Late Summer

A seasonal journal entry reflecting on a difficult growing season so far.

Hello, and welcome to those of you who are new around here. It’s been around 5 month since I’ve written a blog post, and this journal entry will be a little different to previous ones I’ve written. More of a reflection on the growing season so far, and some updates on changes to how we will be running our little flower growing business for the rest of this season.

Early April was the last time I wrote in the space for a few reasons. I’ve been so busy during the season, growing and selling our flowers. We upgraded from our “Flowers at the Gate” stand and finally got a regular weekly market pitch, as well as our flowers stocked in a lovely local zero waste store, called Blueberry Den on Winchester Street in Salisbury.

I was delighted to be included as one of the small businesses to promote the rebranding of Salisbury city, focussing on the Street Sellers Market. I’ve written a feature article on growing a cutting garden for Wiltshire Life Magazine and been quoted in two Love Salisbury Radio news articles on sustainability within local businesses, and chatting local markets.

We have received some wonderful orders for girt arrangements, and continued our monthly seasonal flower subscription. We’ve cut and arranged wedding, flowers and made a lot of jam jars and market bouquets. We’ve worked hard at the allotment, finished planting out all the flowers and maintained the growing space. I’ve begun drying flowers, harvesting our seed crops and sowing seeds for next season. There has been so much to do, along with continuing my full time job, I could say that is why I haven’t written a blog post in so long.

Really the truth is, I stopped writing in April because I was unwell. My anxiety peaked to it’s highest point in the past few years. The debilitating panic attacks returned, and I went back to therapy. I was diagnosed with PTSD from a horrific bushfire I was in during 2009. I know so many of my mates from home were affected by the traumatic events on that day, and I never really acknowledged my own trauma until just recently. It’s been tough.

I haven’t felt ready to write, because on the outside the past few months have looked like a success. I’ve driven (with huge help and support from Dave) The Fox and Dingo in the right direction, slowly growing a small business from the ground up. But it was heavy, and hard to juggle everything. I’ve felt like I was carrying the weight of the world. But who was I to complain, to shout about how I was struggling. I’ve got to do what I truly love. This year last has been so difficult for us all. I really can’t imagine many people across the world are feeling like their mental health is balanced at the moment. Our isolation, this virus, world events, our reactions and readiness to move on at such different rates. I can see it taking it’s toll on us all. That is exactly why I wanted to write today, to share my struggles with you all, so you know you are not alone in yours.

This Tuesday morning, as I got up again at 5:00am to prepare for another market day, Dave came out to the shed to find me crying into my arrangements. I was exhausted, tired and fed up with the juggling act of doing it all. And so we decided not to attend the market this week, and we will be making some changes to how we run the business for the rest of this season. It is important to me that you all know why. I’m essentially putting my hand up to say, something has to give and looking after my mental health must be at the top of my list.

Looking Forward

For the remainder of this growing season, we will not be attending the Charter Market on Tuesdays, nor selling our fresh flowers in Blueberry Den (I will always be thankful to Celeste for giving us that opportunity) We will attend the final Street Sellers Market on the 10th of October and I have one final month of our flower subscription to look forward to.

I will continue to take orders for gift bouquets and arrangements (with 48 hours notice) through our website. I love making these bespoke arrangements and they really do give me a lot of joy. They are arrangements I take my time with, slowly are carefully choosing flowers to cut and arrange with the recipient in mind. As for the rest of the flowers, I plan to go back to where it all began, creating designing and photographing arrangements. Working on developing my style and technique. (I am also likely to pop up flowers and arrangements for sale I have created, for sale through our Instagram stories)

I want to be creative and take some time to marvel in the flowers I’ve grown from seed, rather than churning out market bouquets week after week. I need to slow down and go on long walks, be re inspired by nature, cook nourishing food and turn up to my day job with energy, rather than exhaustion.

I want to collect seeds, dry flowers to create with over the winter months, and plan for next years season. The past few weeks I’ve found my self looking forward to the first frost, the end of the season so I could rest. But the truth is I don’t ever want to loose the reason I started growing in the first place. The joy and calm I get from growing flowers simply can not turn into something that I want to rush through because I’m exhausted.

I will spend the rest of the season stepping back and looking after myself. I have always wanted the Fox and Dingo to slowly grow and evolve, to create a business that I love every minute of. I am in no rush to work every minute of the day to reach ultimate success, because ultimate success for me is being happy, well rested and spending time doing what I love. I hope you have the chance to do the same.

Sending lots of love to you all, Lauren x

Thanks so much for joining us and reading our monthly seasonal journal. I’d love you to join in the conversation in the comments field below. How you are feeling this month, and what is bringing you joy?

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