The sorbet of colors drenching Rachel Siegfried’s floristry studio reflect the gamut of her creative and practical talents. A knowledgeable plantswoman and garden designer, Siegfried learned to grow fruit, vegetables, and cut-flowers for the owners of a two-acre, walled kitchen garden on a private estate in Oxfordshire.
“Inspired by Sarah Ravens’s course on cut-flowers, I feverishly grew masses of quintessential English country garden blooms, scented, nostalgic, wild and exciting flowers which celebrated the seasons,” says Siegfried, referencing the English doyenne of the cut-flower and vegetable garden, who is also a popular author, garden columnist, and television presenter. Siegfried, meanwhile, does all she can to counter the charmless, uniform, and rigid stems proffered by supermarkets and flower shops.
In 2008, with the increasing trend towards “slow food” and farmers’ markets, Siegfried and her business and life partner, Ashley Pearson, decided to bring their own produce to market. They rented a fertile, two-acre market garden in South Oxfordshire, with polytunnels and glasshouses perfect for their purpose. Initially, produce dominated what they marketed—seasonal, organic home-grown fruit and vegetable boxes. though, Siegfried, though, began growing between rows of muscly vegetables the whimsical flowers she so loved, what she refers to as “simple bunches for local markets, garden blooms you couldn’t buy elsewhere.” Their operation, now known as Green & Gorgeous, began to flourish in full.
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLIVE NICHOLS
WRITTEN BY JACKY HOBBS
This story appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of MILIEU.