31 July 2020
The big news this week is that the polytunnels are finally up and the covers on! This took 3 weeks longer than we’d planned as you have to have the perfect weather conditions with almost no wind, so that the whole thing doesn’t end up half way down the road. Before these went up, we had to level the ground, which James was thrilled to do with a dumper truck (and expert guidance from Clover). We mixed the topsoil from this with 15 tonnes of green waste for our beds, planters and our perennial patch, where we plan to grow lots of foliage and great smelling herbs that will come back every year.
We’ve ordered 800 square metres of landscape fabric for the polytunnels – this acts as a weed suppressant so you’re only growing things you want to grow. With invaluable help from the wonderful Clare at Hendra Farm Flowers, we’ve been working on our planting schedule, so we can keep track of what is due to flower when and have something blooming throughout spring, summer and autumn. We need to be smart so that we can rotate our crops and use the planting space efficiently throughout the year. We’ve also been testing how different homegrown flowers fare in our postal boxes (courtesy of Clare’s amazing flowers) and we’ve been excitedly ordering lots of seeds of interesting colours and varieties we want to grow that are hard to find elsewhere.
We wanted to try and make sure something flowered this year, so we’ve planted 500 chrysanthemum plugs and we’ll be able to use cuttings from these for next year. We’ve started putting in the water lines for the irrigation system for the polytunnels and planting beds, as well as a water supply for the greenhouse, and we’ve been building a dedicated area for composting our green waste on-site.
There was also lots to be done to the Petalon HQ where our flowers get prepared and sent out for delivery. Our barn where we store all of our postal boxes and hessian had no floor when we moved in, just earth, so we had a cement mixer in to cover this and level it out. We now have a fully functioning kitchen and the team are very pleased to now have a roof over their heads when they go to the toilet. We’ve made a soak away for the old cowshed where we make our bouquets – the floor has a gradual slope so it can be washed and now properly drained.
There’s still lots to do, but we’re enjoying every second. Keep scrolling below for some more photos of our progress so far!Back to blog