ALTHOUGH businesses were wilting throughout lockdown, a Tyne Valley florist did not give up.

“Despite my summer income vanishing before my eyes in March,” Kate Norris, of Northumbrian Flowers, said, “it’s been pretty much non-stop,”

Kate, who supplies flowers for weddings, events, venues and shops throughout the Tyne Valley, said: “All my avenues of revenue that I have spent years building up were all switched off like a tap.

“I remember getting emails from clients in March saying they were really concerned and it snowballed from there.”

However the former grower at the Battlesteads Hotel in Wark has not had a day off since the UK entered lockdown.

Although weddings and large-scale events were cancelled, Kate was eager to continue her work.

She explained: “I had all these skills of gardening and growing not just flowers.

“There was a situation where people were stuck at home who needed to keep their kids occupied so I thought I could do something to keep people engaged.”

That is when Kate decided to start Facebook Live videos to offer her professional expertise on growing and gardening.

“I set up seed collections and set about selling them through my website to people who wanted to get growing,” she said.

“That helped me survive, but they are also a lifeline to people who wanted to get involved.”

Faced with months of isolation and separation, families turned to sending flowers to relatives and friends during the lockdown.

Kate said: “People wanted to send gifts so I provided that link.

“They were using flowers to get their messages to their loved ones. Some of the messages I was writing on cards were really emotional.”

Sales of wedding bouquets have soared now the wedding industry has restarted and the business has experienced an influx of new customers.

“The feedback from customers has been fantastic,” Kate added.

“It’s great that just from doing Facebook Live new people have found my business.

"I have gained a whole new circle of customers.

“As a grower and a florist, it was heartbreaking to see the hard work of big and small independent growers being disposed of.”

But despite the uncertainty during lockdown, Kate remained positive.

“There was never any question of me binning and cutting my flowers,” she said.

Flower workshops are taking place throughout August. Visit: