So this is how we spent the weekend!
Not the easiest job for 2 people (6 would have been a blessing) so perhaps not the neatest job. But it'd DONE.
Still the doors to finish & then work begins inside.
Bought secondhand & covered in a new sheet, this is going to be a great help. The plan had been to grow more early Sweet Peas,then Roses & other heat lovers, followed by late season Dahlias & Chrysanthemums.
With wedding postponements, I think this year it's going to be filled with Tomatoes, Courgettes, Cucumbers & Chilli plants instead.
Green Tomato Chutney anyone?
Well, it’s been the strangest month & seems so long since my last newsletter. Yes, it’s a week later than usual (I aim for first Sunday of the month) – but even so. How life has changed for us all.
At the moment, my priorities shift multiple times a day. To be honest, I’ve no idea what they should be. And it’s OK, nobody else knows either. Should I nurture flowers for Summer weddings, or grow more for Autumn? Or rip 'em all out & grow veg? Sweet Peas or Climbing Beans? My heart says ‘Sweet Peas’ but my head says ‘Beans’…
Trust me, I go round & round – I expect you do too, albeit with a different set of questions. Perhaps the only priority is to keep safe, healthy & take care of those around us who need our help too.
To start with, I just focused on what I can’t do – the Farmers Markets are cancelled, & weddings are being postponed of course. Couples for weddings later in the year are mostly sitting tight, hoping all will be well. The emotional rollercoaster for them must be intense. All I can do is keep on sowing, growing & be ready to respond with beautiful flowers if dates are rescheduled.
And of course, I cancelled the ‘Grow Your Own Cut Flowers’ & ‘Painting at The Flower Farm’ days scheduled for this month (giving full refunds). Bookings are still open for Painting workshops in later months & we’ll just have to review nearer the time.
But there’s still lots we can do!
There’s plenty to do in the garden at this busy time of year. Sowing seeds (Cornflower, Calendula, Cosmos & Nigella are easy for children to try), pricking out & then when ready, planting out. Ken has managed to erect a small greenhouse this week which we brought from our past house 5 years ago – this is going to be so useful! There’s another 2 to do yet…
And after a couple of weeks of uncertainty, there’s clear guidance about contactless flower deliveries. I’ll make paper-wrapped bouquets of our flowers this week, delivering to the doorstep locally. Delivery days are limited & combined with essential journeys only. Message me if you would like to order a flowery ‘Pick-Me-Up’ for yourself or a friend & I’ll let you know availability. I’m continuing to work with local funeral directors to prepare funeral flowers – not something I talk about much, but if needed, I’m there to prepare something special for loved ones using our Galloway-grown flowers.
I mentioned the veg & this is coming along nicely here. I used to grow most of our vegetables & a lot of fruit before the Flower business took off. I planned to begin again this year so Tomatoes, Courgettes & Broad Beans are underway already plus lots of salad. Yummy!
It’s easy to grow salad leaves & as these are pricey in the Supermarket, save money too. Rocket, mixed Salad Leaves & Spinach are quick to grow. If you haven’t a spare growing bed to use, sow direct into an old window box or even washing up bowl (make sure you drill holes in the bottom for good drainage). They’ll germinate fast & ready to pick your first leaves in about 4 weeks. If you’ve a bit more space, Courgettes & French Beans are easy too – sow indoors now. It’s too early for them to be outside yet – wait until end of May when we should be free of frosts.
This beautiful sunny weather makes me appreciate our garden so much – we’ve been able to keep working safely throughout the ‘lockdown’. It’s always quiet up on the ‘Hidden’ road & with the absence of planes overhead & distant traffic even more so. The main sound is birdsong & bleating of new-born lambs. I saw the first House Martin here yesterday (still no Swallows) & the pond is full of Toad Spawn (lots of pest patrollers for the future). This slow time is good for noticing & appreciating nature.
The flowers are loving the sunshine too – the ‘fancy Daffs’, Hyacinths, Anemones & now Tulips are as good as they’ve ever been, The Ranunculus are budding up so I hope to have those soon. Perhaps the real sign of Summer coming though – it’s warm enough to discard thermals when working outside! The seasons keep on moving, whatever else is happening in the world.
So these are strange times indeed for us all. Enjoy the lighter evenings & time outside in your garden if you have one, listen to the birdsong & above all, keep safe & well.
Until next time,
Your Flowery Inspiration links;
Two gorgeous, flower filled Summer weddings to inspire you this month;
A vibrant Easter bouquet delivered locally yesterday - all grown here at the Flower Farm near New Galloway.
Although closed to visitors & collections at the moment, we're able to deliver a flowery treat to you or a friend. Simply paper wrapped & ready to pop into a vase or jug, we'll deliver to the doorstep. Order & pay contactlessly online.
Delivery is more limited than usual - sorry, we're limiting all non-essential journeys.
Send an email or telephone Rosie on 01644 420407 for availability this week
The Hyacinths are just glorious this week, brought on by the sunshine. Usually I cut them for sale before they open fully so it's a bit of a treat to see them blooming in the beds.
I've noticed how irresistable they are to the Honey Bees as there are always seem to be some on them. I've never seen them feature on lists of 'top plants to grow for bees' so they might be one to add to your own plant list. An easy one to grow to help bees early in the season.
Seventeen different varieties of Narcissi this week at the Flower Farm near Castle Douglas. Not sure if I captured all of them here as I kept losing count - but I tried!
Narcissi are such fabulously diverse plants, great cut flowers & relatively inexpensive, easy to take for granted. I'm going to plant even more this Autumn.
This month they're such a welcome shot of colour & the show is only just beginning...
Rosie Gray of Galloway Flowers. Cut Flower Grower & Florist near Castle Douglas, in South West Scotland. Using 100% Flowers & Foliage grown in British Isles, all year round.