We are just about to enter the first proper winter trading in our shop in Highgate and our fresh cut flowers season is coming to an end. The last harvest will be this week.
What was I thinking, a flower shop with no flowers…?
Truthfully, with no fresh flowers on the farm none of us really know how it will pan out. We have no role model, there are no other florists in the UK who only use their own material in the winter, no one does this.
But we are a creative bunch at Electric Daisy Flower Farm and nothing will stop us from having a go. We have been preparing all year for these lean times. We have dried and stored so many of our bright summer flowers that we think we will have enough to see us through the winter. We also go big on evergreen, we have a reputation for our funky flower crowns and enormous wreaths and so instead of turning to imported flowers to bridge the gap we press on using all the precious material that nature gives us. Now is not the time to hold back.
We are also a female-led team working away on the farm and in the shop. Watch the amazing film made by my un-son-in-law Nick Ballon to see the blood sweat and tears that go into growing organic flowers.
We know first-hand just how tough this pandemic has been for women. It has highlighted the demands on mothers and thrown a spotlight on our society’s undervaluing of motherhood. The institutional inequality of family life in our culture has never been felt more sharply.
And so, this year, this Christmas, after all the lockdowns and hardship that we have endured, let’s redress the balance, and give motherhood the status it deserves.
Drawing inspiration from our pagan ancestors and Scandinavian relatives we have adopted St Lucia as our winter muse. According to legend she took food to Christian refugees hiding in caves outside Rome. She wore candles on her head so that she could see where she was going whilst carrying plates of food at the same time. The rest of the story is pretty gruesome, but I have visited her desiccated body lying in a glass coffin in a church in Venice because 13th December is my birthday as well as St Lucia saint’s day.
And its’ my sixtieth this year, I know, I know I don’t look a day older than…
But facing facts, I have more years behind me now than I have in front of me and that focuses the mind somewhat. Legacy has become a word in my vocabulary, what will I leave behind when I’m gone? I’ve fulfilled my biological functions and reproduced so all things being equal tiny parts of me will be scattered into the future like dandelion seeds on the wind. My children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will carry me forward.
But what will I have added to the numinous of now? Maybe I’m being vain but thinking about purpose is helping me come to terms with my fast approaching sell by date.
I want to be a force for good, to help things change and be part of a cultural shift that will make a difference. That’s why I’ve invested my time, energy and resources into setting up and organic flower farm run by women. Electric Daisy Flower Farm is a sort of model for the way forward, an example of how horticulture could be beneficial to nature and the planet. Although it’s costing me all my energy, I know that it’s a thing with legs and it will be my legacy.
And if that all sounds a bit serious, I promise you we have fun along the way. We have built a beautiful thing and now it’s time to share with others.
We have devised a new way to celebrate winter with our evergreens, created a mash-up of all the traditional gatherings to arrive at – Mother Christmas.
We want to reclaim Christmas, slightly tongue in cheek but all traditions begin somewhere, so why not invent a Christmas one appropriate to our times? Let’s give mothers the credit they’re owed. This year, let’s teach our children that ‘Mother Christmas’ does exist.
Join us if you are able at Electric Daisy Flower Farm shop 3 Swain’s Lane Highgate N6 6AG
Monday 13th December @6pm for the first ever Mother Christmas Parade
Come dressed all in white and you will be given an evergreen crown full of candles.
Bring your grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, partners. Let’s do this!
There will be drinks and nibbles and late-night shopping on Swain’s lane.