Saturday, 8 August 2020

A Rainbow of Colour

For the last few years the 'buzzword' within the farming community has been diversification. Farmers today are busily turning their hands to a large variety of different ventures, including specialty cheese making, delicious tasty yogurts and ice cream. Some use their potato crops to make luxury high-end crisps. Many farmers are now making high-end gins in a variety of different flavours from herbs, berries and plants that grow on their land. 
The farm that we visited has turned diversification into a very successful business, having made over several acres of land into colourful flower fields and then using the petals to make confetti following a drying process.
Not only that, but it has now also become a very popular tourist destination.
 The dried Delphinium petals are now very fashionable with brides from all around the world. They are eco friendly, a sustainable product and importantly, biodegradable. 
However, using natural flower petals is a revival - the Victorian's always used flower petals to throw over a bride and groom on their wedding day.
Flowers symbolise love, so starting married life under a shower of confetti petals is considered to be lucky. 
The tradition of throwing confetti dates back to pagan times when it was thought to keep away evil spirits and bestow fertility upon the marriage. It endures as one of those traditions that are only experienced on a wedding day.
The fields are normally open for 10 days at the beginning of June, but due to lockdown, visiting wasn't permitted. However, knowing how disappointed people would be, the enterprising farmer sowed another crop of seeds hoping that the situation might change.
Sunflowers are a flower that the farmer normally does not grow - their petals are not used for the confetti. However, they are a wonderful resource for all of the bees and insects, and may be their seeds will be filling our garden bird feeders during the coming winter months.

51 comments:

  1. Fabulous pictures, uplifting, thanks

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  2. Dearest Rosemary,
    What a lovely way of farming!
    At least it is feasible for the smaller farms, compared to the huge fields we see here in the USA with several hundreds of acres.
    It did bring back memories for me about my hometown area where they have acres of roses in bloom. It makes for lovely photos.
    Sure are petals linked to happiness and fertility for married couples. Something nice blossoms up from a seed planted and it yields the end result.
    Wonderful photos!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette,
      The farm is part of a large manor house which once belonged to Catherine Parr who became the last wife of King Henry VIII. Although not on the scale of farms in the USA it is a large farm by British standards, and still continues farming traditionally with cattle, sheep, pigs, and growing cereals etc.

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  3. Dear Rosemary,
    This is fabulous. What enterprising farmers. I'm not surprised that delphinium florets are being favored. They are long lasting even when separated from their stalks. Those green centered sunflowers have always been my favorites. Flowers always make me happy and your photos are very special.

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    1. We are like to peas in a pod Gina - flowers also make me happy too.

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  4. Such a lovely post. So reassuring that farmers are diversifying in these tricky time. Also helps to make beautiful photos. Win, win.. have a lovely weekend. B x

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    1. We enjoyed our trip walking amongst the flowers, but it was very, very hot, and we felt incredibly hot and tired on our return back home.

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  5. ahhh a tourist destination *sighs happily*. I remember what that used to be, before the covid 19 lockdowns. The sunflowers are the most stunning, but I would be growing lavender, if it were possible.

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    1. If lavender is your preferred growing choice then you might be happy to see the Lavender Farm that we visited last year. It is actually not very far away from the Confetti Fields.
      https://wherefivevalleysmeet.blogspot.com/2019/07/lavenders-blue-dilly-dilly-lavenders.html

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    2. Those fields of lavender look wonderful. And I bet they smell fantastic as well.

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    3. I must admit that the lavender fields are my preferred choice, both for their perfume and their lovely blend of colours.

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  6. Wonderful flowers, and I never thought of where flower petals came from for weddings! Beautiful fields.

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  7. How wonderful! I could wander through fragrant flower meadows all day. Take care and enjoy. Best, Jane x

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    1. Two hours was long enough in yesterday's heat - we were very tired by the time we arrived back home.

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  8. Hello Rosemary, Stunning to look at, but I would be afraid of a bad reaction to all that perfume, so I will settle for looking at your photographs!
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I would not like you to suffer from a bad reaction, so do settle for just looking.

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  9. Flower petals as biodegradable confetti -- brilliant!

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    1. It is a wonder that more people do not do the same. Most confetti purchased in the shops appears to be made of tissue paper which makes an awful mess if it rains.

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  10. How beautiful are those flowers on mass.
    What a lovely thoughtful farmer to grow a second crop.
    Interesting read Rosemary - take care.

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed seeing the flowers Margaret.

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  11. So so pretty. Love the shot with the little girl in the field.

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    1. I couldn't resist betting a shot of her - her sundress had the same colours as the flowers.

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  12. The sunflowers always bring a big smile to my face - beautiful pictures, thank you, Rosemary!

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    1. Happy to have brought a smile to your face Britta, and thank you too.

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  13. All so very beautiful Rosemary - how come I can't even get a few to grow while they have fields of them!!!! Not a single sunflower made it to a bloom for me this year - squirrels and deer feasted on them all!
    Thank you for making my humid evening - which is boring, dull and full of mosquitoes if I step outside - now full of stunning fields of gorgeous colors.
    I'm going to pour another glass of wine and just keep looking at the screen.
    Just breathtaking!

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    1. Dear Mary - I could say the same thing about my Morning Glories - however, yesterday I finally noticed that they have some flower buds. I planted them too late, and also some insects or other creatures kept eating their leaves.
      That is disappointing about your sunflowers, you usually are really successful with them.
      Take care, it is humid here too, but luckily no mosquitos.

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  14. I used to work on a pig farm - somehow confetti farming seems a more fragrant way to make a pound or two. I came across fields of peonies and fields of poppies earlier in the year and there were so many people stopping to take photos that I couldn't help feeling that the farmers were missing an opportunity to cash in, even if only with a donations box. I know I would have gladly contributed.

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    1. I do remember your lovely peony fields - I think that this farmer has diversified very successfully - he must be making a lot of money, and not just from his product, but also from all of the visitors.

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  15. How wonderful. Flowers always bring a smile to my face. Love both the Delphiniums and the wonderful Sunflowers. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing them Susan.

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  16. Brilliant range of fields you never see up here. I'm not surprised it attracts tourists. I stumbled across one thin strip of sunflowers years ago, maybe ten deep, but it made my day. Instant feel good factor, like the sun coming out.

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    1. Glad this reminded you of the sunflowers that you stumbled across so long ago.

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  17. I am not sure which rock I have been hiding under, Rosemary, but I had no idea that confetti originated in flowers, although it makes perfect sense. How lovely that all seems, and it is non polluting, natural and biodegradable. Makes me wish I was going to a wedding and I could toss confetti without guilt!

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    1. Apparently the farmer paused outside his local village churchyard on his way home, and saw all of the debris from a wedding earlier in the day. Strewn around the lych-gate were tiny wet pieces of coloured paper which had turned the church entrance into an eyesore. When he returned home, he noticed vase of flowers on the table that was shedding its petals, it was then that he had eureka moment.

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  18. I have noticed flower petal confetti here recently. So much better than the paper - or worse - silvered paper stuff.

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  19. What a great idea, and what divine flowers. Just up the road from here a crop field is close to the main road and every year they use a strip of the land that abuts the road to grow and sell sunflowers and a mix of cornflowers, phlox, delphiniums and others. I'm always amazed at how quickly they grow, one minute it's just a strip of land and the next it's adorned with beautiful flowers.

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    1. They were selling the sunflowers at £3 per flower which I thought was rather steep, but other visitors were buying huge bunches of them, so perhaps it was just me.

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  20. How beautiful it is, Rosemary. I love to see petals thrown at weddings, and one of our children had lots of beautiful rose petals at an outdoor venue. What an enterprising farmer, and a very successful one too. The situation here is similar, and artisan farms are popping up around the region. With less travelling likely in the future, we will probably spend more time exploring such places close to home.

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    1. I wonder whether I will ever travel abroad again Patricia - it feels as if the whole process is now too large a gamble to take. It also feels as if the longer you don't travel, the harder it becomes.
      Fortunately we have many places right on our doorstep that we have yet to visit and explore, so that is what we currently intend to do. As long as we can escape the home for a picnic and an outing once a week, then I am happy. Although I love my home, staying there day in and day out is too limiting.

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  21. I love the first photo of the little girl. What a lovely place to visit. Paper confetti was so problematic that many churches banned its use.

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    1. Thanks - I am pleased that you enjoyed the photo of that sweet little girl. I couldn't resist catching her - she was wearing the same coloured sundress as the flowers that she was skipping through.

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  22. Those masses of delphiniums are so pretty. What a great idea to throw dried flower petals in place of paper confetti. This is a beautiful farm to visit, and what a clever farmer to plant sunflowers in hopes that people would be able to visit them.

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    1. I must admit that I think that this farmer has been very shrewd in his choice of diversification. However, all of the visitors appeared to be really loving walking the fields of flowers.

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  23. Gorgeous photos Rosemary...๐ŸŒธ
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Thanks Linda - pleased that you enjoyed๐ŸŒผ

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