Stunning flowers from a stunning location
Where are we?
Churchtown Farm is a small farm run by the Julian family. We are based on the stunning Isles of Scilly, 28 miles west of Land’s End off the Cornish coast. From our award winning farm we run a home delivery service, which sends gift boxes of gorgeous, scented island flowers direct from Scilly to any doorstep in the UK.
The farm is based on St Martin's, one of the smaller islands that make up the Isles of Scilly. St Martin's is just 2 miles long and 1/4 of a mile wide and has a population of about 120 people. The warm Gulf Stream flowing around the island creates a sub-tropical climate that makes it possible to grow scented outdoor flowers throughout the year – a mainstay of the Scillonian economy for centuries.
A little bit of history
Andrew and Hilary Julian moved to Scilly in 1987. They spent a year working alongside an island farmer and then invested their savings in the 27 acre Churchtown Farm. After a number of harsh winters and falling wholesale flower prices, they hit on the idea of sending gift boxes of flowers in the 1st Class Post.
In 2002 their son Ben and his wife Zoe took over the running of the farm. After literally starting on the kitchen table the business has continued to thrive and now sends out over 90,000 beautiful boxes of flowers to doorsteps throughout the UK every year. After over 25 years of farming at Churchtown Farm there is obviously a bit more to this story.
Behind the scenes
We specialise in growing scented flowers which we are able to do outdoors, all year round thanks to our mild climate. We don't just grow flowers, we also have a small beef herd and two holiday cottages. To make all this happen there is a team of about 16 working at Churhctown Farm. In the winter we grow scented narcissithe traditional flower crop of the islands. We send the first of our narcissi crop in October and carry on until April.
The narcissi we grow are multi head tazetta narcissi and many of the varieties we grow are unique to the Islands. We work hard to keep the islands’ flower growing tradition alive, growing our narcissi outdoors in tiny fields sheltered from the Atlantic by tall hedges that are an integral part of the Scillonian landscape.
From May to October we grow scented pinks, an old English summer flower with a subtle perfume, beautiful colours and long vase life. Our pinks are grown in coir filled tubs and irrigated and fed by a computerised system that saves water. Some of our pinks are grown in poly-tunnels this lengthens the season and also means we can use biological pest control and reduce the need to spray.
On our small farm we can’t grow all the flowers we need so we work closely with other Scillionan flower farmers ensuring that they get a good guaranteed price for the best flowers that they produce. This helps to keep the islands' traditional flower industry buoyant and preserve the landscape of Scilly.