Doing the Plan and 116 bouquets: 2017 Retrospective

A recap of the adventures in Frome so far…

In 2016 I quit my job in digital marketing, and put our house up for sale.  Inspired by a misquote of John Lennon, that ‘life is what happens while you make other plans’ my husband and I had decided to carry out that vague Plan we had to sell up in London, and go somewhere a bit less stressful.

 

As we packed, I took along a load of strawberry runners, hardwood cuttings, potted plants and houseplants, and I hoped that I could grow lots of flowers, and some of our own food and maybe somehow make some income from the garden.

Almost as soon as we arrived in the new place, I started sowing seeds, hoping for more strawberries and fewer spreadsheets. I wanted to grow a scented cottage garden and make beautiful bouquets of homegrown flowers.

By February, we were settling in (that’s me, my husband and our cat) and I’d started cutting flowers.

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Plum blossom and snowdrops

On March 21st, the summer solstice, I started making a daily bouquet, and putting it up on the FromeBlooms.com website.  Each day, I’d post a new bouquet, cut fresh from the garden, along with a hopeful paypal button.

On Monday to Friday, between March and September, I did a daily bouquet. It was occasionally a pain in the ass, but generally, the best thing I’ve ever done with a summer.

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I made about 116 bouquets, of which I sold around 30, and gave away another 30.

Each evening I would cut and condition the flowers, and the next morning I’d arrange and photograph the bouquet, I’d post it online that same day (usually by 10am) and hope to sell it in time to catch the post at 5pm.

For a number of (in hindsight, bleedin’ obvious) reasons, this didn’t quite work.

  1. It’s a ridiculously short time period to attempt to market a product.
  2. I could only produce a few bunches each day.
  3. The postal system is quite unreliable – only about 7 out of 10 arrived in good shape.

On the other hand, when it did work, it worked very well indeed. The following promo video that I made this summer shows genuine quotes, and looking at these bouquets six months after making them, I’m still quite pleased with how they came out.

Although, I learned a lot, I earned very little, and so I’ve recently got myself a part time job. In digital marketing. With lots of spreadsheets.  Ah well!

I’ll be able to carry on experimenting with ‘the plan’ for about 2-3 days a week next year. I hope to try a few new plans in the new year….

Weekly bouquets? Bulbs in baskets? Tiny pot plants? Bouquet garni window baskets?

But life is what happens while you’re making other plans, and while I’m working on the plan, I’ll carry on weeding and seeding, and smelling the roses.

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I hope that whatever you’re up, your plans and plants all come along nicely, and that you have a wonderful 2018.

 

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