Hello, my name is Susan and I am a florist and gardener based at Bradley near Skipton. In 2014 I combined my passions for floristry and gardening to start The Yorkshire Dales Flower Company and make floral arrangements from seasonal home grown cut flowers and foliage.
I have been gardening most of my life and spent many years developing our garden here at 1 Lane Top. It is set amongst glorious countryside and has mature native trees, hedges and is full of flowers, shrubs and herbs. In recent years I have changed the layout of the cottage garden to the front of the house and have also made a cutting garden. I believe gardens are always evolving and are a ‘work in progress’. We are currently building a Victorian style greenhouse and have plans to build a summerhouse, which will be positioned to take in the lovely views. For the future, I would like to incorporate water in the garden for wildlife. Visitors are welcome to visit the garden each year, either on charity open garden days or by arrangement. In 2018 I was delighted to welcome Alan Titchmarsh and film crew from ITV’s Love Your Garden programme. The garden was filmed as inspiration for a garden they were creating in the local area.
I have always loved “decking the house out” at Christmas with winter greenery and arranging flowers from the garden, but decided I needed to know much more about floristry before embarking on a floristry career. So, I trained as a florist and now enjoy teaching floristry at workshops held here (see Website Workshops page). In 2018, with my friend, Ying Slade, I was very proud to be awarded a Silver Medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the Floral Design Section.
Another aspect of flowers and gardens that I find fascinating is the language of flowers. For example, in the Victorian language of flowers, Rosemary signified remembrance whilst Mint, virtue and daisies, beauty and innocense. Gardens and flowers have also featured in literature over thousands of years. Here is a favourite quotation from A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight.” (II.1.180)