Regardless of the conundrum Brexit is bringing to the flower farming industry, one of the most crucial and intensive task at Anna’s Flower Farm is entirely controlled by a grist of free labour. Those workers handle one of the most meticulous and primordial job on the farm which holds a major stake in the continuance of our business. We are very lucky to rely and benefit from the dedication of these hard working individuals. Indeed, flower farming would be almost impossible without the input from our buzzing friends within the apoidea family.
Pollinators carrying out their endless quest for nectar and pollens contribute to great extend at the spread of the plant’s genetic materials, which in turn is invaluable to our business. Unwary (or not) of their involvement in the plant’s intercourse, these insects play such a role amongst the plant’s reproduction that their food habit is considered to be essential for the survival of entire plant species. This collaboration is so engrained within the perenniality of plants that most vegetalia will produce a dedicated apparatus, shooting out beacon of beauties, to attract and reward the critters with sweet nectar, while connivingly spreading gametes across great distances. These ‘honey traps’ are at the centre of our business, they are our precious crops, welcome to the world of flower farming.
Fundamentally, our job at Anna’s Flower Farm is to catalyse this existing symbiosis. It is a win-win situation where pollinators are attracted by the near constant flowering of our garden, providing them with a steady stream of food, while the plants get to increase their chance to a successful encounter. We, in turn, reap the reward of a plentiful crop. In order to orchestrate this synergy, we have devised a strict set of values which take into account all of our ‘residents’. Our practise is to ban from our garden all form of pesticide, relying on nature’s natural balance of pray/predator to achieve a healthy ecosystem. We promote and provision various form of habitat for our wildlife friends, and cater for their needs, from wild weedy borders to access to water, including rotting pile of wood, all contributing to one or another’s confort. Our good practice is rewarded by having a great variety of wildlife and various inhabitants within our gardens, randomly showing up while least expected.
Since setting up an apiary on site, we have noticed a greater amount of other species of pollinators, from the humble garden bumble bee to the more exotic red tail one, it truly proves the saying that a crowd attracts a crowd... We have a strong belief that plants will produce more flowers should they sense a healthy amount of pollinators, this is biophilia materialising itself in which we believe, respect, and promote.
In contrast, the abundance of wildlife in our garden is a sad reminders of the dire state of the countryside in general. We keep hearing local stories of disappearing invertebrates from gardens wet patches, forgotten sight of hedgehogs, and glorious butterflies relegated to history, what was once common is now gone, we are far more accustomed to invasive plastic waste in our backyard than any other native species.
As a conservation effort, we have decided at Anna’s Flower Farm to catalogue all species of animals within our fields so we can keep track of the inhabitability of our gardens, this lengthy process will allow us to add data to our observations, helping us identifying potential issue and subsequently further promoting the diversity of wildlife within our borders.
If you have any kind of experience at surveying wildlife, we would love to hear from you. Shall it be an open discussion around cake and tea or simply your comments, we value your support. Your visits are always such a source of satisfaction, we look forward to having you around during open days.