Updated: Nov 2, 2021
As this is the first blog post from Featherstone's we thought we had better start with some introductions.
Katie (the blonde)
Hello! I am Katie Stone - a self confessed flower lover and plantaholic, never happier than with my hands in the soil or busy in the flower barn creating floral designs with nature’s ingredients.
To cut a long story short I left the busy and often stressful world of the NHS to follow my true passion and study horticulture at Sparsholt College before working in a local nursery and then as a gardener on a large private estate.
During this time I discovered more about floriculture and the resurgence of locally grown flowers. I began growing more and more flowers on my allotment, until there really was no room for the vegetables. The flowers looked amazing all growing together, but I wanted to learn more about how to use them as cut flowers to achieve a similar wild and natural display in my own home. Traditional floristry training and flower arranging courses just didn’t seem to show the combinations and arrangements I wanted to create with my own grown flowers. I found Georgia at The Sussex Flower School and drooled over her Instagram feed for several years until my amazing husband surprised me with a career course to learn all about floristry. I have since followed my passion for sustainable floristry techniques, believing that cut flowers really do not need to cost the Earth, with further training from the inspiring Sarah and William authors of 'A Guide to Floral Mechanics' focussing on fully sustainable floristry techniques.
I now count myself truly lucky to be called a Flower - Farmer - Florist! Featherstone’s English Flower Company is a long held dream come true and I can’t wait to see our plans literally grow to life in our field.
Jess (the brunette)
Hi! I am Jess Roberts. I adore being a flower farmer. Being passionate about plants, the outdoors and the environment I count myself extremely lucky to be able to follow my dream and be my own boss, working in horticulture full time.
I have now been working in this field for a decade. I have worked in landscaping, design, maintenance and market gardening and have had the honour of working for the RHS and the Plant Committees for most of that time. That has given me so much insight and exposure to many other wonderful and knowledgeable horticulturists which has been invaluable to flower farming.
The best thing about flower farming is sharing the beautiful flowers that we grow with others who love them just as much as we do. Prior to starting Featherstone's English Flower Company with Katie, I ran a much smaller but well received flower farm but after three years needed more space and a more accessible site on which I could expand the business. My goal and dream has always been to grow cut flowers and foliage on a larger scale, while still focusing on biodiversity, sustainability and improving our environment rather than damaging the natural world around us. Designing, planning and planting three acres of cut flowers and foliage to grow on a larger scale has been hugely exciting (if a little exhausting!).
We broke ground on our new site in September 2021. We currently have 3 acres on a farm just outside of Nether Wallop near Stockbridge in Hampshire. We will share more soon about the site and how we have begun laying out the beds and planting areas. It is a huge project with 1000s of seeds, bulbs, plants, shrubs and trees to get in the ground this autumn. The field won’t look like this for very long!!
We have the huge privilege of this stunning, ancient Tithe Barn as our new home. We will share lots more about the amazing features and history behind the barn in coming blog posts.
Please do follow us along on our journey as we grow out sustainable flowers in the beautiful Test Valley.