The Dahlias are absolutely at their best this month, pushing up new stems of fabulous colours each day. This dainty little pompom is a favourite. It starts off white with a deep purple edge to the centre petals, then as it matures it turns this delicious lavender pink. Incredibly useful for weddings.
So pleased I cut these before the rain came - something so mesmerising about the geometry.
Meteorological Autumn begins today & oh boy, hasn't it felt like it in the past few days? Wild winds, wet & chilly nights too so it's a delight to have sunshine today.
The first hints of Autumn colour are showing in the hedgerows & the flower display in the cutting beds is really hotting up. There are plenty of whites & pale pinks of course (always popular for weddings) but the bold, hot colours are positively glowing in the softer daylight. Peach, copper, red, purple & hot pinks, the first hips & berries - there'll be a definite Bollywood vibe to my bouquets in the next few weeks.
Obsessed by the weather, we're making sure to listen in to the late weather forecast. The recent winds & rain have been tough on the flowers & now it's an early frost we're watching out for. Often we get a snap frost in mid-September then glorious warmth until well into October. Sheets of fleece are ready for a late night dash to protect the Dahlias from this threat so I can keep them blooming for weeks more.
August weddings & of course our first open day meant last month flashed by. It was a pleasure to welcome 27 visitors to the garden tours. We had no idea if anybody would want to come & it was so lovely to meet other flower enthusiasts. We were so lucky as on each day the tour finished just before the heavens opened! And yes, we'll do it all over again next year.
September is a great time to multiply your plants at little or no cost. We grow most of ours from seed or cuttings so have plenty to do in the next few weeks. Autumn sown annuals (such as Cornflowers & Ammi) will be strong, healthy plants & bloom earlier than those sown in Spring. I do both for a succession of flowers. So there'll be a good clean up this week of the greenhouse & polytunnel, ready to start filling the space again.
As evenings draw in, I always get that 'Back to School' feeling & need something to look forward to. So I've been scheduling plenty of new events & workshops for the coming months. Each time it rains I dash indoors & work on a new events page for the website. It'll be finished in the next couple of days & bookings will open. (I had planned to do it today but decided to make the most of the sunshine). As a heads up before this goes on social media at the end of the week, these are the key dates;
Dumfries; We'll be meeting for short & very relaxed 'hands on' evening flowery sessions on the 1st Tuesday each month at the fabulous Frothy Bike Cafe on Whitesands.
New Galloway; 'Make Your Own Christmas Wreath' workshop at the Cat Strand Arts Centre. Thursday 5th December pm.
Kirkcudbright; 'Make Your Own Christmas Wreath' workshop at the Station House Cookery School. Friday 6th December pm.
I usually send just one newsletter a month - as these events will be open for booking later this week, I'll send a second email in a few days so you have the opportunity to book before details are published widely. Simply ignore that email if of no interest to you.
We’ll be at Kirkcudbright Farmers Market on Sunday 22nd September. If you need a flowery fix before then, I'll be making up bouquets & wreaths to order as usual for collection or local delivery. Also flowers to arrange yourself by the informal bunch or bucket (pre-order & collection only) are available on Fridays & Saturdays this month.
Your Flowery Inspiration links;
For now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a glorious 'Indian Summer' - it's such a beautiful season to get out & about for walks or simply working in the garden. I might just gather a few cones up for wreaths though...
Until next time,
On Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th, we welcomed 27 visitors to the Flower Farm for a peek behind the scenes. Many were customers who have been enjoying our flowers, often for several years, & curious to see where their flowers grow. Others were keen gardeners wanting to see how we grow so many flowers up a hill side in South West Scotland.
The event was part of the much larger 'Flower Farmers Big Weekend' organised by the British co-operative of Flower Farmers 'Flowers From The Farm'. Earlier in the year when we were asked if we would take part, it seemed so easy to say 'yes'. As doubtless did over 100 Flower Farmers across the UK.
As the weekend grew closer, I began to wonder what we had agreed to. For a few weeks, the event seemed to be mentioned in every glossy magazine I opened - the press coverage was fabulous & resulted in tickets selling out fast. We never even got as far as adding the event to our social media pages - just the press & our newsletter sold the tickets. Sunday sold out in days.
After appalling wet & windy weather, for a short while I considered cancelling as inevitably this did slow down the blooms. We tidied, swept, weeded, worried about access, parking, insurance & trip hazards. But decided to go ahead as actually a weeds, warts & all view of flower farming is sometimes what needs to be given. It isn't easy to grow & sell large volumes of quality flowers. British, locally grown cut flowers take effort & skill to produce.
Occasionally press articles do rather give the impression growing flowers is an easy way to make money, (IMHO) portraying flower farmers simply wafting around their patch on a sunny morning, wearing a pretty linen dress, floppy sunhat & sandals. Er, no - not this one at any rate. More often I'm seen not-so-stylishly attired in wellington boots, with wet hair & please - don't look at the state of my fingernails!
So we went ahead anyway & were lucky on both days the tour completed before the heavens opened. Perfect timing for tea, cake & good chat with flower enthusiasts. Only afterwards did Ken & I realise neither of us remembered to take any pictures...
We had no idea if anyone would be interested in seeing what we do, weeds, mud & all. And were delighted to discover people interested in the provenance of their flowers & how they're grown. Your encouragement, enthusiasm & ideas for what we should do next in our flower growing business were so uplifting.
Thank you all so much!
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.