The humble bumble bee with its yellow and black stripes is so synonymous with lazy summer afternoons in Britain, yet in recent years there has been an enormous decline in the population of bees and other pollinators. These insects are critical to our fragile ecosystem. Yet over use of pesticides and other chemicals is creating a crisis in our biodiversity. Now, more than ever before, they need a little love.
An inspirational group of organic farmers has been leading the way in showing how to grow healthy crops of food and flowers without resorting to chemicals, and providing a safe habitat for our wildlife. As a grower using organic methods, my flowers form a tiny part of this growing network that’s working to turn back the tide of industrial agrictulture and pesticide use.
I grow pollinator friendly flowers interspersed in my cutting patches, so that there's always plenty for me, and plenty for the bees and insects to share. My organic growing techniques include companion planting to attract beneficial insects, many of which are also pollinators.
Feeding the soil with homemade and peat-free compost helps to create rich brown soil, alive with worms and packed with nutrients and the perfect growing medium for glorious flowers. Growing sturdy, healthy seedlings keeps the slugs at bay. And handmade infusions of comfrey and compost tea are all that's needed to bring the flowers into their final peak condition.
My patches are currently too small to be certified organic, but as my farming expands this is my future goal. When I need to buy in flowers I buy from those who share my values and are committed to organic or low impact approaches.
Finally, even after picking my flowers have zero reliance on chemicals - good care and fresh water is all they need to thrive, and they’ll arrive at your house just as fresh and sustainable as it’s possible for a bouquet of flowers to be.