Have a seat with...

Georgie Newbery of Common Farm Flowers

The inspiring Flower Florist Georgie Newbery is the founder of Common Farm Flowers in Somerset. She recently grabbed a seat with us to talk about how she switches off, what makes her tick and the nuances of a busy lifestyle. We caught up with her in the Autumn sunshine.

Morning Georgie! Thanks for taking a moment to sit down with us. Tell us about your work and what you do.

We are flower farmers and florists based between Wincanton and Bruton in Somerset.  We supply bouquets by post, and flowers for weddings, and we hold lots of cheery workshops in our studio at the flower farm.

How did you start or get in to it?

Well, nearly ten years ago a neighbour sent me a bunch of flowers in the post and I thought, well, there’s a business!  I was already selling my sweet pea glut from a barrow outside the front of the house and I was looking for a business I could run from home with small children under foot.  I had no idea we would be at the forefront of the British Flowers movement and that ten years on we’d still be here and growing every day.

What’s your process? Tell us about a typical day.

I tend to start quite early in the morning – in the summer sometimes 5am – but I like to cut my flowers fresh from the garden the day they’re sent, so it’s best to get up and get on.  We cut to order, so I set off with my trolley and cut exactly the stem count we need for that days deliveries.  Once the flowers are cut I force myself into the office to do any admin that needs sorting, and then after lunch I make up that day’s floristry.  Once the flowers are collected by courier I have time (an hour or so) to get into the garden before the kids need picking up from the school bus.  We have workshops here about thirty days a year too, and when we’re prepping wedding flowers the day is different again.  I love the way no two days are ever really the same.

I focus on the detail and minutiae of flowers so much, it’s good to go and see a garden which is all about size and big views – such a contrast to what we do here.

5.30pm arrives and it’s home time. How do you switch off?

I tend not to finish till around 7pm when I reach for a big glass of wine and put my feet up.  Luckily Fabrizio, my other half, not only works very hard on all the heavy work on the flower farm, but he also is a fantastic cook, so I just wait for supper to arrive.  In the summer I love the Prom season and spend long evenings in the gloaming listening to live music on the radio before doing it all again in the morning.

Above: One of the regular flower workshops that take place at Common Farm Flowers

Do you have a favourite place you like to go to switch off? Perhaps somewhere by yourself, a bit of quiet sanctuary etc?

I have a little room, painted yellow, with a pink sofa, and a radio.  I love to read and I love classical music.  That’s my sanctuary.

Tell us about a book or film that changed you.

I’m always quoting Out of Africa at people.  ‘This water lives in Mombasa,’ is a phrase I find myself confusing people with when it’s time to let something go.

Favourite garden?

So many lovely gardens worth seeing at so many times of year: round here we have the Oudolf garden at Hauser and Wirth where you can have a delicious coffee at the Roth Bar after a wander around.  And a good walk around Stourhead which is only ten minutes away is always interesting.  I focus on the detail and minutiae of flowers so much, it’s good to go and see a garden which is all about size and big views – such a contrast to what we do here.

Describe your life in 7 words.

Creatively grounded in acres of flowers.

You can find out more about Georgie and Common Farm Flowers by visiting their website https://www.commonfarmflowers.com/

The Sitting Spiritually 'Have a Seat With' series takes a look behind the scenes at how we switch off from the bustling modern-day lifestyle. We speak to people of all sorts of backgrounds and lifestyles around the country as we seek to explore the different ways of relaxing and just taking a moment.

Posted on January 17th 2020


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