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Garden Visit | Floriston Hall Flower Farm and Tinkers Green Farm

Creative, sustainable flower arranging with Lucy Vail

This morning we will be the guests of mother and daughter Amanda and Lucy Vail at Floriston Flower Farm on the Suffolk/Essex borders. Acclaimed floral designer Lucy specialises in seasonal, sustainable installations for weddings and special events using predominantly British flowers grown at the family home by Amanda. Last year Lucy adorned the riverside Bullring Gate at RHS Chelsea Flower Show with more than 3,500 blooms and this year she is creating an installation for the Royal Hospital Road Gate. After coffee, Amanda will conduct us on a tour of the one-acre flower farm she started in lockdown in 2020 to supply Lucy as well as the Flower Market at New Covent Garden, explaining how she works and showing us her field and polytunnels. Then we will enjoy an exclusive demonstration by Lucy of her creative work with flowers. There will also be time to see the rest of the gardens at Floriston Hall, where the roses should be at their peak.

After lunch at Floriston Hall we will travel the short distance to Tinkers Green Farm, home of Peter and Denny Swete, which has been featured in Country Living magazine. We are fortunate to have garden designer Denny as one of our Garden Visit organisers for the museum and she has kindly agreed to open her own garden for us this afternoon. There is a mix of exuberance and formality in the borders at Tinkers Green, as well as a verdant decorative potager. Behind their 16th century cottage, Denny has created two long herbaceous borders that ripple with strong colour either side of a rectangular lawn. In the field beyond Peter has planted a collection of trees, including some grown from seed. Denny is passionate about encouraging wildlife to her plot so uses no sprays to control pests. A shady and restful courtyard garden, planted with cool greens and creams, provides a link between the house and the potager. Denny will show us round and explain how the garden has developed and we will finish our day with afternoon tea in the garden.

This event has been organised by the Garden Museum’s Garden Visits committee. We recommend you read our Garden Visits Attendee Charter and Refund/exchange policy before booking your place on any of our Garden Visits.

Image: © Mark Crick [Lucy & Amanda] and Marianne Majerus [Tinkers Green Farm]