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12 blooming gorgeous local flower farms

With sustainability on all our minds, buying locally grown, seasonal flowers is a no-brainer! Herts and Beds have an abundance of flower farms and PYOs that not only sell beautiful blooms, but offer workshops, coffee and cake, too. Here's our pick of the bunch.

Hay Lane Flowers, Stagsden

Run by second and third generation flower farmers, Jane and Jack, this enterprise is all about working with nature and supporting the local enviornment. They partner with local florists to supply their freshly cut blooms, but also run a monthly Flower Club, where you can cut your own flowers, learn about making different arrangements and meet other floral enthusiasts. It’s fully booked this year though, so best get in quick for 2023!

@haylaneflowers 

If you just want to buy some blooms, the roadside self-serve flower shed is open daily from April until October where you can pick up £10 mixed bunches. Bigger bouquets and buckets are available to pre-order, which can be collected from the shed too, and you can find them at the monthly Bedford Flea Market. Plus, sign up to a bouquet subscription for just £10 a week for six weeks, and collect your blooms on Weds or Sat mornings. And… HOT OFF THE PRESS… They’re offering PYO from this month – keep checking the site to book online!

The Nurtured Garden, Stotfold

@thenurturedgarden

This micro flower farm in Stotfold, Beds, was only set up in 2021 by the green-fingered Nicola Hutchinson. The flowers are all grown naturally (no pesticides), in season and by hand, with beautiful blooms available to order between Spring and autumn. They also do dried flowers and wreaths for winter though… (note to self for next Christmas!) and, you heard it here first, they are going to start running workshops soon, so watch this space! We love that they sell whatever is in bloom in gorgeous little apothecary jars and vases that you can keep afterwards, ranging from just £10 for a garden jam jar posy to an incredibly good value £15 for a mixed garden bunch. Order up to a month ahead and collect from the farm on Fridays.

Sweet Briar Flower Farm, Hertford

Based on Foxholes Farm, with a quarter of an acre to call their own, Sweet Briar specialise in traditional, scented English country garden flowers and uses no-dig, chemical-free methods. Owner, Nicola Stuart O’Brien, offers gift bouquets, floral subscriptions and DIY buckets for weddings and events, from April to October. This year they’re also doing PYO sweet peas, dahlias and mixed buckets – drop them a DM or email to book your slot.

During the winter months the business changes tack to become a garden design consultancy. Nicola honed her green fingers at Capel Manor studying garden design, and can advise on making your outside space work for you – and even how to create your own cut flower garden!

Howbury Farm Flowers, Bedford

This stunner of a walled garden in the grounds of Grade II-listed manor house, Howbury Hall, has been lovingly nurtured for nearly a decade by Jane Leech and Lucy Copeman. They use a fully organic, seed-to-stem approach to growing their wide selection of traditional, unusual and hard-to-find flowers. Choose a hand-tied bouquet – local delivery and collection available – a bucket of flowers for home arrangement, or weekly, fortnightly or monthly floral deliveries.

If you’re planning a wedding or event, they not only provide the flowers but a full floristry service if you wish, inlcuding creating floral arches, staircases and garlands in your chosen colour scheme. And if you want to learn more about their art, sign up to a course through the School of Sustainable Floristry, from one-off sessions to professional training programmes. Or try a seasonal ‘garden to vase’ workshop.

Hitchin Lavender, Hitchin

Bring your secateurs, grab a paper bag and fill yer boots with fragrant stems of the purple stuff. There are 30 acres of lavender, sunflowers and wildflowers for you to frolick about in – eat your heart out, Ann of Green Gables! – as well as a lavender display field showcasing 60 varieties. Make sure you pop into the gift shop for some plants and lavender-based goodies, from beauty products to food and drink. It’s just won the 2022 Muddy Award for the best local family attraction, don’t you know! Kids love running up and down the rows, and it makes a fab spot for family snaps (unsurprisingly, it’s recently been named the UK’s most Instagrammed floral location, too!)

Plus there’s the lavender museum, kids’ play fort next to the Old Barn, which serves homemade cakes, as well as a street food stall and wagon in the field for more refreshments. But, despite the name, the fragrant swathes of purple aren’t the only attraction here. There’s also the cut flower area which is open from May to Oct, planted up with Dahlias, Cornflowers, Strawflowers, Nigellas, Cosmos, Zinnias and Astrantia and, come mid-August, the sunflower field will be open to PYO too!

The Baldock Flower Farm, Baldock

This family run biz has been going since 2015, with self-confessed ‘flower-aholic’, Johanna Brown at the helm. Over 80 varieties are grown here and are cut-to-order, field fresh, every day. And, as a member of the Flowers from the Farm network of local growers, they have virtually no carbon footprint and zero air miles. You can buy them on Saturdays from the little flower cart at their front gate (how sweet!), get them delivered locally or order a subscriptions. Buckets are available for brides to arrange their own wedding flowers, too. You can also book on to a field-to-vase or DIY wedding flowers workshop (with coffee and cake!)

the avenues, Harpenden

Photo: @jadealana

Owner, Emma, turned over the veg patch of her cottage garden on the Rothamsted Estate to a cut flower bed, in a bid to do her bit to reduce the environmental impact of the floral industry. She’s committed to practicing floristry without any single-use plastic waste, floral foam, air miles or pesticides. The avenues offers seasonal subscriptions (from buckets to ready-to-display arrangements), one-off bouquets, bespoke floral designs for weddings, and fresh and dried floral wreath workshops to boot.

Hannah’s Pick Your Own Sunflowers, Wigginton

This one’s a bit of a hidden gem. Find it on the Chesham Road between Wigginton and Chesham (approx postcode is HP4 3UE). Park up in the next field and pick your stems for £1 each. There are some fab photo ops there (that’s me in the pic below!). Top tip – take your own secateurs as the stems are thick and hard to break off by hand.

The Pop-Up farm, near St Albans

Exactly what it says on the tin (or sign!), this place, just off the Junction 9 of the M1 near St Albans, is a sunflower field by summer and pumpkin patch come autumn (with sweetcorn in between!). Due to open imminently (usually early August) for Sunflower picking. Grab a wheelbarrow and go pick a bunch or two of sunshiney blooms to brighten up your life.

JUST OVER THE BORDER…

Howe Farm, Dorton

If you want to choose and pick your own flowers, this Bucks farm near Aylesbury offers PYO by appointment Thurs-Sat during the April-October season. Go one better and book in for the afternoon tea to enjoy a cuppa and slice of cake in the gorgeous secret garden before heading back into the real world. If you want a pro to put the bouquet together for you, just order for collection and get a gorgeous clutch of seasonal, sustainable flowers. Workshops include flower mornings to get a taster of how to grow gorgeous blooms, then a chance to learn how to make a bouquet and the obligatory tea and cake, or there’s the Full Monty – how to grow your own cut flowers course.

Sweet Grace Flower Farm, Quainton

Laurel and Andrew set up their Bucks flower farm with the aim of growing chemical and pesticide-free and wildlife friendly flowers on their pretty site between Aylesbury Vale and The Chilterns. They sell gorgeous flowers by the bunch and bucketful as well as offering subscriptions and its fabulous ‘Dahlia Days’ which run every Thursday afternoon during August and September, offering tips on how to grow and propagate the flowers and a chance to cut some blooms to take home yourself.

Chiltern Sky Flowers, Bledlow Ridge

Alongside selling bouquets, subscriptions and flowers by the stem, husband and wife team Fiona and Chris, are known for their flower arrangers’ buckets, with 30-50 stems in a gorgeous seasonal palette that you can take home and arrange yourself – also available in larger buckets for wedding flowers, for the really brave/creative couple. Orders need to be placed in advance and collected from the Bucks farm (between Chinnor and West Wycombe), though there are opportunities to have a look round on open days throughout the year and there’s a series of workshops on flower arranging, hand tied bouquets and flower farming, if you want to have a go at growing your own cut flowers.

Find more ideas here

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