Interview with Rachel Petheram of Catkin
Today, I’m delighted to feature another member of the nationwide network of British cut flower growers, Flowers from the Farm.
And it’s the turn of Rachel Petheram of Catkin.
When did you start your business and where are you based?
I started growing cut flowers in 2002 and set up Catkin in 2006.
I’m based in Lincolnshire, in the walled kitchen garden of an Elizabethan stately home.
What types of flowers do you grow?
All sorts! Hardy annuals like sweet peas, cornflowers, larkspur, nigella, marigolds, ammi majus, scabious, half hardy annuals like cosmos, rudbeckias, snapdragons, cleomes, amaranthus, lots and lots of dahlias, lots of herbs and David Austin roses.
I also grow hydrangeas and perennials such as phlox, shasta daisies, sea lavender, echinops, euphorbia, astrantia, Japanese anemones and lots of spring bulbs.
Every year I try something different but these are the staples.
Where do you sell your flowers?
I grow mainly for weddings and events, but also sell bouquets via mail order.
And there is a lovely farm shop on the estate where I grow my flowers. So I sell through there as well.
What are your plans for 2013?
We have lots of weddings booked in and have added a few new courses to our existing range.
My husband is a garden designer, so we’re going to work more closely together this year and will be offering a cutting garden design service.
I would also love to get together with my fellow flower growers in the region to see if we can offer each other moral support, at the very least!
What is your favourite flower?
Aaaaaahhhh!!! I had this discussion with my mum recently and we just couldn’t decide whether it is sweet peas or roses.
I think it has to be sweet peas, but then roses are just so gorgeous…sweet peas, final answer!
Many thanks to Rachel for all her help in compiling today’s blog post.
If you’d like to keep up-to-date with her news, she’s on Twitter.
And talking of Twitter…
New Weekly Online Chat about British Flowers on Twitter tonight
You may like to know that there’s an online chat starting tonight on Twitter about British Flowers. It’s taking place between 8pm and 9pm using the hashtag #britishflowers.
The aim is for it to be an opportunity for flower farmers to help support each other. And also to get #britishflowers trending for an hour a week to hopefully bring the subject to the wider floristry industry and government.
You can read more about the chat in this blog post from Georgie at Common Farm Flowers.
(Images : Rachel Petheram/Catkin)