Isles of Scilly Flower Farmer News

  • New Variety: Daymark

    The shed was full of "oohs" and "ahhs" this morning as the first of the Daymark variety of Scented Narcissi made an appearance at the Blue Box Flower Company.

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    This gorgeous variety is a highly scented flower with a sweet Spring like fragrance.

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    With creamy petals that get nearer to white as the bloom develops, and a stark orange centre, this variety is a fresh and welcome addition to our Narcissi bouquets.

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  • New Variety: Royal Connection

    Royal Connection Scent Descriptor

    The stunning Royal Connection is now cropping on St. Mary's -given it's name as it is grown on Duchy of Cornwall farms.

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    The vibrant rouge centre of this variety is as striking as it's exotic fragrance: reminiscent of Jasmine, gardenia and frangipani.

    This scent is passionate and wild, deep and mysterious.

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    The team at Tremelethen Farm have individually hand picked and hand graded over 30 thousand stems of this variety in just one day!

    To order yourself some of this fabulous variety, click here

  • Sarah Paulger: Borough Farm

    Sarah is one of the only female farmers providing us with Narcissi on the islands. She took over Borough Farm from her father, and supplies us with beautifully Scented Narcissi throughout the Season- as well as the occasional field full of stunning Island Daffodils.

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    Tell us about the Scented Narcissi you grow...

    We’re very proud of our Scented Narcissi flowers, families on the Isles of Scilly have been growing them here since the late 1800s. Today we have more varieties than ever before, ranging from pure white to rich yellow and orange and each variety has its own unique scent. The flowers are grown naturally, out of doors, in small sheltered fields.

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    What do you love about the Isles of Scilly?

    I love the Isles of Scilly, and I also enjoy working with my brother on our farm. The community is very close knit on the islands, with everyone knowing everyone.

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    Tell us about working on the Farm...

    Working on the farm is a full time job. I grow Scented Narcissi through October- March, and during the Summer tend to the beef cattle and prepare the flower fields for next Season. I grew up on the islands, and as a child helped out on the farm ,so I have been a part of this industry my entire life.

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    What do you love about working with Scented Narcissi?

    I enjoy working outdoors in the open air, surrounded by such beautiful scenery. I am also a real fan of Scented Narcissi flowers, and it feels as though this cottage industry is part of my family history. I have a great quality of life, and am extremely dedicated to keeping this cottage industry going. The flowers are grown in a very eco-friendly way, and I think it's important that people support British produce.

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    What's it like to be one of the only female farmers here on the islands?

    It's quite unusual to be a female farmer especially a female Narcissi grower, as there aren't that many at all. Traditionally, men picked the flowers and women graded and tied them, but I have taken on the full role!

    Island Daffs

    You can buy some of Sarah's Spring Island Daffodils, combined with heavenly scented Hugh Town Narcissi in our new bouquet for St. David's Day. 

  • Are you an Enviromantic? #britishflowers

    If you haven't seen the latest in the "flower news", you will not be aware of the latest surge of support for British Flowers. After the release of Interflora's Valentine's Bouquet (£195) a rally of British florists highlighted the lack of seasonality in these bouquets, and the detriment supporting them can have to the British Flower Industry.

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    Here on Scilly, we only use our own British flowers, grown on our farms, by our farmers, as they and their families have been doing for over 130 years.

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    From long labourious Summers planting bulbs, to cold hard winters in all the elements, our flowers support an island industry, making it the second largest industry on the islands after tourism.

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    We would like to thank all of our customers- florists and direct, for making the choice to support us, and #britishflowers

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  • Valentine's Day: The Scilly Rose

    >We have some wonderful Valentine's Day collections available for you this Season, but if you're looking for a simple, romantic alternative to the out-dated rose, why not try the beautiful Erlicheer variety of Scented Narcissi.

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    Erlicheer is unlike any other variety of narcissi that crops here on Scilly. Beautiful double headed blooms sit upon each dark green stem, their petals unveiling themselves like a scented rose.

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    Described as "the flower for a woman in the first glow of love" the gentle sweet vanilla custard scent of this variety is unlike any other for evoking a romantic mood.

    Support #britishflowers this Valentine's Day, and send a beautiful bouquet of Scented Erlicheer Narcissi to the one you love.

  • New Variety: Island Pride

    What a great start to January, a whole van of Island Pride from Tremelethen Farm!

    Island Pride in Keith's Van keith first Island PrideIsland Pride has a much more vibrant yellow center than Grand Primo, which it is quite similar to, plus gorgeous rounder petals, and a slightly larger head.

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  • Featured Farmer: Keith Hale of Tremelethen Farm

    Introducing Keith Hale of Tremelethen Farm:

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    How did your family first come to be on the Isles of Scilly?

    My  Mother's family had been on the island of Tresco since the 16th Century, but after they moved to Exeter, she always wanted to return to the islands. She joined the Land Army, who let her return, and she worked at Tresco Abbey Gardens.

    My Father moved to Tresco from Leicester as a herdsman for the estate. He was offered the position of herdsman at Tremelethen Farm in 1951 and we have been there ever since.

    I met my wife, Sarah, in The Mermaid, who moved here when she was 6 with her parents to  take over the Gold Farm, which also grew Scented Narcissi. She helps all winter on the farm with tying and grading Tremelethen Farm flowers.

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    How did you get into farming?

    I went away to boarding school and absolutely hated it! I returned as soon as I could after my 'O' Levels to help my father, and took over the farm from him when he passed away in 1951. My son, Rob, went away to Seale Hane Agricultural College, and has been helping Sarah and I on the farm for ten years now.

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    What else have you farmed on Tremelethen?

    My father loved milking cattle, and that along with potatoes was our main interest originally, growing Scented Narcissi and Daffs alongside these. Then, once plastic coverings became more widely used on the Mainland, there was less demand on the Islands for potatoes, so we concentrated all our efforts into farming Scented Narcissi.

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    Tell us about your farm:

    Tremelethen Farm is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, and is 50 Acres in total, which is made up of lots of small fields- each field that makes up the farm is about 1/3 of an Acre. As well as Scented Narcissi, our neighbour's cattle also graze on some of our land.

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    What's One of Your Favourite Scented Narcissi Farming Memories?  

    When I was 8 years old, picking in the fields, Bernard Chudleigh asked me to get his flask. I ran back with it, and finding the gate shut, threw it over the top....the entire thing smashed!

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     What's Your Favourite Thing About Farming Narcissi?

    It has to be going out and picking that very first flower, and smelling it, and thinking "ahhhh"!

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    What's Your Favourite Variety of Scented Narcissi?

    Both mine and Sarah's favourite variety is Sols as it's the old standard, and the traditional Island flower.  It's better in so many ways: ease of picking, ease of tying, plus a lovely scent and colour. I also love Scilly Pride for it's deep red center.

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    Tell us something about you that we don't know:

    I am the starter for the World Championship Gig Races that are held on Scilly every year, and am a bass player in The Steamband which had BBC coverage to an audience of over 30 bIllion people on Millenium night. I've also attended 3 royal weddings.

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    What's Your Favourite spot on the Isles of Scilly? 

    The view from Golf Farm on St. Mary's.

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    What's Your Favourite Farming Memory With Your Son, Rob Hale? 

    When he was a little boy, Rob used to love coming along in the tractor with me, but he would always fall asleep as soon as we started going, with his head nodding around all over the place as we went across the fields.

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    Any Tips For a Healthy "Father-Son" Working Relationship?

    A Father and Son working together doesn't mean we always agree on the same things, but we have a safety valve if things ever get heated! There was another farming father and son who once got in so irate with each other,  a hammer was thrown, so whenever things get a little heated, one of us will mention the hammer to lighten the mood!

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    Look our for our next "Featured Farmer" interview with Keith's son, Rob Hale in the coming weeks!

  • New Year, New Varieties

    It's been a great start to the New Year at Scented Narcissi, and we've had some lovely feedback on all of our Christmas Bouquets that were delivered in the last few weeks. Below are all the varieties we are currently cropping, keep checking back, as we have another ten varieties to come in the next few months!

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    IOSThis variety is famous for it's large florets and vivid colours, and looks beautiful on it's own or within our Seasonal Selection. It's scent has a jasmine heart with ylang ylang, and is described by our experts as being "crisp with the refreshing sensation of a brisk sea breeze".

    Hugh Town captures the freshness of a Spring day on the Isles of Scilly and reflects our warm and exotic location, in our mild winters.

    Grand Primo

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    A popular choice of Scented Narcissi, this is the first variety of Whites we have had, after Paper Whites to crop this Season- as featured in some of our Christmas Bouquets. With a citrus twist to the creamy richness of this variety, it offers a refreshing fragrance in January.

    Grand Primo is an indulgent and decadent variety, that spoils your senses with a rich and luxurious aroma. It has been described as having the effect of "instant relaxation".

    Other Varieties Available:

    Soleil D'Ors

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    Paper Whites

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    If you have any questions about certain varieties, or would like to tell us what your favourite variety is, let us know below!

     

     

  • Featured Farmer: Mr.Brown, Sunnyside Farm

    With all of our Isles of Scilly flower famers here on the islands, we thought you might like to get to know a little bit more about who is growing your flowers, so here is the first in our series of Featured Famers.....

     

    Introducing Mr.Brown of Sunnyside Farm:

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    How did you come to be on the Isles of Scilly? 

    My Great Grandfather was the first in our family to bring us to the islands in 1890. He went to Canada with 2p in his pocket and came back with 1p, so came to Scilly looking to increase his fortunes and find work!

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    How did you first get into farming?

    When my Great Grandfather first came here, he worked on Tresco esate for Mr. Dorrien- Smith. Later himself and his son (my grandfather) took on a farm on St. Mary's. My Father followed in their footsteps and, as the eldest son, when he passed away, I took over the farm from him.

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    Have you always just farmed Narcissi? 

    During the war, all of the farmers on the Isles of Scilly had to give 1/3 of their farms to growing vegetables such as broccoli and potatoes, much to the dislike of Mainland farmers who had to give up 1/2 of their land. We have also diversified into cattle for beef and dairy, chickens, pigs and all sorts at certain times!

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    What's your favourite farming memory?

    Christmas on the farm was always an exciting time. I used to go down to the farm with my 6 brothers and sisters and help Dad to tie flowers and make up boxes.

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    What's your favourite Scented Narcissi variety and why?

    Golden Dawn because of it's exquisite scent, but I also like Soleil D'ors for their long vase life, delicate scent, and they are my favourite variety to pick!

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    What's the funniest Scented Narcissi farming story you have for us?

    Years ago, we were picking flowers, and one of the pickers took their false teeth out at lunch to eat their sandwich. He put them on a hedge next to him, and a seagull picked them up and flew off with them!

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    What do you do when you're not out in the flower fields? 

    I am a keen racquet player, and love to play table tennis, squash, badminton and tennis.

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    We hope you enjoyed reading all about Mr. Brown from Sunnyside Farm- if you have any more questions for him, just write under this post and we will get you some answers!

    Remember to look out for who farmed your flowers on your bouquet's Farmer tag

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  • Paper White Scented Narcissi For Christmas

    The Paper White variety of Scented Narcissi is in high demand at Christmas, and here are our top 5 reasons why:

    1. Classic White Flowers for Christmas

    This variety of Scented Narcissi is the purest white variety of Narcissi out of all of our sixteen varieties in a Season- perfect for Christmas colour schemes, centre pieces, or Christmas Presents.

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    2. Iconic Fragrance

    This is the Scent Descriptor our experts produced to capture the powerful scent of these Isles of Scilly flowers:

    "a warm balsamic vanilla-ry base supports the creamy, almond-like soul of this bloom, crowned with a soft, jasmine-like glow"

    It's no wonder the scent of narcissi can be found in perfumes by  Chanel, Estee Lauder, and Vera Wang to name a few.

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    3. The Perfect Gift

    Iconic in a simple bouquet, the addition to this wonderful offering of Christmas ribbon, tissue and handwritten card in our courier delivered Bespoke Blue Boxes makes an unforgettable gift.

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    4. Dreaming of a White Christmas?

    For many of our customers, this is their traditional family Christmas flower, evoking memories of time gone by. Christmas just isn't Christmas without the heady fragrance of Paper Whites around the household.

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    5. Delicate and Dainty

    The shape of these blooms is truly beautiful. With numerous dainty flowers on each stem, the soft pointed petals on these gorgeous narcissi make them instantly recognisable.

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    Pursuaded? Click Here to reserve your Paper Whites For Christmas 

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