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Ivy & Bud posies made at Old Manor Farm in Somerset

Posy by Ivy & Bud Photo Laura Gibbs
Posy by Ivy & Bud Photo Laura Gibbs

‘Somerset is just so charming and nostalgic, I love that the tractors trundle past our window, the cows pop their heads over the hedgerows and that the sky is so huge. You never notice the huge skies in Somerset until you go away, but the sky dominates the landscape here and that makes me feel as though I’m constantly on holiday.’

Beth and I are sitting at her farmhouse kitchen table, her two dogs Crunchie and Poppet are, in true country life fashion, dozing beside the AGA and I have just been presented with a cardboard gift box. ‘So, this is how Ivy & Bud deliver posies across the country, they are simply ‘a hug in a vase’ and they solve the solution of gifting a thoughtful, affordable token, without being over the top.’  

Great British Life:  Beth Cooper and Poppet (c) Graham Trott 2023. Beth Cooper and Poppet (c) Graham Trott 2023.

As you lift the lid, you are greeted with a handwritten card sitting atop a sealed fold of tissue paper, which after opening, reveals a generous posy of Somerset-sourced foliage and flowers nestled alongside a small glass or ceramic vase in recycled paper shavings. The whole effect is incredibly unique and very special, ‘I’ve always been obsessed by posies, my dear Mum passed on her love of nature, gardening and foraging and I simply adore them.

Florists don’t sell them; they are difficult to execute well and quite time consuming to make; after all there is a lot of foliage in a posy so there’s a skill to making them appealing and different.’  

Beth explains how posies need colour, texture and depth and that the team at Ivy & Bud are keen to keep the foliage and flowers seasonal, ‘I frequently head off to the hedgerows around my farm picking linseed, grasses, blackberries, periwinkle, hawthorn, old man’s beard and apple blossom. All of these additions along with the actual posy being wrapped in cottonwool, tin foil and then a bespoke wallpaper cone add to the nostalgia of the gift.’

Great British Life: Old Manor Farm and Ivy & Bud get festive Photo J-Ph BaudeyOld Manor Farm and Ivy & Bud get festive Photo J-Ph Baudey

Starting at £18 per posy, including the vase, it’s easy to see why Ivy & Bud has created such a following, ‘Every day we handwrite messages to go alongside the posies and we are touched by so much kindness. In fact, I’m proud to be able to say that we even sent an Ivy & Bud posy to the late Queen on behalf of a member of the royal family. Our posies in a box fill the gap between sending a card and a huge bouquet, they are like Somerset – charming!’

Having relocated to Somerset in 2017, Beth created Ivy & Bud in the wake of the pandemic; with her travel PR business left bereft as the world went into lockdown, she decided to take a leap of faith and start the next chapter. ‘I absolutely knew that moving to Somerset was my opportunity for change and a new adventure for my family. I embrace change and growth and together with the support of my Mum and my three children we found Old Manor Farm and set to work.’

Built in 1480, Old Manor Farm was originally built as a courthouse and as such has exposed oak beams, a panelled drawing room and two carved gargoyle type faces who depict ‘guilty’ and ‘not guilty’. Beth has, in addition to Ivy & Bud, created a second business called ‘Old Manor Farm Somerset’ which offers ‘a beautifully curated edit of stylish gifts for the home’ with more planned in the pipeline.

Great British Life: Interiors, gifts and jewellery at Old Manor Farm Photo J-Ph BaudeyInteriors, gifts and jewellery at Old Manor Farm Photo J-Ph Baudey

Visitors enter the farmhouse passing by the creative hub of Ivy & Bud before they leisurely peruse the artisanal gifts, homeware, jewellery, candles and books. The low ceilings, brick walls and wooden windows offer the perfect backdrop to show off the plethora of West Country stockists, ‘We are creating a lifestyle destination. At the moment we serve great coffee and we encourage everyone to take their time to enjoy what we have here. Then in time, we are looking to add craft workshops, exercise, a flower farm, wellness, good food, talks, walks and multi-generational events inspired by the very beautiful Petersham Nurseries. There is so much opportunity in Somerset and it’s been the perfect fresh start for myself, and my children. I feel completely at home here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.’

Old Manor Farm is open Monday to Friday 9 – 4pm and Saturday 10am – 1pm. Ivy and Bud posies can be ordered in the shop at Low Ham or online at ivyandbud.co.uk

Great British Life: Festive designs and decorations from Ivy & Bud Photo J-Ph BaudeyFestive designs and decorations from Ivy & Bud Photo J-Ph Baudey Great British Life: Posies in a box Photo Ivy & BudPosies in a box Photo Ivy & Bud Great British Life: Festive whites Photo: J-Ph BaudeyFestive whites Photo: J-Ph Baudey



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