27 August 2019
Black Shed Flowers
I’m slightly making this up, filling in gaps as I go, so bear with me. A conversation with Paul leaves little room for note taking, as he bounds around from one subject to another, giving the impression that he could, and probably would if he was held down long enough - talk on that individual point all day. But no, he’s off again, somewhere else. Somewhere, usually, to do with Sherborne, Brexit, Tabitha (they all have capitals) and alarmingly frequently, CUSTOMERS, as well as such technical dilemmas as just-how-do-you-move-a-grain-silo? (the solution is wonderful, and involves a large tractor tyre...)
The story goes something like this (it’s patchy, I warn you now): Paul, the hero of this story, has a garden stuffed to the brim with flowers. Tabitha, the daughter, puts some on display in the window, and they sell. A curious idea takes root in a spare, unused section of Paul’s brain (a brain, prior to this, and who knows, perhaps still, mainly full of dinosaurs - but that’s another story entirely.) Cut to 2019. The hottest late summer bank holiday EVER, ANYWHERE in the whole world, and Digby and I drop in on Black Shed Flowers, on the A30 as you leave Sherborne, heading to Shaftesbury (and on to Semley, to visit Niwaki HQ)
Black Shed Flowers opened two and a half years ago, in the farm yard you’ll know as the Toy Barn. I imagine a business plan scenario something like this: Tabitha sells her first Dahlia, then another, and very soon the garden is stripped bare. Something must be done, something like - open a flower farm.
And here we are now. I’ll shut up, because as I said, I’m making most of it up. Go and see Paul, Tabitha, Helen and Murphy the dog for yourself - they’re everything you’d hope for. The place is wonderful. And they’re on Instagram, of course, as @paulstickland_
There seem to be a lot of pictures of Paul’s shirt, below, for you to enjoy.