SUSAN Dobson has a blooming lovely career.

Her commute to work is a few strides beyond the front door of the farmhouse where she and her husband Brian set up home 25 years ago.

Susan's tranquil and colourful workplace is the floral sanctuary nurtured in an acre of their two-acre small holding located in Bradley, just a few miles from Skipton and on the doorstep to the Yorkshire Dales.

The initial planting of hedges and trees created shelter for the beautiful home-grown blooms to thrive. "We have a lovely micro climate now where things grow really really well," says Susan.

Her interest in gardening began as a small child. She recalls being inspired by her grandfather's garden. He was an architect in Bradford.

Seemingly this green-fingered gene has been passed down through the generations. Susan's mum June and her late father, Frank (Howard) were keen gardeners, creating the boxed garden within Susan's colourful outside space - a symbolism of the precious memories and thought-provoking effect flowers can have on their recipients.

Creating flowers for every occasion, Susan is conscious about including precious personal touches.

Through her floristry business - The Yorkshire Dales Flower Company - she often receives requests from clients wanting to include a particular flower within the design which is pertinent to a precious loved one.

"They (flowers) have the ability to trigger memories and associations, of times gone by or people who are no longer with you," says Susan.

Flower growing and floristry is in contrast to her previous profession as a PA and medical secretary.

"I was a PA for many years and gardening happily in and amongst," says Susan.

"I think you get to a stage in your life when you think 'if I don't do this now I never will.'

Susan undertook a five year degree course at Bradford University in conjunction with Craven College studying garden history and literature. She also did a floristry course at Shipley College in 2012 and a natural floristry course at Tallulah Rose flower school in Bath.

"I have always been a keen gardener, mainly ornamentals, flowers and perennials, and things like that. I wanted to run a business related to my garden and about six or seven years ago I heard that British flowers were starting to be grown again in this country."

Susan recalls the industry had been on its knees due to imported flowers. "We did have a healthy flower industry and I think from the Seventies onwards our industry declined."

Back then British flowers accounted for about 80 per cent of the country's flower sales. Today it is just 10 per cent of flower sales.

Susan believes demand for locally grown produce and products is having a positive effect on home grown flowers.

"There has been a huge movement to people knowing where their food has comes from and flowers fall into that bracket as well. People like to have something that has been grown locally and not flown thousands of miles."

The British climate and seasonal nature of growing your own, dictates the need for imported flowers too, but the increasing appeal of home grown flowers is something Susan along with fellow members of 'Flowers from the Farm' - a nationwide network of cut flower growers - are busy promoting.

British Flowers Week - which ran from June 19 to 25 at New Covent Garden flower market - is another important platform.

"They are gorgeous are British flowers, there are lots of varieties," says Susan, who grows a variety including hollyhocks, lupins and delphiniums.

The trend for home-grown flowers in bridal bouquets has also widened the appeal:"It is what brides want, they want a relaxed country style than more formal wedding flowers and British flowers lend themselves to that."

As well as tending her blooms and meeting demand for her bespoke designs, Susan is passing on her skills and expertise through floristry and flower workshops.

She is in the process of having a new studio and workshop built on to one of her barns to accommodate the growing interest in flower design and cutting gardens.

"Every year you learn something new, but that is gardening through and through," adds Susan.

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