A bouquet for Joanne's Tea Ceremony earlier in July...
At this point, the bouquet wasn't 'finished'.
Often I take a few quick photo's like this as I go along. Somehow, I can spot improvements more easily from a photo than I can just looking at the flowers in front of me. (Yes, I know it probably sounds daft but it works for me!)
So, I tidied up some of the random bits poking out along the top, lifted a few stems to raise them higher & added some extra coral Sweet Peas along the front edge.
And of course, as the last step I added ribbons of Joanne's choice.
Every single stem grown here in Galloway by myself, cut from the flower field & carried to the workshop to be arranged. The bouquet includes Garden Roses, Honeysuckle, Sweet Peas, Phlox, Marjoram, Scabious, Rudbeckia & more for a real 'gathered from the garden' look.
Sunshine on a rainy day...
I wouldn't normally cut this early as Dahlias don't open much more in the vase.
But this stem of Dahlia 'Hollyhill Serenity' had been knocked to the ground by the gusty wind today. So it had to come inside to be enjoyed in the kitchen.
The Dahlias seem to have been a long time coming this year but hundreds of buds are just waiting for some of that elusive sun & warmth
The lightest & most delicate of Summer flowers for Tayla last Saturday for her wedding at Gretna Green, in Scotland.
Tayla travelled from Buckinghamshire for her special day. Every stem of Tayla's bouquet & flower crown were grown by myself here at the Flower Farm near Castle Douglas except 3 stems of Eryngium thistle, grown in Lincolnshire. No matter how much Eryngium I grow, I never seem to have enough for all our weddings!
We just wanted to say thank you.
Rene (Mother of the Bride)
Absolutely beautiful flowers! They are stunning. Made the day so perfect xx
Tayla (the beautiful Bride)
Thank you so much Tayla & photographer Rene for permission to share this gorgeous photo with you. I loved making this for you!
And delighted a Red Squirrel made an appearance too...
For Veronica in mid-July...
The colour theme was a soft baby pink with blue, & I was asked for daisies & 'a little bit wild'. So I added 3 types of Daisies, Sweet Peas, Honeysuckle, Garden Roses & much more.
The scent was delicious yet not overpowering. And 100% of the bouquet was grown here at our wildlife-rich Flower Farm near Castle Douglas, South West Scotland.
I cut flowers fresh on Friday, & delivered for the wedding at GG's Yard, near Gatehouse of Fleet, on Saturday morning.
100% grown less than 30 miles away from the venue. Every single stem.
Sourcing seasonal flowers from a local grower gives the lowest possible carbon footprint for your wedding bouquet.
Some of the 'Friday Flowers' delivered earlier in July - it was a big 'Birthday Week'.
Orders for next weeks local bouquet deliveries & collections are open now on the website or by phone 01644 420407 (do leave a message if I don't pick up quickly - I'm probably in a polytunnel!)
The selection of flowers changes as we go through the seasons. Next week I hope to add Dahlias into the mix. Nice warm sunny days plus gentle overnight rain would help...
Mixed 'Country bunches' of our locally grown, seasonal flowers are available to order on the Glenkens Food Hub too (plus lots of delicious goodies from local producers). Bunches can be collected in Dalry, Castle Douglas, Low Auldgirth, Kirkcudbright, Moniaive, Gatehouse of Fleet & Newton Stewart on alternate Fridays.
Go on, treat yourself...
And so another season of Dahlias began again in July - woohoo!
I began cutting a few white stems early in the month but this was the first real colour pop.
Most of the plants are still fairly short because of the long dry spell. After recent rain, they'll soon catch up & be pumping out the blooms until October.
And yes, I'm growing rather a lot again this year in a wide range of shapes & colours.
From huge frilly confections to the tiniest buttons (just perfect for buttonholes & bud vases).
I grow more Dahlias here at the Flower Farm than any other plant group. They really are the most varied & exciting group of plants imho.
Our Dahlias will be appearing in many Galloway celebrations, bouquets & events in the coming months.
High Summer at last... long days & much needed rain! So many plants had been holding back, waiting for a good soak. Now I'm cutting flowers by the bucket in so many colours & varieties, I'm spoilt for choice - a luxurious abundance!
The prolonged dry period (while wonderful for working outside) was adding so much length to our day. Too dry for seedlings to be planted out, it was easier to keep them alive by watering them in their baby trays. As a result, some are now a bit leggy, needing a nutritional boost. But at least they've survived. They'll catch up quickly & continue flowering later.
For us, May & June passed in a floral blur. We were busy flowering up events & hosting workshops as well as growing flowers for the rest of the season. At times, it seemed as if Sundays, Mondays & Tuesdays were 'Sow, Plant, Water'. Wednesdays through to Saturday 'Cut, Arrange, Deliver'. All on rinse & repeat. Hugely enjoyable if hectic. Our time is never quite that neatly organised but it gives a gist of a Flower Farmers life.
Inevitably, the dry weather has resulted in winners & losers. The Perennials (like the Delphiniums above) have been winners. Flowering their socks off without additional water, filling vases when other varieties disappointed or were late.These Delphiniums were cut just before a Storm broke. I knew they would be knocked flat by the forecast wind & rain. So I cut them quickly & put them away to dry.
And the Roses in June - never have they been so good as they basked in the dry sunshine. Most have finished their first flush.Now trimmed, fed & fingers crossed, many will give a repeat show. I don't grow that many Roses, but the heady scent was so wonderful. If I knew June would be like that every year, I could be persuaded to grow more. (Actually, I might already have ordered a few for planting in November.)
On the other hand, the first batch Sweet Peas didn't like the high temperatures, shooting too tall & flowering fast in the polytunnel. Of course, the second batch outside, aren't keen on the cooler night time temperatures in the coming weeks either. It's like looking after Goldilocks! But we've had plenty for the weddings, & I'm sure the glut quantities will be here soon.
Dahlias are leaping ahead now. I cut the first few stems this week. Soon they'll be appearing in the weekly 'Friday Flowers'. Lots of trusted favourites plus new varieties this year in a full range of colours. Dahlias still have a bit of a reputation for bold, clashy colours, maybe even considered a bit naff by some. Many of the new varieties are soft, subtle beauties, just perfect for weddings. I grow a wide range & they mix & match so well with other flowers.
Our 'Country bunches' of mixed seasonal flowers are now available to order via the Glenkens Food Hub. Along with a wide selection of locally produced products, flowers can be collected from the Food Hub locations. These are; Castle Douglas, Newton Stewart, Gatehouse, Moniaive, Low Auldgirth & Dalry.
In other news, the Spotted Flycatchers have fledged in the main polytunnel. We're being dive bombed by Swallows nesting in the tool shed. And Ken has a new obsession - a moth trap! We knew there were many different Moths here as I find them in the polytunnel asleep on flowers. Such wonderful names & so difficult to identify accurately.
The fashion for dried flowers continues growing & I've been building our stocks again. The Guest EnSuite is already a 'no go' zone again as it's used to store them, I'll be sharing the dried materials in Wreath workshops this year. Scheduled for Sunday 20th August & Sunday 24th September. Let me know if you would be interested & I'll send details. I'll add to the website & social media as soon as I get a moment.
Until next time,
And the last word this month?
'And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down.
Without the rain, there would be no rainbow'
G.K. Chesterton, (British Author)
We welcomed another group for the 'Cut Flowers From Your Garden' workshop at the Flower Farm ;ast weekend.
And here they are with some of their sown seeds & plants ready to pop into their gardens!
They're off to a flying start for colourful beds & vases next Spring, & will enjoy extra stems this Summer too.
If you fancy developing your own Cutting Patch full of gorgeous flowers, why not join me next time? Booking for the workshop on Wednesday 23rd August is open now Here
Regular Customers deserve perks every so often, don't they?
And last week, all our Regular Subscription Customers received their usual 'Friday Flowers' bouquets of our locally grown flowers plus a little bunch of scented Sweet Peas too (see below).
Our Regular Subscription Customers are so valued by our little business - many have been ordering flowers every 2 weeks or monthly for years, (Our longest has received 8 years of flowers!)
Over time, I've come to know their favourite flowers, how they like their flowers presented (or not - several ladies prefer a selection of flowers to arrrange themselves as they enjoy it!)
And over time, many have become friends, sharing gardening knowledge too. Their encouragement has made all the work worthwhile. They receive the freshest locally grown flowers (& British ALL YEAR ROUND) & the money stays in the local economy. This is important as most of the large flower subscriptions available countrywide import flowers & the money goes to the their large investors.
As well as the occasional surprise treat, Regular Subscribers receive free delivery within the local area or can collect their flowers from the Flower Farm.
To join the Regular Subscriber group, order online (details from Quicklinks) or message me.
'Lots of interesting textures please' was the request from the Family for this Funeral Casket Spray. And the June weather gave me an abundance to choose from.
As well as plenty of foliage & the deliciously scented white Garden Pinks from our tunnel, I added seedheads from Allium, Lunaria & Rocket. Extra Eryngium from Lincolnshire plus Cornish-grown Ruscus & Veronica added to the mix (mine aren't ready yet). So all British-grown to keep the carbon footprint low..
And the arrangement is 100% compostable too for a sustainably-made tribute.
Floral foam is commonly used to make funeral tributes, tonnes of it is disposed in landfill sites every week in the UK.
Floral foam is banned by the Royal Horticultural Society at all it's flower shows. Floral foam is made from oil, a plastic breaking down into microplastic particles over time. It's a hazard to the marine environment & as this natural tribute shows, completely unnecessary too.
Luscious Poppies floating amongst the Roses early this morning...
These arrived as stowaways in the compost mulch spread earlier in the year. I haven't had this colour for several years & never in this place!
The bonus benefit of making home compost... The sound as I walked past was like an engine as bees were having a ball in them.
Interestingly, few of our Honeybees, mostly Carders & other pollinators today.
And in a few weeks time, there'll be lovely fat seed pods to dry for wreaths later on in the year.
Light & meadowy for this special vase arrangement delivered locally in late June.
The white Martagon Lilies add a lighter touch than the better known Oriental ones & the Delphiniums are at their best just now.
100% grown by us, here in Galloway, at the Flower Farm near Castle Douglas.
Our 'Friday Flowers' bouquets & bunches can be ordered easily online.
This type of arrangement is more bespoke. The container & contents are chosen to meet your requirements. Telephone 01644 420407 or email to order your special occasion & party flowers - I'm always happy to work with you to arrange regular house flowers too.
There are always going to be some when there's an acre of flowers & to be honest, it's only the really pernicious ones I bother about. After all, if a weed is simply a plant in the wrong place, anything has potential to be a nuisance.
But there are 'weeds' you can't help but love & allow space in any garden. Forget me nots, for example - give them an inch & they'll smother a whole bed. Turn your back on a seeding Foxglove & you'll have them forever!
I don't mind either as they're easy to remove when they become too much, & are loved by both bees & this flower grower. I give both space here. And of course, regularly cut them for arrangements!
Viola's are another of my favourite 'weeds' - I let them self seed & over generations, they've developed quite a range of colours & shapes around the place. These are some of the polytunnel 'weeds' - tucked in beneath the Sweet Peas.
In the soft light, they grow tall & so are surprisingly useful. Often I cut them for bud vases & little posies as they last well in water.
I would rather see these growing than bare earth or let more tricky weeds establish in the space What's your favourite 'weed' to encourage in the garden?
Simple 'Country bunches' of Cottage Garden flowers waiting for collection yesterday at the Flower Farm. (There are 3 bunches here to give an idea of size).
The speed flowers are moving through the season this year is breathtaking. I've been really spoilt for choice thie week as I made up the bunches & bouquets. A different mix to last week - & they'll be different again next week as new varieties join the party...
And there's plenty more to come!
From this week, bunches can be ordered via the Glenkens Food Hub too - making our flowers available for collection further afield. Pre-ordered flowers can be collected from Castle Douglas, Gatehouse of Fleet, Newton Stewart, St. John's Town of Dalry, Low Auldgirth & Moniaive. Plus there are so many delicious goodies from other local producers too - well worth checking out!
Take a look to discover perfect treats for the weekend.
The link again - https://openfoodnetwork.org.uk/glenkens-food-hub/shop
Roses around my workshop window in mid-June...
I've no idea what this Rose is called but it's a welcome sight as it was planted many years ago, long before we moved here.
The base stems are thick & mossed. It didn't flower at all for many years. Each year since I've lived here, I've pruned it carefully, cut back the thuggish Tree Peonies & Climbing Hydrangea surrounding it & given it a feed.
Now it reliably flowers each June. Nothing dramatic (yet) but always welcome as one of the first Roses to flower here in Summer.
And there's no such thing as too many Roses, is there?
Early morning is the best time to cut flowers when the temperatures soar.
Straight into a bucket of cold water & then given a long drink before arranging tomorrow. Simple good practice to make flowers last longer in the heat.
There are plenty of good 'spike' shapes this week - Delphinium, Campanula & Foxgloves giving extra height to vase arrangements.
Fortunately I've been asked for a tall vase so a lot are going into that! The Astrantia in the middle of the photo has opened much faster than planned. It could be composted but instead numerous bunches have been cut for drying.
Dried flower season seemed a long way off on this June day surrounded by abundant fresh flowers. But I'll be glad I did this come wreathmaking workshop time...
Perfect Summer sunshine yesterday for the 'Arrange A Vase' Afternoon at the Flower Farm near Castle Douglas. This month Peonies, Delphiniums, Foxgloves, Astrantia & the first Sweet Peas were included in the choice of flowers.
What could be more Summery than that?
I love to see how everybody creates their own unique combinations from the selection of ingredients offered.
Such beautiful work to take home & enjoy this week. The next 'Arrange A Vase' afternoon will be soon & bookings are open online now HERE
'Friday Flowers' delivered early June included lots of June 'froth' from the Cutting beds.
Lashings of Alchemilla Mollis, Lupins & Astrantia joined Lincolnshire-grown Peonies - June in a vase! Perfect treats for a birthday, an anniversary, a new home plus to our Regular Subscribers yesterday.
To order 'Friday Flowers' visit HERE
This is Peony 'Pink Hawaiian Coral', a real star in the peony beds in early June.
She starts off this deep coral & gradually fades to a clotted cream over time in the vase.
Most of my Peonies were planted 3 years ago so I'm beginning to cut a few stems this year. They need time to build a strong root system to produce a good crop, so cut very lightly in the early years.
Talk about deferred gratification - resisting cutting them in previous years has been difficult!
But given time & patience, they can continue to crop for 30 + years.
So those plants might seem expensive in the beginning but not so bad in the long run.
Always grateful for supplies from other British growers with acres of mature plants to boost my numbers & make sure I have plenty.
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.