Bristol flower farm and florist. Pipley Flowers

Flower farmer and florist between Bristol and Bath. Wholesale flowers for florists, flower arranging workshops, growing workshops, weddings, funerals, events and sundry hire.

Filtering by Category: Winter

Upcoming workshop – Flower Farming for Beginners

I started my journey into flower farming four years ago after spending years feeling unhappy in my previous job.

After my second child was born I decided it was time to do something about my work life and through family members I found out that flower farming on a small scale existed in this country – it was not something I had ever previously heard of.

All my life I have loved gardening, being one of those people with lights in the greenhouse, enabling me to carry on working on my hobby during the night. Flower farming seemed like something I could do and would enjoy; with that in mind I booked myself onto a workshop for beginners and I haven’t looked back.

That workshop started the ball rolling for me and I now run a successful flower farm. I won’t lie this is hard work but I now love what I do and I feel proud to be showing my children that you can make a living out for doing something you love rather than just living for the weekends.

Pipley Flowers took off rather quickly; I run another business which I started in 2005,  and have a strong sales background - these experiences have helped me in my current venture and enabled me to help others on my previous Flower Farming workshops.

On my past workshops I have had people come along to find out how to start a flower farm and others have already started but wanted to see other ways of doing things. I have also helped trading florists who would like to supplement their bought in flowers with some they have grown themselves.

My next Flower Farming for beginners workshop is coming up on the 10th of February. There is still one place available for someone who would like to make a change or add value to what they do now….could that be you?

For full information click here

Pipley flower farming course workshop.jpg

Wise words and awards

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 10th Anniversary party for Tallulah Rose Flower school where I did my floristry training nearly three years ago.

We gathered at the Roman Baths in the centre of Bath for an evening of fun with canapes and plenty of bubbles. It was a lovely opportunity to celebrate with Rachel who set up Tallulah Rose, and catch up with florists from around the country, some of whom I trained with, some I have met at previous social gatherings organised the flower school, and others I have only spoken to via social media.

Rachel and the Tallulah team put on a fabulous, flower filled evening and Emma from Heart Full of Tea did a fantastic job of capturing the feel of the night (credit to her for the photo’s used on this blog).

I was particularly struck by something Rachel said on the night; she spoke about the way we often gloss over our achievements and don’t spend enough time recognising and celebrating them. I have been thinking about this quite a lot since…I am guilty of setting myself goals and once I achieve them I never celebrate my hard work, instead I set another goal and just move on. By the time I got home that night the house was quiet with everyone in bed but the next day I spoke to my husband about this and we agreed we will make more of an effort to celebrate things going forward.

My children have both earned certificates from school in the last month; although we congratulated them at the time we never marked their achievements so last night we went out to eat somewhere at the request of my eldest to celebrate his learner of the week award, and tonight we are going out again to celebrate my youngest winning the school star award – he has asked for a restaurant that does fish and chips 😊

I can’t finish up without mentioning my reason to celebrate! Before the event the past flower school students were asked to vote for our favourite Tallulah’s in the following categories – Best on social media, favourite brand and website, and favourite all round for help, advice and support. The social media category was won by Liberty Lane Flowers, best brand went to Ruby and the Wolf and I won the last one.

It was a massive shock for me (and I was quite emotional as you can see in the photo 😉) but I was really grateful and flattered to be thought of this way and it was a huge confidence boost. I have said it on social media already but I have to say a huge thanks to Rachel and the Tallaulah team for giving me the confidence and knowledge to be where I am now; I supply some amazing florists (including the other two award winners). I already had a strong background in terms of gardening and plant and flower knowledge but my time at flower school helped me to understand what florists of this standard need to create the best impact for their weddings and events.

We have plans this weekend so my celebration has to go on hold for a week or so but it’s in the pipeline.

Do you do enough to celebrate your achievements or is this something you can improve on?

After the Frosts

We had a hard frost on the 28th of October this year and when I checked the flowers the next morning, as suspected they were looking rather black and unhappy. Since then lots of people have asked what I do now - some realise that the work doesn’t stop just because the flowers are gone but others think I’m starting a 5 month holiday.

There are plenty of jobs that can be done over the Winter, many of which I don’t have the time to do during the peak season, but some have a certain urgency about them. At Pipley we have lots and lots of dahlias (far too many to lift!) so I choose to leave mine in place over Winter. One of my most important jobs now is to cut back all the dahlias and give them a good mulch to protect them from the cold - this has to be done before the temperature drops too low and it’s not a quick job.

Chopping down Dahlias to make compost

Chopping down Dahlias to make compost

One of the other jobs I have is planting any new bulbs and corms so I have lots of lovely flowers in Spring. I planted my anemone yesterday and I still have tulips and ranunculus to finish off. The quicker I get some of these in, the quicker my season will start next year….or that’s the plan unless I am thwarted in some way by the weather.

Once chopped back I mulch my dahlias to protect them from the cold

Once chopped back I mulch my dahlias to protect them from the cold

So as you read this I may be working out in the rain, chopping back, wheel-barrowing, or on my hands and knees in the mud trying to get these jobs done before I miss my window. Then comes the rest of the list but I can always breathe a sigh of relief when the dahlias and bulbs are all sorted.

If you have thought about flower farming and would like to learn more about what’s involved I run workshops for beginners or those thinking of a career change. The next one is on Sunday 10th of February and you can find the details on my workshops page.

Christmas at Pipley

Ok it's not quite Christmas but I have arranged to have the last few days work free so I'm now planning for next year and reviewing the last few weeks.

It's been my first Christmas working full time at Pipley and I have loved it! I've hosted quite a few wreath making workshops, been making up orders for wreaths and eaten far too many mince pies and Lebekuchen. The mulled wine has been flowing and it's great to think how many doors now have a Pipley Flowers wreath decorating them.

I'm also thinking more about next year. Workshops are one of my favourite things about my job and I have had great feedback on them with many people returning a second, or even a third time which I am really pleased about seeing as I held my first one in February.

Next year there will be some new workshop subjects which I am super excited about including one aimed and brides who want to arrange their own flowers, and another in conjunction with a very talented lady who also runs a small business in the South West...details to be revealed soon! Of course there will also be a special Mothers day workshop and the popular hand tied bouquet experiences.

If you would like to be kept up to date with new workshop dates please join the mailing list below, and don't forget I can tailor an experience for your hen do, corporate event or just for a group of friends - please get in touch if that's something you'd like to chat about....and have an amazing Christmas! x

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