On a sunny afternoon in late September Bookham group headed up the North Downs above Clandon to PlantPassion, a British cut flower farm. Claire, our hostess and owner of PlantPassion, helped sort out the car parking (rather more cars than we’d have liked but social distancing is still a major thing). She then gave us an introduction to the history and what she grows up here on the hillside. There are hardly any British grown flowers in a typical supermarket bouquet to our surprise. We then set off to view the actual flower fields.
Claire led us to ‘her office’ with its far reaching views to Woking and beyond. It was a lovely spot with field of flowers at the top of the slope. A second area of flowers were nearby which had become a ‘pick your own’ flower field during the recent pandemic. An innovative solution to selling flowers to the local community. And being local is what this flower farm is all about. She sells to the local area within a couple of miles to florists, weddings and local gift bouquets.
The various rows of plants stretched out in blocks of similar blooms that come out at the same time of year. This leads to picking of the flowers efficiently.
Claire let us explore the flower fields whilst she made us refreshments. We enjoyed the sunshine and the company of our NWR friends, before wandering back to the barn and polytunnel area. Delicious homemade cakes and biscuits along with tea and coffee were set out under a gazebo alongside garden tables and chairs. After this we were treated to a demonstration of the assembling of a gift bouquet. We were told about each individual flower and leaf as Claire deftly assembled the bunch and put it in a sustainable vase (her customers return these vases).
Claire also runs workshops as well as giving tours as we had as part of her business. She has an active social media presence which lets all her followers know what’s in bloom and what is coming up. PlantPassion is only one of many British flower farms. (You could find one near you from Flowers from the Farm – a not for profit membership association run by volunteer members who are also flower farmers https://www.flowersfromthefarm.co.uk/ ).
From our tour and demonstration Bookham NWR found that the creator and owner of PlantPassion certainly has a passion for plants.