Dahlia of the Day... 'Sweet Nathalie'
Palest not-quite-white with a soft blush of pink towards the back, hard to describe without resorting to paint charts.
Always gorgeous in a wedding bouquet, don't you think?
'Bit subtle for me' says Ken, as he saw me posting this.
He has a point.
In a garden setting, I prefer the bolder colours too.
But in those softly coloured wedding bouquets, well she's hard to beat & on my list every year here to grow.
Dahlia of the Day... 'April Heather'
I'm trying a number of these single Dahlias (called Colarettes) this year.
They've a bit of a reputation for having a short vase life so I've been keeping a close watch.
I cut this one last Thursday & 4 days later it's looking unblemished. Just see how it goes.
Anyhow, this one is definitely going on my 'Grow More Of' list for next year, because as well as good looks, our Honey bees love it!
If you're looking for pollinator-friendly plants for your garden, these single Dahlias are a great choice as they're irresistable to so many pollinators.
Sunflowers & smiles from Maria & her Maids back in June at Mabie House Hotel, near Dumfries. Thank you to Maria for allowing me to share this photo & to the talented Derek of Derek Dunlop Photography for taking such a relaxed image.
One of my favourites from this year - it always makes me smile back!
Last of the Summer Wine?
I hope not but know the Summer flowers aren't going to be here for ever...
So I'm making the most of them - this stunning Dahlia was among our flowers used for todays flower bouquet deliveries. Not everybody's taste I concede, perhaps a little loud for some. I look forward to it every year though, the kind of Dahlia that maybe gets them a bad reputation!
Growing Hyacinths in a vase of water is a traditional method, much loved by the Victorians.
Seeing the bulb roots through the glass looks beautiful & is intriguing, especially for children.
You can enjoy the fabulous, heady fragrance of the flowers indoors.
And perhaps best of all, it’s easy to do!
What you’ll need;
How to start your bulbs into growth;
The hyacinth bulbs are exhausted after the effort of producing a flower in water only. Transplant bulbs into the garden after flowering. They may not flower well next year but will recover to produce small blooms in future years.
Ready to try 'Something New'?
Many bulbs will grow in water, just like Hyacinths. You could try Snowdrops, Crocus, Narcissi (especially the Miniature ones), even Amaryllis. Just use a different size jar, & have fun!
Phew! After 2 nights with low temperatures forecast, it's a relief to see our Dahlias unharmed by the cold.
We fleeced them to give an extra layer of protection & this time, it was enough.
Temperatures are looking warmer now for a while so fingers crossed, we can enjoy them for a few more weeks. Hopefully there'll be plenty for our wedding couples plus to bring to Kirkcudbright Farmers Market next Sunday.
I'm keeping the fleece handy though & a beady eye on the forecast each evening... Jack Frost I'm ready for you!
Photo of Dahlia 'Askwith Minnie' just because.
A soft & subtle selection of September flowers for Lisa's wedding bouquet, made earlier this week.
As well as Dahlias, Phlox, Rudbeckia, Cosmos, Astrantia, Aster & Antirrhinum, I added Wild Marjoram & Pelargonium for scent, plus seed heads & Grasses for a delicate swish, dancing over the flowers.
100% grown here in Galloway by myself at the Flower Farm for minimal flower miles. I think the Astrantia travelled furthest to my workshop - 50 steps maybe?
Locally grown, seasonal & sustainable. All our packaging materials are recyclable &/or reusable also.
Lisa eloped to Galloway for a romantic wedding ceremony in the gardens at Galloway House, Garlieston near Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway.
When Claire asked me to prepare flowers for her wedding at Gretna Green, I jumped at the chance!
Claire told me she LOVES flowers, wanted multiple colours & wanted them arranged in a natural, bohemian style.
Her favourites are delicate wildflowers so I included plenty of these - Cornflowers, Forget Me Not's, Buttercups, Daisies & soft grasses.
June is a perfect month for this wedding decor style as we grow many at the Flower Farm in Dumfries & Galloway. I was spoilt for choice when I began cutting flowers for Claire!
The flowers were arranged simply in mini 'milk bottles', trimmed with ivory ribbon.
Then the bottles were positioned down the table as a botanical runner. Very colourful & interesting for guests to look at during the meal as every bottle contained a different selection of flowers.
I made several Posies in ribbon-trimmed Honey jars too & these were placed on the windowsills.
After the wedding, Claire invited Guests to take bottles away with them as a wedding favour. She added a packet of wildflower seeds & bottle of pink Gin for each Guest too.
Claire took several Posies in Honey jars herself to enjoy in her Camper Van as she & Husband Adie toured the Highlands on their Honeymoon. The couple messaged me to say;
Thank you so so much for our beautiful Wedding flowers. We loved them and so did everyone else. We’re still on our travels through Isle of Skye with one of ours jars.
And the Wedding Cake...
As Claire lived in Dorset & travelled to Gretna Green for her wedding, I suggested contacting Jade of The Treats Darling in Kirkcudbright to make her Wedding cake. And what a cake!
Jade's cakes are exceptional - delicious & made with love & such creativity. This cake was coated in buttercream & decorated with a selection of food safe flowers grown by myself at the Flower Farm near Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galoway.
As you'll see from the pictures below, it was a real stunner!
Thank you Claire & Adie for allowing us to be part of your special wedding day at Gretna Green - best wishes for many happy & healthy years together.
Wedding Suppliers Gretna Green;
Wedding Florist; Rosie @Galloway Flowers www.GallowayFlowers.co.uk
Wedding Cake Specialist; Jade @ The Treats Darling
Wedding Venue; The Gables Hotel, Gretna Green, Dumfries & Galloway www.Gables-hotel-gretna.co.uk
As rain blows across the field this morning, I feel the season turning to Autumn. Quickly forgetting how much rain is still needed - was it really only last Wednesday I gave Dahlias a much needed soak with a hose? I'm even wearing socks today, for goodness sake - how many times has that been necessary recently!
While we never had close to the drought & high temperatures experienced in many areas, this year has been challenging. Great for everybody enjoying holidays locally of course, but concerning for all growing flowers, food & grass. I'm mean with additional watering & the difference shows in stem length of certain flowers. The perennial flowers & early planted Annuals such as Sweet Peas performed brilliantly, their roots down deep. Tomatoes are incredible this year.
But the Tender Annuals planted out over the Summer (Cosmos for example) have disappointed. While they survived, they didn't thrive as usual. This month is a good time to note what thrived, what I'll grow more of for next year & changes needed. The addition of water efficient soaker hoses worked brilliantly in the tunnels. Next year I'll add some to vulnerable outside plants too. As we see climate change affecting us, we're learning to adapt for future success.
It's been a non-stop Summer of fabulous weddings as couples could plan with certainty at last. From large Marquees in the garden, to pretty country churches, village halls & family gardens, we've loved them all! Never have I known so many elopements - proving romance is definitely not dead.
Wedding trends I've noticed?
While flower production slows from this month on, there's plenty to do. I'm making a big effort to save our own seed to resow for more free plants. Many come true from seed so it makes good sense - like everything else, seed prices are soaring. Quality of our own seed tends to be good as it's so fresh - gather it when very dry, store somewhere cool & dry, then resow. Germination rates tend to be high especially for the 'tricky' seeds such as Orlaya & Molucella (Bells of Ireland). So why not give it a go?
On Sunday September 11th, I'll be hosting a 'Make A Hand Tied Bouquet' afternoon so if you've ever fancied giving this a try, do come along. Just 2 places left this morning. BOOK ONLINE
This week it's time to tidy up the greenhouse ready for filling with tender plants again over winter. The fleece is bundled up ready to throw over the Dahlias if an early frost threatens - the earliest I've known was September 13th here. If I can mollycoddle plants through early cold nights, often I can keep them blooming until late October. Last Autumn was exceptionally mild & I sent buckets of Dahlias & Rudbeckia to Glasgow to decorate Kelvingrove for the COP26 dinner. Jack Frost I'm ready for you!
Dried flowers are having a renaissance & my spare bedroom is rammed with bright Statice, Achillea & Helichrysum. Serious wreathmaking has begun...Wreaths will be for sale on the website later this month & can be sent by post across the UK.
Enjoy September's misty mornings, Spiders webs on the grasses & the leaves as colours begin to change. I couldn't resist adding these brambles to a vase arrangement, but there are plenty in the hedgerows this year for Crumbles & pies. Hurrah for the return of comfort food!
Until next time,
'A flowerless room is a souless room, to my way of thinking; but even a solitary little vase of a living flower may redeem it.' Vita Sackville-West 'Some Flowers'
Jobs for the Cutting Garden in September;
It's perfect weather for collecting my own seed this week - dry for several days now.
The seedheads on many easy to grow cut flowers are beginning to mature now & when dry, store well. This Orlaya, a favourite white umbellifer-shape flower is one I always collect. If the seed isn't really fresh, germination can be poor.
But from my own seed, well used to growing conditions here in Scotland, I get good results. Each individual seed is like a little hedgehog (it splits in 2 along those cracks you see opening?) covered in hard bristles. It catches on anything that brushes past (my leggings, dog coats...) explaining why it can pop up in surprising places.
But it's a 'good' weed to have!
I'll sow some this week (that's what I mean by really fresh) for a light, airy froth of flowers in weddings next May & early June. Then another batch or 2 will be sown next Spring.
Like everything, seed is shooting up in price so why not have a look around your patch & see what seeds you could collect for free? No chemicals, no air miles to transport long distance - just fresh seed for you, & perhaps to swap with friends.
And a little beauty in your garden to look forward to in 2023...
To learn more about growing cut flowers to fill your garden & home with beauty, join me at my next 'Cut Flowers From Your Garden ' workshop. Find all the details & Book Online Here
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.