Rosebie, our founder and flower farmer, has always had a mission to grow flowers as nature intended. She planted her first rose bushes for cutting in 1992 and is adamant that it is our duty to leave the land we farm and the world around us in a better condition than we found it. Each year we increase our efforts to support bee and insect life, improve our soil and make our farm a haven for wildlife. Here are some of the ways we contribute to making the world a better place!

Certified Sustainable Cut Flowers

Our farm has been awarded a LEAF Marque, which certifies that our flowers are grown sustainably and with care for the environment. LEAF look at how we manage soil and water, conserve energy, protect our crops, enhance wildlife habitats and work with our local community.

Animals and Wildlife on our Flower Farm

We’re a member of the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group. Our whole farm is fenced against deer and rabbits, as deer love scented garden roses as much as we do! This means the chickens, ducks and guinea fowl on the farm can roam freely, helping us to keep aphids and unwanted insects at bay. We leave undisturbed straw piles in the autumn for hedgehogs to hibernate in and last year our farm manager Rob built a pond to encourage beneficial insects – which has also provided a safe home for ducklings this spring.

The Buzz on Bees

Last year we planted a hectare of red clover above the rose paddock, which provides a haven for bees. We have hives dotted around the farm and continually take care to support and encourage the bee population.

Beneficial Insects

We use integrated pest-management techniques to ensure that the way we grow our flowers has a minimal impact – or where possible a positive impact – on the environment. We introduce and encourage beneficial insects such as lacewings, hoverflies and ladybirds. We have a meadow close to the rose paddock that helps us to attract a diverse insect population.

Trial and Error

Our aim has always been to provide an alternative to the generic and often artificially grown cut flowers that sadly still account for most of the UK cut flower market. But just because a rose grows beautifully in a garden doesn’t mean it will perform well as a cut flower. Rosebie and Rob are currently trialling around two hundred roses and have trialled many, many more in the past but currently only thirty roses meet our strict criteria. Not only do they need to look and smell beautiful and work well in floristry but we also try to select and grow roses, flowers, herbs and foliage that are as naturally disease resistant as possible. This is no easy task!

Good Earth

We take a huge amount of care to protect the soil structure on our farm, improving its nature, fertility and worm population (which is also essential as our farm has thin chalk soil which is terrible for growing roses!). We use drip irrigation to help prevent soil erosion and waste and specialist matting to naturally suppress weeds.

Are Our Roses and Cut Flowers Organic?

Our farm is not certified as organic and very occasionally we do have to spray. However, when you buy from us you can be assured that what you receive has been grown as naturally as possible, is sustainable and has been produced with care and respect for the environment and natural world.

Real Flowers of The Seasons

Scentless and bland, the average bouquet or cut flower is a long way from what nature intended. Our aim is to grow flowers that give you an uplifting and memorable experience. We try always to work with the seasons rather than against them, and to combat the unpredictable English climate we have a sister farm in Kenya that is run to the highest possible social and environmental standards. This means we can supply scented garden roses all year round. For most of the other flowers and foliage in our bouquets we work with the English seasons and our bouquets and London flower shop in Chelsea Green are filled with the best of what’s flowering on our farms now. Florists can also buy from us direct and love our mixed English flower and foliage boxes, which offer freshly cut selections of what’s in season that day.

You can discover our range of seasonal scented bouquets here. If you are a florist and are interested in finding out more about what we do you can call us on 01730 818 300 or email us at info@realflowers.co.uk.

You can discover more about our eco Kenyan sister farm here or discover Rosebie’s suggestions for the best roses to grow in your garden or balcony here.