I love Spring – now we’re past the Equinox, days are longer than nights & each morning there’s something new to admire at the Flower Farm. Like an excited kid, I do that first tour to see what seeds have germinated overnight, how much tulip stalks have grown, what new blossom has opened…
Yes, we’re behind last year but this is going to be a spectacular Spring simply because everything is racing to catch up & will bloom at once.
This is particularly noticeable with the Tulips – my careful plan for stems over a long period has long since been torn up. I planted varieties to bloom early, mid & late season. To extend flowering, I planted some of each group differently – some in pots, some in the polytunnel, others in full sun & some in shade. But the Tulips are having it their own way, racing to catch up. So when all 1200 or so bloom – it really will be the Balmaclellan Tulip Festival this year! When ready, we’ll have a bucket at the Nursery gate for you to come & choose your own & of course they’ll be on sale at the Farmers Market & Loch Arthur too.
This is one of the busiest month’s in the Flower Farm; sowing, potting on & beginning to plant out for this year’s blooms. The Hardy Annuals sown last month are being moved on into modules to protect them a little longer. The Autumn sown Annuals are all planted out & snug under horticultural fleece. The Half-Hardy Annuals such as Cosmos & Clarkia are starting off under cover so they’ll be nice & strong when they go out in late May after the frosts. Until then, space in the greenhouse & tunnels is a bit of a squeeze.
The colours of the cut flowers in my buckets is changing. Lots of yellow of course with all the Daffodils & Narcissi, but we’re seeing the first true blues (Hyacinth, Anemone, Muscari, & later in the month the Bluebells). And the pinks too – Anemones again, the Snakeshead Fritillaries & of course the first Tulips. The picture of the Fritillaries above was taken last year – they’re in bud now so should be flowering by mid-month.
But it’s not just the sights of Spring I love – it’s the sounds too. Our pond is heaving with frogs & toads, noisily croaking so hopefully we’ll have an army of helpers tackling slugs again. And the birdsong in the morning is a lovely way to wake up isn’t it? Later this month, we’ll be listening out for the Cuckoo announcing it’s arrival back from Africa.
This month I’ll be bringing flowers to Kirkcudbright Farmers Market on Sunday 22nd April & later in the month, Loch Arthur Farm shop again on Fridays.
And when we get one of those sunny, slightly warmer days, take time to wander outside in the fresh Spring air with your morning cuppa if you can – it really is a lovely way to experience the Joys of Spring!
Jobs for the Cutting Garden in April
Rosie Gray of Galloway Flowers. Artisan Cut Flower Farmer & Florist near Castle Douglas, in South West Scotland