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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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The flower & herb gardens
>..Growing flowers
...Specialisation
...Dried
...Herbs
...- Varieties
...- Medicinal
...Pot Pourri
...Bouquet Garni

Unless you are growing on a large scale, it is probably not worth considering growing under glass.

Flowers grown this way are necessarily more expensive; even if you are not heating the greenhouse you are at least having to maintain it. To consider growing flowers in a heated greenhouse you must feel very sure indeed of your market.

There is a great deal of competition in selling these kinds of flowers, including a lot of imported flowers. Cut flowers have a short life and they do not have a long time to sell on the shop shelf. Good strong growers, such as dahlias grown on a well manured plot, have an attractiveness all their own. So do well grown chrysanthemums and, going to the other extreme, delicate sweet peas.

As with other growing enterprises, it is worth aiming to catch the early or late markets. To grow the earliest sweet peas you can use cloches; you can slow the growth of chrysanthemums by leaving the pots out until the very last moment. All these flowers must be presented to the consumer in top condition. This is also the case with pot plants.

Although it may seem that a pot plant will happily survive far longer than cut flowers, this is not the case unless you alone are looking after them. A pot plant dislikes being overwatered more than it does being underwatered. If the plant you carefully raised from seed is left to the tender mercies of several different shop assistants then both will happen to the unsuspecting creature and it will die. Many outlets for flowers, cut and potted, will insist on sale or return. If the flowers die then so does your profit.

Some garages and hotels will enter into arrangements for you to keep them continually supplied with flower arrangements. Again willing hands will overwater and careless hands will deposit cigarette ends on plants. It is not a case of do not do the business. It is a case of being fully prepared for what will happen to plants out of your control.

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