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While I had been designing garden and garden borders for clients in Surrey, I’d been asked on lots of occasions to add in, or create a whole area for cutting plants.

I’d loved the research for these gardens, and having sourced and planted them, I also got to see how the annuals and perennials bloomed in my client gardens BUT I didn’t get to pick them – that was my customers’ prerogative.

Back in 2012, I became more and more interested in growing cut flowers and that summer my allotment and garden got taken over by summer annuals. I researched growers all over the world, but could find nobody near me in Surrey who was doing what I wanted to do – growing lots of flowers for sale in bunches, bouquets and buckets.

Having made up a budget with many guesstimates (that could have been accurate, but turned out to just be fantasy) I started my search for land. I looked on google earth for patches that I thought might not be used, I phoned local land agents and councils to get an idea of local prices and I asked all the customers that I had designed gardens for if they knew anyone local with land to spare. One of my garden design customers happened to mention that they’d bought a field joining their land, and they were looking for a use for it.

Claire at Plantpassion making up a flower arrangers bucket with mid April flowers - Photo Kerry J Photo

Spring flower arrangers bucket being made up

Sweet peas being planted to grow up Heras Fencing at Plantpassion in Surrey. Photo by Kerry J photo

Planting out some of the 1000s of annuals each year

Hosting workshops in the barn at plantpassion where guests get to cut and arranger flowers. Photo by Kerry J photo

Hosting cut and arrange workshops at Plantpassion

May wedding bouquet with seasonal favourites like Dicentra and Anemones for DIY weddings

DIY Wedding bouquets - made by Claire at Plantpassion, collected by the Bride's family along with buckets of flowers for the venue

Claire holding a large bundle of mixed colour pink and blue cornflowers. Photo by Kerry J photo

Claire smiling with a large bunch of cornflowers that are loved by Surrey customers

Claire at Plantpassion making up October bouquets in the barn. Photo by Kerry J photo

Claire making up October seasonal bouquets in the barn

I started the flower farm in 2012. It was just an unused pasture with wide reaching views from the Surrey Hills over Northern Surrey and Berkshire. The views mean that it’s open to the elements and the wind, but over the last nine years, I’ve created windbreak hedges, and planted a mixture of shrubs, perennials, bulbs and annuals to produce large amounts of flowers during the spring, summer and autumn, and enough for funerals and foliage bouquets in winter.