Kicking off with the Blog - How I came to be.

So, in one of my previous lives, I used to write blog posts all of the time... but years have gone by and I have become rusty, much like my poor secateurs which I misplaced and left in the rain for two weeks! So I have put off starting The Green Door Flower Co. blog, just like I have put off washing my windows - it is an important job that I must get around to, but let me just do that patch of weeding first...!

So, no more procrastination, here we are!

I thought I would start us off with a blog about how I came to be The Green Door Flower Co. 

Starting up a new business whilst working full time and expecting your first child is a daunting prospect. But I think it is the combination of those two things that has pushed me to work so hard at this little business that could be, with the aim to reducing the full time work hours and spending more time working from home with my daughter and dogs and chickens, and ensuring that everyone gets to enjoy life to the full.

Back during Lockdown 1.0, I managed to fool my wonderful now-husband into proposing, and during the excitement of the wedding planning, I approached a few florists for quotations on the natural, wild looking flowers that I envisioned for my day. To say I was shocked at the price of wedding flowers was an understatement - I could not afford to spend that much, and thought to myself, well I love gardening and would love to grow the flowers for my wedding, so I will just do that and save loads of money!

Hahaha, whilst that could have been possible, I am like a kid in a sweet shop when it comes to flowers, and with no set plan on what I wanted, in addition to three wedding dates that would have been, had Covid-19 not had other ideas, (all across different seasons!), I am pretty sure I ended up spending probably twice on my wedding flowers by growing my own (three times over), than I would have had I gone for the specialist florist in the first place. But, then I would not have challenged myself, and learned so much, and been inspired to start my own company, so, perhaps that little attempt at saving money will pay off in the long-run, if only for my mental health! 

Eventually we married last August (2021), and it was perfect. The flowers were just what I wanted. A collection of all sorts of flowers, just what was in season, looking like a bright, colourful, natural garden. We created simple table centrepieces using stoneware vases and ink pots, and the left-over flowers from my bridal and bridesmaid bouquets, and little milk bottles filled with small blooms for the church pew ends. I made two large milk urns for outside the church, and used metal chicken food troughs for the church alter decs - perhaps more rustic chic than the Vicar would have chosen, but it suited me just fine!

Following the wedding, I wanted to put all that I had learned in the process to good use, and loved seeing the joy that my flowers and practices had brought to family members and friends. It seemed to me that there was a need for more environmentally sound flowers here in the UK, and whilst the community of flower growers is growing here in the UK, it is still a market that has space for a few more friendly faces.

My day job as a teacher in a secondary school is rewarding. The banter from the kids and the support from colleagues is what makes the job so worth doing. But it is also an exhausting profession - particularly so following the turbulent years we have had lately - and one is not expected to simply teach a subject, you are often providing mental health support, social care support and more, on top of the subject knowledge you have been contracted to provide. So gardening has been instrumental in keeping my head above water mentally with the day job. 

Teaching is also not my first career - with undergrad and post grad degrees in ecology and conservation from Cardiff and Bristol Universities respectively, I worked for a few years in the southern African nation of Botswana, staudying cheetahs in the agricultural regions where human-wildlife conflict was rife. Here I learned so many lessons on working alongside wildlife that we may typically have opposite ideas to, particularly when trying to occupy the same space and make a living - and these lessons are things that I have been able to use and bring into my practice in the garden - just because Mr and Mrs Vole, and their burgeoning family like to nibble upon my ranunculus corms or oh-so-pricey colibri poppy seedlings, and I dislike them doing that, does not mean that their family need to be removed by any means necessary. This is a wild area and there is 100% going to be a home for them here - I just need to outsmart them and be creative to keep their nibbles off my products!

How fabulous it would be to make a living from growing flowers, creating habitats and arranging blooms to bring people joy. This is the dream.

So, here I am. Two weeks into maternity leave, one week into being a Mama Bear, and trying to make the most of my wonderfully sleepy young daughter and get the website up and running, dig up the tulips and daffodils, plant the dahlias, weed the beds, arrange the bouquets, and organise a new partnership with a  local store that is interested in selling my blooms. It is busy. It is a bit frantic to be totally honest, particularly whilst recovering from the major surgery that is a cesaerean. But, it is brilliant, and I am loving it!

Long May It Last.

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