Spring is springing all around us now, isn't it? A flight of Swallows was swooping over the lochan on Friday (VERY early), lambs are racing round on the other side of the wall as I weed & birds are busy in the nest boxes. I love these bright mornings when every day some new plant or flower reappears from it's winter sleep. A few have been lost (strangely all my Achillea 'The Pearl' seem to have been zapped) but I'm surprised by other slightly tender plants that have made it so far. Annual Rudbackia for example - a real bonus as this will give earlier flowers than seed sown a couple of weeks ago.
But I'm not complacent. The weather forecast for the coming week has cold night temperatures, as low as we've had all winter. While no precious tender plants are outside yet, this could damage soft new growth on the perennials (especially the Delphiniums, Lupins & Phlox). Even the Alstroemeria in the polytunnels could be damaged so extra layers of fleece will be out tonight... Is there anything you need to protect?
I had a bit of a mishap last month & broke my arm. 3 days before Mother's Day, the busiest day in the Florists calendar & I was at DGRI having an operation. That's when I truly appreciated having good friends. Maybelle Thomson (the inhouse Florist at GG's Yard) saved the day by helping make up bouquets. Ken had a crash course in bouquet wrapping & delivered them all to the Mum's as scheduled. Together we got through & crashed in an exhausted heap on the Saturday! The arm's mending well (fortunately it's my left one & I'm right handed), I can wiggle fingers & manage to sow seeds, plant out etc. But I've no strength in it yet & it'll be a while before I can lift much or drive. Very frustrating when there's so much to do!
I love my early morning 'patrol' around the greenhouses at this time of year.. It's exciting to see which seeds have germinated overnight. Little specks of green confirming a packet of seed was good & these have a chance of making it into a bouquet later this year. The March sown seedlings will need pricking out into their own space soon & their places on the heated benches are quickly filled with the next batch of seed.
The Chrysanthemum cuttings ordered over the winter have arrived & potted up to grow on. I hope to discover good varieties to thrive outside here as these would be a great addition to our Autumn bouquets. They have wonderful names, often obviously after somebody - I would love to know more about the people whose names they bear! Who is/was Tom Pearce? Denise Oatridge? Ada Evans? It's easier to remember plant names when they're human...
We've finally begun to cut our own flowers again now - in the past few weeks Pieris, Hellebores & Forsythia, now Narcissi & the first Tulips. These will be mixed with beautiful Sussex-grown Alstroemeria in the April bouquets. I'm able to arrange the weekly bouquets again now & Ken is helping tie, wrap & deliver them.
Slowly, everyday life is beginning - from this week we'll be able to offer 'click & collect' at the gate again. The Kirkcudbright Farmers Market will be back in late April for food businesses only. Fingers crossed, we'll be back at both Kirkcudbright & Castle Douglas Farmers Markets in May.
The next delivery day will be Friday 9th April & orders can be placed online now. Order online or by telephone 01644 420407
Enjoy the freedom to get out & about again this month & the beautiful Spring sunshine. It's a joyous, uplifting season & heaven knows, our spirits all deserve a little bit of that!
Jobs for the Cutting Garden in April;
‘Where Flowers bloom so does hope'
Lady Bird Johnson, Former First Lady of the United States of America
1912 - 2007
Until next time,
Rosie Gray of Galloway Flowers. Artisan Florist & Cut Flower Farmer near Castle Douglas, in South West Scotland. Using 100% Flowers & Foliage grown in British Isles, all year round.