When Rosebie Morton founded the Real Flower Company nearly 20 years ago, she had one mission in mind – to cultivate flowers with scent, as if they were just picked from the garden. She recalls the day she left the roses she had grown up with in her grandmother’s flower bed and sniffed a rose in a flower shop, only to be disappointed. ‘The first thing you want to do when you see a rose is stick your nose in it…’ she says ‘…so when I couldn’t smell a thing, that just did it for me’. We went to visit her flower farm in Hampshire to find out more.
PEOPLE AND PLACE
An Interview with Real Flower Company Founder, Rosebie Morton
WHAT'S YOUR CONNECTION TO ROSES?
The roses are like children - when they behave, they are truly beautiful and inspiring, but they can be utterly frustrating. Is it weird if I say I feel as though I could have a been a rose in another life? I grew up with them as a tiny child and I used to pick them as a 3-yr old and ruin my grandmother’s best flowerbeds by grabbing them in my hands and burying my nose in them - they lost me in the rosebuds. I’ve grown up with that and I just absolutely love them. The disappointment of getting to a flower shop aged 18 and not having any scent just did it for me – I know it sounds corny but they feel like they’re part of me. That’s probably why I’ve really appreciated your teas because I can pick out the floral notes and the scent, and the thought that’s gone into them, and I think roses are the same. My favourite rose is the Margret Merril - she's a real lady.
DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY
Well, it’s totally madness from start to finish, really. Up at 6:45am to walk the dogs (although I’m convinced it’s the wolfhound who’s really walking me) and then back to a certain amount of pandemonium on the phone, in my inbox, people arriving at the farm, the sheep escaping from the farm… When it settles a bit, we’ll call a meeting to figure out what’s doing well and what’s being attacked by what – it’s a constant game of defending the flowers and even though I've been doing this for years, nature still gets the better of me. It’s a juggling act, but there’s never a dull moment. The day doesn’t really finish – supper at 10:30pm perhaps and then collapsing into bed at midnight, all ready for it to start all over again. There’s never a normal day in this madhouse - there hasn't been a normal day since I started the business, growing roses in my mother's garden nearly 20 years ago.
DOES TEA FEATURE IN YOUR LIFE?
Do you have a tea that can keep my brain intact while I’m juggling 50 balls in the air at once? The biggest problem I have is trying to relax. I love this business. I absolutely adore it. Drinking your tea just now in those lovely little glass cups, it just gives you such a feeling of relaxation and calm, which is quite rare in my life. Normally I’m chucking down another black coffee, whereas that was just so… you just feel a wonderful kind of peace, appreciating the colour, what’s gone into it, when your brain is going mad, you just look at that and it really does make you want to just.. you know… contemplate, it really does, it’s very, very special.
A TEA FOR ROSEBIE
Jasmine Silver Needle White Tea
When we met with Rosebie, we shared a few tasting cups of our Raspberry & Rose herbal infusion to fit the spirit of the occasion. For the everyday though, we recommended she enjoy our Jasmine Silver Needle white tea as a reason to slow down for a few minutes, and appreciate the vivid floral quality of this beautiful tea, fragranced with natural jasmine flowers over five consecutive summer nights.