The 3 wise people of Christmas

Meet the people who make it happen

With over 30 years of experience we’re well practised at sending thousands of gift boxes of Christmas scented narcissi to your friends and family across the UK. There are three managers at Churchtown each of whom takes responsibility for an area of the farm. For things to run smoothly though our team members work across these areas to make sure all the jobs get done.

Neil - covers the packing shed and all logistics of getting things to and from Scilly.

Ruth - runs the office, making sure all your orders go through and helping with queries.

Jon - is responsible for things that happen outside and maintenance.

Wise man number 1

The logistical challenges of posting so many flowers from the Isles of Scilly are complex. Our operations manager Neil gets the ball rolling in August with our first Christmas meeting. 

Neil joined the team after many years working in hospitality, bringing with him great skills at managing people and upscaling teams for events. This is very useful as Neil's next job is to ensure we have enough people to pick and pack your flowers.,

Speedy Christmas packers

On our busiest days in the run up to Christmas the team swells to over 40. We pack some of your flowers on the larger island of St Mary's as there simply aren't enough people on the small island of St Martin's.

Neil is also responsible for all the logistics needed to make sure your flowers safely reach the mainland. In the winter this is a major challenge as the timings of sailings and flights can change due to weather. Most of your Christmas flowers leave the islands on the freight boat, traveling in the cold stores used to bring food into Scilly. 

Once on the mainland Royal Mail lorries pick the flowers up from Penzance docks at whatever hour of the day the post arrives and take them to sorting offices in the South West. None of this would be possible without the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company and the Royal Mail, who Neil works really closely with to make sure things run as smoothly as possible.

2nd wise man woman

The Christmas rush starts early for our office manager Ruth.  We normally have at least one or two new full time team members who join the office team in the Autumn.  Ruth needs to get them trained up so they can process your orders accurately and be a friendly and knowledgeable voice at the end of the phone if you call.  

By the end of November orders flood in.  As well as taking phone calls the office team check all your messages and addresses as they come in from our website. The office team also help pack your flowers. This is why, if you call, you might be asked to hold whilst they walk from the packing shed to their computer. 

Our office has lovely large windows so the team enjoy some spectacular views looking out across the sea towards Tresco and Sampson. Quite often the farm spaniel Luna is curled up next to the heater or people's feet looking for attention.

Our third wise man

Outside in the fields our farm manager Jon and his team have been nurturing our Christmas narcissi since early summer. By December the picking team is out in all weathers. All your Scilly scented narcissi are picked by hand in small sheltered fields but there is only so much shelter the tall hedges can provide from an Atlantic gale!  

Jon's team also do most of the driving needed to move things around. With only a mile of road they don't cover many miles but on our small roads they have to drive slowly and carefully on the numerous trips to the quay to bring supplies in and transport flowers out.

To meet the boat back to the mainland occasionally flowers need to be on the quay as early as 7am. This means being on the quay in the dark which adds extra excitement as the lack of light makes it tricky to dodge the odd rogue wave that breaks over the quay!  When the field team has done all their jobs they come into the shed to make up flower boxes and help grade flowers. 

Once all your Christmas flowers have left the islands and are safely on the mainland we all breathe a large sigh of relief, choose who will wear the inflatable Santa costume to give out the secret Santa presents and then head home to start our Christmas celebrations in earnest.

Receive Farm Updates

Sign up today and make sure you never miss a special offer.