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Jane talks her love of Flowers on earth day



Woman with flowers, florist, earth day, women gardeners, women in garden, gardener, florist, home grown flowers,

After many years in the works behind the scenes, planning photographing and interviewing people telling us about their life-stories and passions with following their dreams whatever it might be, finally the time has come to publish my first article for my upcoming ' Close Up' Magazine later in the year.

I took these series of editorial style photographs when we were in the middle of lockdown for personal branding purposes and creating content for portfolio. I remember it was such a lovely and sunny day and had a blast ! Even though the photoshoot took 8 hours and were shattered at the end of the day but ever so happy with the photos we created !

So here ere is Jane Westoby telling us about her passion of flowers, how it all started and finding time multitasking with two jobs, being a mother and finding time for everything else..


Tell us a little bit about yourself and work

I Graduated with a BA in Textile Design and then went on to be a Buyer for High Street retailers, department stores and supermarkets but I always found myself lusting after something more creative again. During my degree I spent so much time working with colour & texture and there was always a bit of a gaping hole in my life which I was trying to fill....... so I set up my flower farm 8 years ago. Initially I just wanted to grow flowers and have a big beautiful garden but as things do, it just snowballed and that first season I found myself at a wedding fair taking wedding bookings.


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 When did your passion for flowers start ?

I first started growing flowers when I was sixteen, my boyfriends mom had such a pretty garden out in the country. The flowers were blousy, frilly and natural. They swayed in the wind and were just so different to the blooms in my own mothers garden. She was Hungarian and her style was just so very different to the English cottage garden I dreamed of. She did however teach me how to sow seeds, how deep to plant them, when to water them - all the basics to set me off on my journey. A journey I didn’t even really know I was on.


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What made you decide to set up your own floral business?

Some days I just dreaded getting up and going to work in my 9-5 job, and that’s when I knew I needed to do something different. I needed something to be proud of and something to look forward to. I decided early on to take it easy and not just quit over night. I wanted to maintain stability, continue to pay my mortgage, and slowly ease myself out of one career and into another without a big hooha. That’s still the case and I still work a day job and juggle the business alongside. No one ever said I need to choose between the two, so I’ll take my cake and eat it while it still works and fits my lifetsyle.


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Where is your floral business based?

We just recently moved last year to Southampton near the coast. It’s been a great move as the flower patches were previously in frost pockets and now we are in a really sheltered location which make a big difference at the beginning and end of the season.


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How do you manage your time from being a mother, wife, having a full time job and running your own floral business ?? Any tips ?

I’m a big one for prioritisation & really focusing on what matters. It’s all in the detail, but sometimes we just get too hung up on the detail - detail that no one else will notice so its good to stand back and think “Is this the best way I can spend my time right now?” I also like to finish jobs off, I have huge lists of things to do and need to ensure that I tick something off before I start the next job.

I surround myself with the right people, those who can inspire me and radiate positivity. I like to keep in touch with old friends and we’ve moved around a lot, so actually that’s the hardest part, when friends are so far away it takes a lot more effort.

What does The Southampton Florist specialise in?

We specialise mainly in Weddings, where we also grow most of the flowers we use.



Whats your daily routine? How much time do you spend in the flower patch ?

I work a day job so my week is pretty much consistent but seasonal. During the wintertime I spend my evenings and weekends working on the website and writing blogs and during the spring/ Summer its seed sowing, pricking out and deadheading. Flowers are cut and conditioned around 3 days ahead of an event.


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Your brand Ethos?

Our commitment to sustainability really goes hand in hand with my love for wild and gathered ingredients. I’m often found rustling around in the undergrowth or in the veg patch looking for somethings special to add to a bouquet. Conscious of the environment we design without floral foam - which honestly is not a hardship, because I am not classically trained I am self taught, so I don’t miss foam - I’ve just never used it. I prefer to use chickenwire, moss and recycled pots.


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Favourite Flower?

That’s really not a question you can ask a florist, or a flower farmer........ you will get a different answer every day ! So today I’ll say Sweetpeas, because i’m growing so many new varieties this year and I can’t wait!

Favourite Season?

Ohhhhh - Autumn, Partly because I love Dahlias. (Maybe I should have mentioned that above......... Can I change the answer to that question? ) and partly because of the rich colours and how the trees magically turn golden.


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A current project are you working on ?

So I’ve just launched a new seed business called “The Hampshire Seed Company”. We work with local growers and flower farmers to collect local seed and support the farming industry. Anything we can’t get local we do import but at the moment over 50% of our seeds are home grown. I also write a lot of growing guides to help gardeners and flower farmers make the best use of their space, plan their harvests and how to grow for complete beginners.




Which Florist do you admire and has inspired you through the years ?

That would be Christy Hulsey for sure. Right when I started the business she was the Mayesh Design Star and I watched all the videos religiously

One thing you couldn't live without when in your garden ?

My other half- Honestly he’s the one who puts in all of the raised beds for me and helps move the tonnes of compost around. However I must say he needs close monitoring with a chainsaw!



A Garden/ National Trust must see you recommend anywhere in the UK

West Green House is a favourite of mine, right here in Hampshire.





How do you relax when it’s been a busy week?

I’m not quite sure what relax means, but I do spend a lot of time pottering around the garden

Any tips for any aspiring gardeners

Do what makes you happy, and if yore not sure how to do something just ask a fellow gardener. The thing about us is that we love to share and teach others.

Your indulgence treat ?

Books: I have real fondness for leafing through the pages of a good book and learning something new


You can find Jane in Instagram @Thehampshireseedcompany website ; www.thehampshireseedco.com






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