowers to for probably around a year moved from busy NW Hampstead to a beautiful place in NW7 with the most amazing piece of land literally in their back yard (although it cannot be described as a yard – not even a garden – to me its more of a posh field!)  

Above: Bright beauties cut from our little flower field during the Summer…..

Top Picture: The first biennials make up the majority of this Bouquet…..

 To cut a long story short we spoke, we agreed and at the end of 2015 I took over some of that land and use it in order to grow my flowers.   Fast forward to July 2016 and it was full of wonderful flowers from Dahlias to Rudbeckias to Nigella to Larkspur to name but a few.  During the growing season I supplied over 80% of my own flowers for my business…next year with a bit more careful planning I am hoping it will be more.  Whats the point of this you may ask?  Well the point is it means that although it’s incredibly hard often back breaking work, super time consuming, and sometimes goes horribly wrong, it does mean that I can grow flowers that you wouldn’t necessarily find at your local supermarket or florists – I choose what I grow, in what colours I want and because I literally cut them and arrange them within hours of being in the ground they are super fresh, at their peak and grown using sustainable practices, which means no nasty chemicals or pesticides, lots of benefits to the surrounding environment and wildlife, and my conscience is clear.   My clients know they are getting something not only unique but literally grown and nurtured like a baby….yes,I know I hear you cry, how can a small green seedling be compared to a baby…but well, if you have ever grown anything from scratch there is just nothing like it…it feels like some amazing miracle that happens every time it germinates and then eventually turns into a beautiful cut flower.   You see I love what I do…with a passion…..I feel grateful every day when I wake up and go to work…even the days when I am dog tired, it’s raining and I need to be outside, even when I am scrubbing and bleaching buckets – I love it!  And that, you see, is the difference when you buy flowers from a florist who loves their work.  You can see the passion in the things they create rather than the soulless flowers you buy from certain supermarkets – don’t get me wrong, there is a place for us all, but you will never find something as beautiful as when it’s been created by someone who loves what they do.  So apologies once again for whittering on some what but I need to say this to everyone so they can get some sort of inkling as to how I feel and the passion behind the business.  

 I was super excited to be feature again in Wedding Flowers Magazines Jan/Feb 2017 issue……above.

This blog was originally posted here.


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