I'm working my way though the Dahlias this week, checking all are clearly labelled & I've a photo of each variety. This Anemone-flowered beauty is Dahlia 'Soulman'.
Just now it's obvious which are which, the good ones I want to keep, & others I'll not grow again next year as they've been superseded by a new variety.
But as soon as Jack Frost visits, the plants will turn to a horrible slippery mush & I'll never tell them apart!
By planting similar colours together it pleases my eye & it saves a lot of time when cutting. I can see quickly how many of each variety are budding, likely to be ready for an event or 'Friday Flowers'.
When you've got roughly 600 Dahlias flowering like crazy in peak season, saving time matters...
With a touch of Autumn in the air, I'm enjoying planning our Spring planting.
And that means big pots of Spring colour as well as the Cutting beds.
You can enjoy Springtime beauty too by joining me on Sunday November 7th to plant up a 'lasagne' of flowers in a big pot.
Your pot will be packed with multiple layers for a colourful display of flowers from March to May (depending on our wonderful weather, of course).
Full details & Online booking here' 'Plant A Bulb Lasagne' workshop
Visited Halls of Heddon Dahlia Nursery yesterday - the field is a spectacular sight just now with 10,000 Dahlia plants in bloom.
So useful to see varieties growing together like this - colours can look different in a photograph, it can be difficult to tell how long & strong the stems will be (essential for good cut flowers).
I was able to compare varieties in a colour range, even see which would cope with rain best - essential for growing outside here in Galloway.
Inevitably, a few varieties have been added to my wishlist for 2022...
For Sylvie yesterday.
Just a perfect client, Sylvie's brief for her Bridal bouquet was simple; 'You choose - any colour, whatever's in season, not Lilies'. Her Wedding Vows Renewal Ceremony was at Gretna Green on Sunday.
So I chose the best on the day - scented Sweet Peas, some of my favourite Dahlias, a touch of Thistle, & a fizz of 'Frosted Explosion' grass lke a halo over the top (sorry difficult to see in the photo - it wiggles beautifully though).
Nobody else has ever had a bouquet exactly like this, nobody ever will again. As individual as Sylvie herself. Her words afterwards; 'Thank you for helping make my day special'
Wedding bookings for 2022 are open now, get in touch soon if you would like me to create unique flowers for your special day.
Got away with the first Frost scare of the season last night.
Yesterday morning, weather forecast a low of 7degrees - no problem. 7pm - forecast low of 5 degrees. As it was still & very clear, I decided not to take a chance.
When temperatures drop that fast it COULD just catch the Dahlias if it fell more.
Ken & I had a mad rush to cover lightly with fleece. Not the easiest job in the near dark with head torches!
Experience has shown if we can mollycoddle them through a few cold September nights, they'll bloom well into October.
So checking the weather today - looks safe for tonight but I'm keeping that fleece handy.
Good news is this means we'll have plenty for the 'Friday Flowers' this week & to take to Kirkcudbright Farmers Market on Sunday 26th September. There are a lot of buds under there.
Let me know if you would like to order a bunch. Email Me
They've been a long time coming but the Dahlias are finally blooming by the bucketful! Woohoo, I love, love, love their variety of colours, shapes & sizes.
600 tubers here now & I still don't have them all. Dahlia catalogues have already started plopping through the the letterbox though - a dangerous time to be left alone with a credit card, in Ken's opinion. I'm becoming selective though - no matter how beautiful, if experience has shown a variety not to be good in the vase or poor producers they don't earn a place on the team anymore. (Might just keep them in the garden...)
A 'perfect storm' of events slowed Dahlias down this year - some planted a bit late because of my broken arm, the cold Spring delayed planting out, then the prolonged dry weather slowed their settling in. They're a time consuming crop but so worthwhile to grow. Now I'm watching the weather forecast closely, fleece at the ready to protect them through sudden late frosts if they come. Until then, I'm cutting daily, filling Wedding & Party orders & our 'Friday Flowers' with their gorgeous variety of colours, shapes & sizes.
A huge 'thank you' to everybody who visited for our Open Weekend last month. 26 visitors enjoyed a wander through the flowers, tea & cake . The weather was even on our side... It was a pleasure to spend time & conversation with others interested in flowers. A welcome step back towards normal for us all.
The season is moving towards Autumn early this year isn't it? Crispy leaves on the ground, so many Rowan berries & Rosehips (finding their way into arrangements) & trees colouring already. While the Dahlias are fabulous, supported by the Michaelmas Daisies, Gladioli, Acidanthera, it definitely has that 'end of season' vibe here. The meadow grasses glisten with dew on spider webs in the early morning, the evenings are drawing in, meteorological Autumn has begun.
Yesterday, I ripped the Sweet Peas from the polytunnel & prepared to move more potted Dahlias in there. These should keep blooming under its protection for some time. Clearing plants to the compost heap I remember the thousands of scented stems cut this year. They've been blooming non-stop since June so I can't complain. The outside Sweet Peas are still full of flower though the cool nights this week will slow them.
Any day now the huge boxes of bulbs will arrive. As I rejuvenate beds & divide perennials in the coming weeks, I'll pop in Narcissi, Muscari, Alliums, Iris & Gladioli in between to use all the available space. Tulips wait until November (or even later if we're busy). The boxes are emptied just in time to be filled with Dahlia tubers as we dig them up to store over winter. There's a good supply of bulbs available still in garden centres so it's a good time to top up your beds with Spring colour.
As well as working outside, I've been planning the next Workshops & these are now open for booking;
I'm planning to bring flowers (including dried ones again) to Kirkcudbright Farmers Market on Sunday 26th September. If you would like to pre-order flowers to collect, send an email. 'Friday Flowers' are being delivered on Fridays plus 'Click & Collect' on Fridays & Saturdays. Order online or by telephone 01644 420407.
Fingers crossed we're treated to a gorgeous 'Indian Summer' in the coming weeks...
Jobs for the Cutting Garden in September;
Until next time,
Your Flower Links for September;
If you've ever wondered what we're growing in late August at the Flower Farm near Castle Douglas, here's a selection. In addition I cut several buckets of Dahlias & plenty of Sweet Peas.
These were cut ready to be made into 'Friday Flowers' bouquets in late August. As we move through the seasons, the contents of our bouquets are ever changing, always botanically interesting as I can make them.
To order a bouquet for local delivery or collection, book online or telephone Rosie on 01644 420407.
A 'Wildflower' Bridal Bouquet of seasonal flowers for Deidre on her recent wedding day in August near Dumfries. Wedding flowers were made by Rosie Gray, of Galloway Flowers, Wedding Florist in Dumfries & Galloway Scotland.
I adored working with this sophisticated colour palette of Champagne, Caramel, Raspberry, Cream & Wine with lots of greens - delicious!
And as always, all the flowers & foliage used in this bouquet were grown here in Galloway by ourselves at the Flower Farm.
And Deidre loved it too; 'Thank you so much for my flowers. They were absolutely beautiful! I cried when I saw them. They were exactly what I wanted. I can't express how grateful I am - They were more than I could have dreamed for.'
Bookings are now open for wedding flowers in Dumfries & Galloway & South Ayrshire in 2022 - more information Wedding Flowers South West Scotland
At a local Walled Garden, this made a stunning backdrop for Andrea & Allan's wedding ceremony recently.
I used 100% British grown flowers & foliage (much of it grown by us) for minimal flower miles. It was made without environmentally harmful floral foam (major cause of microplastic pollution in the marine environment).
Andrea's bouquet is pictured below.
So good to be back prepping beautiful wedding flowers here in Dumfries & Galloway! Our wedding order book for 2022 is open now so why not get in touch if you're planning a wedding in 2022 in Dumfries & Galloway or South Ayrshire. GardenStyleweddingflowers
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.