EDMONDS AND HOWARD – HOW IT ALL BEGAN
It was probably no surprise that Jane Edmonds would eventually come round to having her own flower farm, growing beautiful flowers, in a natural way and using these to create sumptuous bouquets and posies in her own, trademark style, as she has been a passionate gardener for 26 years.
Jane discovered gardening in her early 20s when she bought her first cottage near Farnham, Surrey with her partner, Peter Howard when she still worked in the television industry as a wardrobe assistant with a love for costume, fashion and textiles.
She soon became quite obsessive about all things horticultural and spent every spare moment reading hundreds of gardening books and making her first garden, which became packed full with plants from all the surrounding specialist nurseries as they were abundant in the area at the time. It wasn’t long before she turned to growing herself and discovered that she did indeed have very green fingers!
When the television company she worked for lost it’s franchise although initially working freelance, Jane had already begun growing and selling plants at local events and specialist plant fairs. This proved very successful and led to her using some land and polytunnels provided by a local grower to increase her stocks.
Eventually, Jane and Peter decided to re-locate to Somerset to be near her parents and to enable Jane to set up her own specialist plant nursery. The nursery was called Plantaholics and was a thriving concern for over 8 years.
In 2002 Hannah was born and Jane was concerned about the continued 7 day a week working that running a plant nursery required and so embarked upon a Garden Design Course with John Brookes.
A whole new world opened and Jane excelled on the course attaining Grade A Distinction and it wasn’t long before she was working on numerous commissions so decided to close the nursery.
After practising garden design for nearly 12 years, Jane became frustrated with the lack of ‘hands on’ work within this discipline and also the time spent preparing documentation for clients and contractors, she wanted to use her growing skills again but do something more creative than just growing plants in containers.
On a whim, she asked her lovely neighbours if she could use one of their large paddocks (which incidentally, had been a cut flower field some 25 years previously) to grow cut flowers.
Jane knew she had many of the other resources in place, a large now established garden with plenty of additional material for use, particularly foliage, abundant hedgerows, 24ft greenhouse, a good sized polytunnel and extra growing area on her old nursery site.
Peter erected secure deer/rabbit proof fencing to the new area and Jane hand dug ¾ of the area, the remainder was mechanically dug, which was incredibly hard work as the soil although a good quality greensand and loam was full of rocks which needed to be removed.
Although the majority of the work is carried out by Jane, help is regularly provided by Peter and occasionally Hannah so the name Edmonds & Howard seemed fitting.
In April 2015 Jane began selling bouquets of her lovely flowers, many of which can be seen on Instagram @JaneFlowerJane. She hopes to continue the story of her flowers on Instagram and the website blog page for 2016.
Edmonds & Howard