In my Bag

Florist Jo Thomas shares the se­crets of her bag – in­clud­ing a sweet treat!

Norfolk - - Inside -

HAV­ING spent her youth pick­ing flow­ers and pot­ter­ing around in her grand­dad’s green­house, Jo Thomas de­cided to re­turn to her roots af­ter years as a stay-at-home mum.

She set up Con­stance Rose, in Weston Longville, four years ago and as well as cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful flo­ral bou­quets and dis­plays, she also grows her own flow­ers.

“Be­fore I had my three sons I was a travel agent, but when my youngest son started at pre-school I de­cided I needed to do some­thing dif­fer­ent – so I de­cided to re­train in floristry,” says Jo, whose cur­rent hand­bag is a prized Ralph Lau­ren which she won in a char­ity raf­fle.

“The de­ci­sion co­in­cided with us mov­ing house on to the farm, so I re­alised I could of­fer some­thing unique by grow­ing my own flow­ers; we have cut­ting gar­dens here and flower mead­ows and rose gar­dens. Cus­tomers can come and see what we grow and I can even plant some­thing specif­i­cally, so they are ready for the wed­ding day.”

Jo, who is a mem­ber of the Bri­tish Flower Col­lec­tive and Flow­ers from the Farm, works very much with the tra­di­tional Bri­tish grow­ing sea­son and only does wed­dings from May to Oc­to­ber.

“I grew up on a farm and was al­ways pick­ing the flow­ers and putting them in my bed­room and spent a lot of time out­side with my grand­dad. A lot of it is trial and er­ror as to what will grow well. We have tried tulips for the first time this year and have had a fan­tas­tic crop. I think brides love the idea of hav­ing sea­sonal, lo­cal, freshly-cut flow­ers, and if you fol­low the Bri­tish gardening sea­son, then it al­most dic­tates nat­u­rally what flow­ers will look great to­gether.”Š www.con­

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