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ENTERPRISE: Tracey's wild idea is blooming marvellous for an entrepreneur.

Carnations and roses may be the staple of the traditional bouquet, but how about adding cornflowers, wild pansies, toadflax, or perhaps cuckooflower to your blooms?

This is exactly what one budding entrepreneur from Coventry is doing with the launch of a new firm promoting local wild flowers.

Tracey Drew from Coventry has founded The Wild Flower Patch - a firm specialising in providing native wildflowers as an alternative gift to traditional bouquets, Ms Drew, who spent 15 years working for social services, left her job last year to begin researching flowers that were local to Coventry - even down to the individual postcode.

She said: "I've always wanted to do something to promote sustainability and accept some responsibility for the mess that the planet is in. Last year I turned 40 and I decided that it was now or never.

"I went through a gamut of ideas, including eco-tourism, and decided to combine my business with my interest in gardening."

Ms Drew, who has funded the business herself, sources the flowers from specialist nurseries and uses compost created from Coventry City Council's green waste collection scheme at Brinklow Quarry.

Since the launch of her website - www.thewildflowerpatch.co.uk - Ms Drew said she had received a flurry of interest from local people. She is now going open a stall at the Coventry Farmers' Market tomorrow.

She said: "The response has been pretty encouraging. People seem to think it's a fantastic idea.

"There are a lot of families, especially grandparents who want to show the flowers to their grandchildren and watch insects that feed off the plants.

"Wildflower plants can thrive as well in our city gardens as they do in the rural lanes and meadows which surround Coventry.

"Even a tiny patch, or just a pot, of plants like wild chamomile looks great, smells beautiful and attracts wildlife, including bees and other insects."

Wendy Brown of the Enterprise Club at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "I am delighted that Tracey contacted us in the early stages as it has meant we have been able to nurture her idea into a very real business opportunity."

Ms Drew said: "I am taking one step at a time, but I would love every house in Coventry to have a pot of wildflowers.

"After that, it would be nice to extend it to the rest of Warwickshire."

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Tracey Drew (left) with Wendy Brown
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 13, 2007
Words:402
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