Last week I was asked 'what are you doing with your flowers?'' A good question - it's peak wedding season & usually a sea of white & pale pink! In June, I'm often heard muttering like White Rabbit 'I'm late, I'm late...' This year, 'Delay' is my goal.
We replaced some flowers with later blooming Dahlias – we’ll need flowers for weddings postponed to September & October. We've sown seeds late, we’ve pinched hard, some favourites haven’t been sown at all. We ‘Chelsea chopped’ perennials for later blooms. Dry weather slowed growth too so is helping. It’s a lot of juggling & keeping fingers crossed the mix will be about right throughout the season. The world might have come to a standstill but flowers don’t – just deadheading unused flowers takes time! The bees are having a great time on the blooms as I’m not so quick to cut as usual. Hopefully, they’ll reward me later with a share of their honey…
The ‘Sweets’ are coming into bloom – Sweet Rocket, Sweet William & soon Sweet Peas. All with this name because of their fragrance. The buds are on the Sweet Peas & Roses – we need a return to warmer night time temperatures to get them going, so should be later this month. The big polytunnel has my ‘Fancy Carrots’ growing high – Ammi & Orlaya must be available if the last scheduled July wedding does go ahead. The new polytunnel is planted up with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Chillis & more so space isn’t being wasted . We’ll be eating healthily this summer.
Both British Flowers Week (June 15th – 21st) & the ‘Flowers from the Farm’ Big Weekend in August are going to be virtual, like many other planned events.
We haven’t made a decision on whether to open the Flower Farm yet in August. I’m putting plans in place to restart workshops & garden tours from September but who knows? As lockdown eases, we’re beginning to look ahead positively but the priority is safety. It’s a fast changing picture.
We’ll continue offering ‘Friday Flowers’ for local delivery & contactless collection from the Flower Farm gate & we’re increasing our Regular Flower Subscription deliveries/collections. We’ve been bringing Peonies from Lincolnshire growers in recent weeks to give added luxury to these bouquets – I grow some but never enough. The subscription flowers are delivered fortnightly or monthly & make a great lasting gift. I’ve noticed an increase in Clients ordering these for themselves this year too – the result of spending increased time at home perhaps.
And as soon as the Sweet Peas are cut, the Honesty box will be out too – I’ll post availability on social media. After all, you don’t always want a bouquet, a small posy is a great ‘flower fix’ for you or ‘thank you’ gift! Bouquets can be ordered online If you wish to order funeral flowers or something else, telephone 01644 420407 or email. Please leave a message if I don’t pick up – outside working most of the time.
It’s a bird creche here this week – so many nests. There are Spotted Flycatchers in the Polytunnel, numerous Blackbird, Thrush, Wren & other small birds nesting in the shrubs & hedges. Most exciting of all, there were Tawny Owl chicks in the Owlbox again. A very welcome sight & all valued members of our pest control squad!
Now we’ve had some rain, it’s easier to plant out in your own flower patch. Bulbs for late summer can be planted (Gladioli & Acidanthera are favourites of mine for August & September). And as Garden Centres reopen, you’ll be able to buy bedding packs to top up your borders – just be sure if you want flowers to cut, you buy taller varieties. So many are shortened versions…
I hope you’re able to enjoy time outdoors, the long light days & the scents of summer flowers this month. It’s a lovely month for flowers & we’re spoilt for choice to fill our vases in the house.
Until next time,
These Lupins started off straight like rockets firing skywards (spot the one added this morning, casualty of a fast moving dog). Now a week later, they're doing their own thing. Nothing will stop them - geotropic flowers, attracted downwards by the Earth's gravity.
Look a bit crazy, not everybody's taste, I know.
But I like flowers with a bit of character, flowers with Attitude even.
How about you? Lupins yay or nay?
My love affair with Peonies goes back a long time - I grew up in a Fenland village & our neighbour's flower field was at the bottom of our garden.
He grew Peonies & sent them to Covent Garden Flower Market in London by train.
Probably realising I adored the flowers, he gave me a huge bunch for my 7th birthday - Wow! Funny how putting these stems in a vase brought back that memory isn't it?
Flowers do that.
Sadly, that field of Peonies disappeared under houses long ago. Like many growers, closure of the village train station (Beeching cuts) made it difficult & expensive to get his flowers to London fast. Plus the flood of imported, cheap flowers & changing fashions in the Seventies, finished off his business. So he sold the land.
The image of that field, those flowers made a big impression on me - I knew it was possible to grow fabulous cut flowers in the UK. Not always easy, but possible.
And so I've grown & cut flowers my whole life, learning what works well, what will last in a vase, what doesn't last long but is so utterly gorgeous, I do it anyway. I make mistakes, of course, it's inevitable if you're experimenting.
But if I hadn't lived there, if he hadn't given those flowers, maybe I wouldn't have discovered the sheer pleasure of growing flowers & veg. My life might have taken a very different turn.
Tiny actions with a big impact. And I'm grateful for how that one turned out.
These are a new variety to me 'Catherine Fonteijn' grown in Lincolnshire. My Peonies are budding up nicely but waiting for a good soak before being ready to cut. Think I might need to add a few of these to my collection this Autumn!
What a morning to be out delivering 'Friday Flowers' - driving alongside Loch Ken was dazzling in the sunshine.
There were bouquets for birthdays, an Anniversary, to say 'I Love You', 'Thinking of You' & more.
This one was for a special birthday & last year, she received a bouquet I made in the palest pinks, lavenders & white. So this year, I thought I would show off the beautiful deep pinks of late May. Last of the Aquilegia, first of the Allium - moving on to the flowers of Summer.
Taking orders for 'Friday Flowers' now online for contactless local delivery or collection.
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.