My Canalside Cutting Garden

a life journey towards sustainable eco-floristry

WORDS: Kathryn Cronin
PHOTOS: Ricky Bache

Welcome to Fierceblooms the home of wild garden style floral design.

This section of the site is about my endeavours to create a canalside cutting garden in our one and a half acre plot beside the Shropshire Union Canal in rural Cheshire.

After retraining at the local agricultural college and spending time with my floral practice, I have moved to using only British grown and British sourced materials. I made that decision for both practical and environmental reasons.

But why would you want to grow and gather as locally as possible when there are perfectly good wholesalers available I hear you cry? My British flower growing is far from some nationalistic sentiment although I confess there will always be that old fashioned romantic in me. In growing our own flowers, I have the greatest of admiration for the skill and dedication of growers all over our world.

The reality though is that there is now data to show there is an environmental price to be paid when shipping flowers from one side of the earth to the other.

Aesthetically too, things grown and foraged here in my cutting garden seem to have a “sense of place”. That belonging to what is growing around us is something I am coming to value more and more in our global fast-paced world.

So, we have slowly started to create our very own cutting garden. Nestled beside an historic canal in Cheshire, we watch the narrow boats and the seasons drift by. Walking along the canal both inspires and informs my seasonal choices.

We gather freshly cut flowers and foliage from our canalside cutting garden and of course, as with any and all creative practice, the cutting garden has had a profound influence on my wild garden style designs. It has also had a profound influence on the wildlife with butterflies and bees and wild flowers.

The flowers we grow in our canalside cutting garden hold the power to communicate where words cannot. They hold the ability to transform spaces and uplift moods just by their very presence. It is that very British aesthetic, and the energy and life of the Cheshire countryside why I pour my heart and soul into growing flowers to use in my wild garden style designs.

the cutting garden has had a profound influence on my wild garden style designs...... it has also had a profound influence on the wildlife with butterflies and bees and wild flowers.

I choose flowers that will grow well in my clay soil. I learned long ago that there is no point fighting with mother nature. I’m always on the look out for new flowers and varieties. What seed I choose is influenced by but not dominated around the latest fashion and colour trends.

What I realised last year when I was creating my wild garden style floral designs was the most critical factor of all for me is I have to love the flower to design with it, so that is always at the front of my mind when choosing what flowers I am going to grow for my canalside Cheshire flower cutting garden.

In previous years, I chose randomly what I liked and gave not one thought to stem length or a coordinated colour palette. Now, I’m looking to grow entire bouquets and arrangements in my Cheshire canalside flower cutting garden from the seed choices that I make, so I think carefully about colour. I plant seeds that will give me a mixture of different shapes of flowers, so while focal flowers are key, I will also grow a spike, a disc, a filler and something airy that will allow me to give wonderful movement to my wild garden style floral designs.

It is so much easier to create something wild and beautiful when you have these key ingredients.

Featured below are selected articles from the blog on how to grow flowers and foliage for wild garden style floristry as well as foraging throughout the seasons.

More of my flower arranging work can also be viewed on my floral design portfolio. or also on my Instagram feed.

cutting garden articles

more writing about my canalside cutting garden
Late flowering dahlias
October 22, 2017

Fierce Blooms Dilemma – Lifting Dahlias

Cheshire florist and flower grower Fierceblooms ponders that eternal autumnal gardening dilemma of lifting dahlias in her canalside cutting garden and also which ones to keep and let go....

British flowers are key to my wild garden style floral design for both aesthetic and environmental reasons.


About Fierceblooms

more about Me

Iam an artisan florist growing British flowers with a design studio and cutting garden nestled beside a historic canal in rural Cheshire.

If sustainability is important to you, if it matters that your flowers are as lovely to the environment as they are to look at, then I am a kindred spirit.

Get in touch to discuss your wedding or event. You can also be inspired and learn what informs my original designs by attending one of my flower classes . Update - 2020 FTF classes in our local village hall have been cancelled due to Covid, but get in touch with me regarding live on-line 1-2-1s.