Rosebie Morton is in her element when she’s in her garden. Starting her successful floristry business, The Real Flower Company, in 1992, Rosebie’s passion for growing beautiful scented roses began in the walled garden at her family farm in Hampshire. Noticing that most commercially grown flowers have had their scent gene genetically removed to increase their durability and longevity, it became Rosebie’s mission to produce a number of stunning varieties with their scent firmly intact.
Over the years, The Real Flower Company has gone from strength to strength and Rosebie now runs a number of farms in Hampshire, Chichester and Kenya too! At RSG we believe that flowers and greenery can breathe life into your home, so we were excited to have the opportunity to ask Rosebie about herself, her garden and her interiors…
1. Let’s start at the very beginning. Tell us about yourself?
I am married to an arable and sheep farmer and we have three children (a girl and two boys) who are in various stages of education and travel and we have five dogs which sometimes feels too many! We have quite a diverse lifestyle which is almost entirely dependent on the weather.
2.You established your floristry company, The Real Flower Company, in 1992. What was the inspiration to start your own business?
My first thought was to grow roses – roses with a scent like the ones my mother and grandmother grew. I wanted to address the issue of long-life, scentless roses and The Real Flower Company was the way to get our flowers out to the world.
3. What is your favourite part of your job and what do you find the most challenging?
I love gardening – my job was very hands on at the beginning but now I am more office based. I enjoy the look on people’s faces when they plunge their noses into one of our bouquets and discover that scented roses are not just a thing of the past. I find the seasons can be quite a challenge as you never know what you are going to get in terms of weather and it’s hard to plan.
4. You live on a farm in Hampshire. What do you love most about living in the countryside?
You are so aware of the seasons in the countryside and everything that each season brings in terms of colour and texture.
5. How would you describe your home to someone who hasn’t seen it before?
Our house is a continuation of the outdoors. The doors are always open and we have many windows to maximise on the incredible views. Our lifestyle is relaxed and informal and we tend to favour the impromptu. I have to have flowers and plants in every room so that even when I am stuck at my desk I still have a sense of the outdoors.
6. Which room in your house does the family typically spend the most time in? How have you worked the décor to suit that function?
We seem to live in the kitchen. It is the biggest room in the house and it is also our dining room and sometimes sitting room. We have a large, handmade kitchen table which has been with us for nearly thirty years, and two school benches which can accommodate the masses.
7. Is there any piece of furniture or treasure in your home that has a special significance to you? If so what is it and why is it so special to you?
We have a walnut Tallboy which was a hand-me-down from Matthew’s parents. The bottom drawer has always been the present drawer giving it mystical significance to the children when they were small and even now we seem to find hidden treasures in its depths.
8. Flowers and plants literally breathe life into the home. What is your top tip to style plants in the home?
Where possible have seasonal flowers and plants. Better to have a few very healthy, seasonal plants than a lot of sad, etiolated, sick looking ones.
9. What exciting things does 2018 have in store for The Real Flower Company?
We have exciting new developments in the rose paddock with new roses and other flowers and we developing our range of courses to introduce more people to the idea of growing their own scented roses. We are widening our gift range both in our Cale Street shop and online.
10. Finally, name 3 RSG products that you love!
Quick Fire Questions
- I am happiest when… walking beside the sea with my family.
- My favourite magazine is… Rakes Progress
- My dream holiday would be… walking trip through the Himalayas looking at plants.
- My ideal day would be spent…. working in my garden with no distractions, especially dogs digging in the flower beds.
- My personal motto is… be happy.
- My guilty pleasure is… eating a mango or preferable a box of mangoes by myself.
- The last film I saw was… Dunkirk.
- My favourite book is… Christopher Lloyd’s ‘In My Garden’.
- In five years’ time, I want to be… walking through the Himalayas for the second time having learned the art of delegation.
- The three things I can’t live without are… My family & friends, a garden and a damn good cup of coffee.