Mistletoe arrived in early December!
This big bough arrived just in time for the first of this years Wreathmaking workshops in Kirkcudbright last night.
It's strung up on a branch for now as I find being in the open air & rain the best way to keep it looking green & fresh - the birds don't seem to bother with the berries unless they're any left in the New Year when they're really hungry.
And I still keep hoping it'll grow on one of my old trees one day...
A sort of 'Cut & Come' again treat to add to wreaths to make them extra special.
And of course a completely natural, compostable decoration too A little bit of romance, so many myths & legends associated with this strange plant.
The last couple of weeks have been hectic here, digging these Dahlia tubers out of their Summer beds before the cold weather begins.
All are now out of the ground, dried off & stored in a frost free place.
It's a big job each year - all the Dahlia Tubers are health checked as we go. Some divide as we clean, others we'll divide in the Spring if necessary.
When dried, the tubers are packed away & kept frost free until we start them off again.
We started the season with approximately 600 tubers & we try to record as we go how many we have at the end. Some varieties are discarded as not great producers & I'll not grow them them again. A few were unhealthy so discarded.
And then there are those I want to propagate so next year I'll have even more of a variety.
How many will the total be for 2022? More than ever!
I hope my crystal ball is working well so I have the favoured colours for next years weddings... What do you think that'll be?
Most of our Galloway-grown flowers have finished by November. I'm grateful to growers further South in the UK for supplying flowers for our to us in the next cold, dark months.
But these lightly-scented beauties are among the exceptions - I cut stems (in bud) into November this year. These were included in bouquets delivered to our regular customers. They may look fragile but they're tough cookies, standing up well outside to that Galloway wind & rain!
We NEVER import flowers from outside the British Isles, all year round. It's not always easy to do but our talented growers make sure there's always something lovely to enjoy. All grown to high ethical, environmental & sustainable standards with minimal carbon footprint, of course.
And buying a UK-grown bouquet can save up to 7.9kg of Carbon compared to an imported bouquet of flowers.
If you would like to join our regular subscription customers, let me know. Delivered locally on Fridays, & British-grown all year round. Minimum subscription is just 3 bouquets.
If somebody you know is looking for gift inspiration this Christmas - maybe it's time to give them a hint...
If you aren't a Gardener or a Flower Farmer, you might not be that impressed by this photo today... But this view of one of our compost heaps is pure Gold to me!
Last week, I posted a photo of a load of plant stems being carted off to the compost heap. This is what it turns into a year later.
This heap could be riddled & spread on the beds now but I'll probably leave it until Spring. It'll break down just a little bit more & give plants a flying start.
Composting is easy to do, improves soil quality & returns nutrients to the soil. It produces stronger, healthier plants, retains moisture & of course produces the best flowers.
Over time those strong plants capture more carbon in the soil too.
Promise I'll be back to posting the pretties later...
The frost zapped most of our Dahlias in the polytunnels on 3rd November, bringing our flower season to a close.
But I can't complain - 3rd November was pretty late for us here & they've flowered their socks off for ages. Some years a hard frost in September reduces the flowers to a black mush.
Thousands of stems cut for our 'Friday Flowers', events & weddings.
Now as I begin the long task of digging, dividing & storing the tubers, it's time to be ruthless.
In 2022, which varieties do I want to grow more of? Less of? Replace completely with a better variety of the same colour?
If I don't write it down now, I'll never remember when I start unpacking them, ready to grow again. This one Dahlia 'American Dawn' is definitely a keeper & I hope there'll be nice fat tubers underground to make more plants for next year.
If you grow Dahlias, which are on your 'more of' list for next year - any you recommend me to try?
Autumn clearup continues in the golden sunshine - another load off to the compost heap. Not the most glamourous part of flower farm life, but important.
Compost Corner' creates the rich mulch we use for our flowers. It's the powerhouse enabling us to grow so many flowers in a small area (around 1 acre intensively) without nasty chemical fertilisers. And composting is important for the planet too. Composting organic material such as leaves, plant stems, grass clippings & cardboard captures carbon & improves the soil too.
The alternative - sending biodegradeable materials to landfill - increases methane production, a more harmful gas for climate change than carbon dioxide.
So much of the coverage of Climate Change can make me feel overwhelmed, helpless to do anything. The truth needs to be told but it's hard to hear.
And composting is a small, domestic level action easily taken that makes a difference to the bigger picture too.
Any questions on composting, feel free to ask.
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.