As Claire Brown, who runs Plantpassion, explained: her business is flower farming, therefore we should not expect pretty garden scenes, her flowers are grown as crops. That morning, well over 2000 had been cut and were conditioning (soaking up fresh water) in buckets inside the barn, awaiting collection by customers in the morning.
Outside we were immediately struck by the magnificent views across the gently sloping fields towards a range of hills and possibly London in the far distance. The hilltop farm is surrounded by woods, and Claire explained how she’d arrived at an accommodation with the wildlife, including deer, squirrels, moles, and even a measure of appreciation: kites, aphids (food for beneficial insects which kill the harmful ones).
We saw the poly tunnel (to extend the growing season) and the field with many different beds of flowers and shrubs, in all stages of growth. She explained her work-saving no-dig, no weeding method, and that the chalk subsoil her plants are grown in promotes healthy and sturdy flowers.
Back in the barn for refreshments and a flower arrangement demonstration, Claire extolled the benefits of locally grown flowers, condemning those for sale in supermarkets. Perhaps a little harsh, as surely there’s room for both kinds?
Claire Brown’s flower farm is in East Clandon, website: Plantpassion.co.uk