Behind the Scenes: Petal Harvest 2020
What a year!
Hi everyone, Emma here! My job here at Shropshire Petals is managing the production of all the lovely biodegradable petals and dried flowers that we grow. This means I try to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible getting our flowers from our Shropshire fields to the Petal Shed - and all the fun behind the scenes stuff that goes before it. I'd like to take the credit for it all but it's definitely thanks to the efforts of the whole SP team! One of the joys of working for Shropshire Petals is that everyone gets to be involved in the whole process; you can see me below helping out with the harvest of our Burgundy Berry cornflowers as Ashley sneakily snaps away with her camera!
Spring Planning - Let's start again!
When lockdown started in March, it really did flip so many plans on their head! We like to be organised here at SP, so the majority of our harvest plans were almost finalised prior to Spring. With so many weddings and other events sadly affected by Coronavirus we realised our harvest was now working towards different targets, so it was time to start again! We always try to plan to ensure that we pick the correct amount of each colour and crop, to ensure as little waste as possible but also plenty of stock for our lovely customers for the next year.
How the harvest get's started
Our petal harvest kicks off in full swing at the end of June. We have an amazing team of seasonal staff who come to work for us every year, thankfully working outside makes social distancing very easy! We were able to follow all government guidelines without affecting the harvest and most importantly keeping everyone in the team safe.
Our staple confetti crop is the classic delphinium, which provides us with the majority of our confetti- perfect for falling slowly to the ground to capture the best confetti moments. Delphiniums hold their colour perfectly during drying, so our brightest colours such as Raspberry Fool stay just as vibrant as they are in the field. I also personally love the more muted colours of Lady Grey & Frosted Blue, they're just so lovely to see growing together. How pretty does Frosted Blue look in the field picture below?!
We also grow calendula and cornflowers which add the wildflower element to our mixes - these include Burgundy Berry, Blue Bird and Ginger Snap to name a few. These are unique colours that enable us to provide a wider array of natural colour options for our Brides & Grooms - As you can see insects in particular really love our wildflowers!
A typical day for our biodegradable petal confetti harvest
The working day starts bright and early at 6am, our expert field supervisor ensures his team get off to a great start picking the beautiful petals at the perfect stage for picking- did you know they're all picked by hand, stem by stem?
Rain or shine our fabulous team will be out in their teams picking crates of our Biodegradable confetti petals. On a lovely sunny day (I've heard they do exist in the UK occasionally!) they'll be kept company by lots of bees, butterflies and other wildlife. The teams always make sure they carefully work around any they come across, not disturbing their habitat.
Crates and crates filled with our Shropshire grown flowers, they're then loaded onto trailers and quality checked to make sure only the best petals leave the field. High quality petals are a huge priority for us here at Shropshire Petals, we only want our couples to receive the best for their special day. To ensure the highest quality we make sure our crates are checked for consistency by the supervisor before they make their way to the farm for drying.
Back at the farm
The petals are naturally dried and removed from their stems, creating the biodegradable confetti you can find on our website today! We check all the petals for quality at the end of the process for a second time, to make sure everything is still as perfect as in the fields. Some of our delphiniums are also kept as bunches to see as part of our dried flower range, like the lovely Candy Floss bunches below! We also love to try lots of new petal trials each year to explore new natural colours, a lot of the petals and bunches you can find on our website started as small field trials.
Now the harvest is all done for 2020 we're already planning for 2021. We have all our fingers crossed that 2021 will bring weddings back to normality, meaning an even bigger and better harvest and most importantly lots of happy, petal confetti covered newlyweds!
Love Emma & the SP team x