After all, both are fabulous cooks, fantastic gardeners and phenomenally successful businesswomen. Both are television personalities and authors of multiple books.
Both women are the face and name of their business and have built successful brands in their respective countries. And both are on the shortlist of people whose brands and business acumen I most admire. I first discovered Sarah Raven books at my local library.
Sarah raven seeds was at very beginning of my flower farming journey and I was looking for any information I could find on germinating difficult flowers, selecting the best varieties for Sarah raven seeds and growing super long-stemmed blooms.
From the first moment I opened her book, I was mesmerized. Her books, website and videos continue to mesmerize me, yet today. Even after a decade of collecting flower books, Grow your Own Cut Flowers is still one of my very favorites. Sarah, thank you so very much for sitting down with me today.
It is a tremendous honor to conduct this interview with you, as I admire you and your business so much. For years, I have looked to the Sarah Raven brand as sort of the gold standard and to this day
Sarah raven seeds is a bright and shining star that my little flower company looks up to for guidance and inspiration. I want one or seven of everything in it!
Could you talk a little bit about the evolution of your business—from it started to where it is now. And then maybe a bit—if you are willing—about your vision for the future.
I started the business twenty years ago. It began with the book I wrote then, The Cutting Garden, about growing flowers for the house.
BUT my father was a botanist and plant collector and grew many precious and rare plants. The trouble with me — with my random snipping — is I could "Sarah raven seeds" tell the difference between something very precious that he was growing to collect the seed, and something he would not mind two hoots if I picked.
I sometimes made mistakes! AND the key thing was, you were not stealing the view. I could pick and that would make the view even better, stopping the plant running to seed.
I was live, not dead-heading and perpetuating the harvest. I started teaching a few keen gardeners in our farmhouse in East Sussex. They then wanted me to supply them interesting seeds that, was then, tricky to get. You conduct extensive plant trials in your gardens at Perch Hill prior to offering them Sarah raven seeds your site.
Can you tell me more about your process of trialling new varieties? What are a few recent discoveries that have really excited you? There is a bit of a scientist in me — as there is with my head gardener here at Perch Hill, Josie Lewis. Echinaceas such as Green Envy, Harvest Moon, Hot Samba and many others have reigned supreme this year, lasting for five months in the garden and three weeks in the vase.
I also travel, particularly in Holland at least twice a year, on the hunt for great and interesting new colours and plants. Sarah raven seeds then bringing plants back here to try in our own climate to really check out how they do.
Having recently turned in my manuscript for my book, I have a newfound appreciation for the amount of time and effort and research that goes into writing, producing, and really envisioning a book from start Sarah raven seeds finish. I "Sarah raven seeds" you have a new cook book that just came out—congratulations! Tell me more about it. I selected top healthy and tasty ingredients and created recipes based on those. There are some truly new recipes and some Sarah raven seeds are just healthier adaptions of well-known classics.
Do you see any additional flower gardening books in your future? I am just starting to work on a new book The Colour Gardenwhich will include not only the close-to-my heart stained glass window palette of blues, purples, carmines and oranges, but some softer, more romantic smoky colours in it too. In my view, these two different palettes need to be kept strictly apart. I think anything white, or with a good dollop of white mixed in, does not work with rich, dark velvet colours.
They just compete, rather than enrich and back each other up, the whites or near whites jumping forward in a visually aggressive way. But both palettes are supremely beautiful in the garden if you get the right mix. One of the biggest lessons for me was working with a photographer who shared my vision, understood my style, and allowed me the space to set up the types of shots I wanted oh, and who also understood and appreciated my quirks!
I have noted Sarah raven seeds photographer Jonathan Buckley has worked with you on most of your books. We have a two or three day shoot every three weeks or so, from the end of March till the end of October, every year and he often comes with me on my trips abroad, so we can shoot all the new things when I first find them.
He does all the photography for my business, as well as all my books including Wild Flowers and Sarah raven seeds food books too. Earlier this year, I posted a list of best books for beginning farmer-florists, which of "Sarah raven seeds" included your book, Grow Your Own Cut Flowers. Are there any titles—gardening, business, or
Sarah raven seeds really make your heart sing? It taught me in detail what I wanted to know about germination and growing on to make healthy, vigorous seedlings and so productive plants.
I have enjoyed following the success of fellow farmer-florists in the U. I have to imagine that increased public awareness from your television shows and books, plus campaigns like British Flowers Week are helping to raise the public profile of local, seasonal flowers and the hardworking folks that grow them. Do you believe the popularity of seasonal flowers to be short-term trend for a niche market or a part of a larger and long-term cultural shift—or maybe something somewhere in between?
There does now seem to be a huge eruption of creative, stylish flower farmer florists in the UK at the moment, I love Juliet Glaves, Melissa Richardson at Jamjar Flowers and Swallows and Damsons to name a few and more and more modern thinking people who want their flowers possibly grown and definitely arranged by them for their big life events, like weddings.
Wallflowers, tulips, honesty and Stipa gigantea in the cutting garden at Perch Hill in spring. Woven twig obelisks ready to support summer climbers. With all the "Sarah raven seeds" related to your books, t. Do you have any particular favorite tasks or projects? I work hard and my days are long, and no day is the same as the last. I do too much, but I really
Sarah raven seeds every bit of what I do.
I love being an entrepreneur and having ideas of where to push the business, both in terms of the garden and cookery school and mail order.
I love my business partner of 15 years, Lou Farman, and the time we have together solving problems and having new ideas. I love creating and styling new collections and photographing them with Jonathan in a way I think they look best.
I love thinking through and developing the garden and the trials and walking round the garden with Josie and working out what we think has done well and what less so. And I love writing and putting together books, diving in to one area and really learning about it and then passing that knowledge on. I love this interview! Both Sarah and Erin have provided invaluable sources of knowledge to me on Sarah raven seeds own flower growing journey. Thank you both x.
Congratulations on interviewing Sarah Raven, Erin! What a great interview! Soon, your book will sit beside her books Sarah raven seeds my gardening shelf! I also wish I could order from her online catalog. She has these beautiful tiny vases that all different colors of the rainbow.
She does have some wonderful color combination of dahlias that look well together. Thank you for this.