Earlier this month, our owner, Juliet, was fortunate enough to head to Kenya to visit our main supplier of roses, Tambuzi. Here’s what she had to say about the experience and what she learnt about the flower-growing industry and the steps that Tambuzi have taken to ensure we can enjoy their roses for years to come.
As the proud owner of Wildbunch Florists in Hampshire, England, I had the privilege of visiting this picturesque rose farm, nestled 180 kilometers north of Nairobi, right on the equator and at a lofty elevation of 1900 meters above sea level. The fertile soil and climate create the perfect conditions for growing the most exquisite roses. Let's delve into our floral expedition and explore the beauty of sustainable flower farming.
Tambuzi's Blossoming Transformation:
Tambuzi Roses has a rich history, originally serving as a dairy farm. However, it was in the 1990s that Tim and Maggie Hobbs, took the reins and transformed this piece of land into a stunning rose farm. Their dedication to cultivating roses has made Tambuzi a shining star in the world of flower farming.
The Farm Tour:
Our journey at Tambuzi began with a warm welcome from Christine Shikuku, the farm manager. With her guidance, we uncovered the secrets of Tambuzi's rose cultivation. Here are some the fascinating things that we learnt about their practices :
1. Daily Harvest: Tambuzi harvests a staggering 20,000 roses each day. After being cut and quality checked, the roses are then packed and shopped to many destinations around the globe.
2. Global Markets: The farm's roses find their way to markets in Europe, the UAE, and China, bringing the beauty of Kenyan roses to international customers.
3. David Austin License: Tambuzi proudly holds the title of being the only David Austin licensed grower in Kenya, a testament to their commitment to quality.
4. Stem Bending Technique: We learned about the art of bending young plant stems to create wounds, resulting in stronger, straighter stems ideal for cut flowers.
5. Innovation: Tambuzi is dedicated to driving innovation and ensuring that their offering is ahead of the market. As a result, they have implemented trial beds where they plant new rose varieties. It can take up to 3 years for these varieties to be accepted for full-scale production.
6. Varietal Preservation: Even roses that don't make it to full production are preserved, ensuring that the most promising new varieties are not lost.
Being located so close to the equator, Tambuzi have seen first-hand the impact of climate change on their flower growing. Due to this they remain committed to making their practices sustainable. Here are some of the schemes that they have implemented:
All waste is thoughtfully composted in designated compost bins. This compost is then reused in the growing of the roses.
The farm uses an innovative irrigation system. This system solely distributes the greywater collected from the buildings on the farm. This water is then treated using aquatic plants before being used to water the roses.
They have also decided to cultivate herbs such as rosemary and lavender for foliage. This not only adds to their exquisite offering but also helps to maintain the natural ecosystem within the farm
Our trip to Tambuzi Roses was not just a journey through stunning fields of roses but a window into the world of sustainable flower farming. We learnt so many things that we are looking forward to implementing on our cutting patch. The dedication to quality, innovation, and eco-conscious practices at Tambuzi serves as an inspiration to the floral industry. If you're planning a wedding or event and dream of the scent of English garden roses from Tambuzi, reach out to us.