Why are we growing Eucalyptus in Leeds?
Did we tell you the reason the we started growing Eucalyptus?
I think I may have told you the story of Becky and Steve and their wedding? They were out first wedding couple. They are friends and we desperately wanted every one of their dreams to come true.
One of Becky's dreams was Eucalyptus. Plenty of fresh Eucalyptus at their August wedding! Well I tell you, as I did the research I got more and more worried about this. You see I knew that I could create her dream bouquet. I knew that I could bring alive their natural theme and incorporate their wooden tree stumps. I knew that I could build in seasonal flowers that would include fragrances that they would remember forever (phlox, mint and roses makes a really heady perfume). And I loved Eucalyptus too!
But Eucalyptus we discovered was a winter crop. I learnt that florists in general sigh at the thought of Eucalyptus in Summer weddings because of this. I learnt that whilst I could get Eucalyptus, I wouldn't be able to guarantee the quality and there would be wastage. Waste is something that both my bride and groom to be were dead set against.
Waste and reducing waste is a theme throughout our flowery world. We dry flowers that we don't think we will get as far as selling. We make confetti from flowers that we cut but do not sell. We harvest stalks to make our own compost. We save packaging to secure future parcels and delivery. We collect rain water obsessively to water our crops. We cannot prevent all waste, but we can try our hardest to make sure that in growing our flowers and foliage, we protect our environment as much as we can. And we do.
I deviated a little! Anyway....you all know we weren't going to be able to grow Eucalyptus for Becky and Steve between February and August 2019! I mean we're good, but not miracle workers! But we wanted to be able to offer our future brides and grooms Eucalyptus, when it was in season, that was the best quality. Little did we realise at the time that other people loved Eucalyptus as much as we did and that there really is a desire for it all year round!
Clearly there is no better way to plan to do this than to grow your own! Thank goodness Antony went with me on this! How this working partnership works however is a story for another day. The key to moving forward, other than digging, was research and learning.
Our research lead us to Hardy Eucalyptus. My usual approach to something new or difficult is to buy a book. When it comes to exams, often the comfort of having bought the book is enough to help me through! In this case, we bought Hilary's book and read it from cover to cover. The corners are bent and the inside is now muddy, but Hilary's wish that we'd embark on a new and wonderful adventure to grow Eucalyptus and decorate your homes, weddings and gifts with it began here. Hilary is a wonderful example of the people that we have been privileged to meet along our journey. She has encouraged and enthused us. She has been honest and realistic about gains and goals. And she has offered her time freely to advise and support us, literally willing us to be successful. We hope to offer the same support to others in the future.
If I remember, I'll do a blog on why Yorkshire is actually the perfect place to grow Eucalyptus!