“Where would we be without flowers and trees, they lift the soul.” Dorothy.
We agree whole-heartedly with Dorothy, but it is February and it can seem a bit bleak and bare outside.
Certainly our ‘farm’ flowers are nowhere in sight, especially because we don’t use any additional heat in the polytunnel to force them into blooming this early. Winter flowers are around, understated but beautiful close-up and often luxuriously fragrant (see our Winter Blooms feature http://www.breathingspaces.co/blog).
If you are thinking of gifting some February Floral Love, please remember that many Valentines bunches this month have got an un-romantic carbon footprint, either from air-miles or heating or both. As an alternative you could ask for British sustainably grown flowers. There are commercial growers in Cornwall, Lincolnshire and our very own West Sussex Alstroemeria specialist, Crosslands Nursery, with lots of delightful options. Other artisan growers will have beautiful dried flowers from the summer (not the ones that are sprayed and dyed!). And if you can wait for warmer weather, we still have a couple of subscriptions available for our seasonal flowers and could even rustle up a gift voucher if required!
February/March is the end of the best planting time for new trees – the planet desperately needs more trees and so do we for our health and wellbeing. South Downs National Park Association is kindly gifting us some hedgerow saplings for the site in Sompting where we pick our wildflowers. We want to enable people to plant these with us but obviously that hasn’t been possible in the last couple of months. With careful management we believe it is a fairly low risk activity, outdoors in a large space, but we are waiting until the Covid infection rates fall further. If you are interested in helping please let us know and we will be in touch in due course. Hopefully it won’t have to just be the two of us putting 200 saplings in the ground! We will register the planting with Countryfile’s excellent “Plant Britain” campaign, which you can also join in by planting a tree at home or at a community space. https://www.plantbritain.co.uk