How welcome the rain was last week when the weather finally broke. I enjoyed cutting flowers that first wet afternoon, wet hair plastered to my head. Yes, weird I know but just so long since we've had a proper soak here in South West Scotland! I could almost hear plants sighing with relief as they lapped it up - I swear some grew visibly in a few days.
The prolonged sunshine was wonderful & fabulous for all enjoying a holiday here. It was becoming tough for the plants though. And for me - the week it hit the high twenties here, my productivity slumped.
We're on a private water supply so watch the water level closely. I watched our neighbours taking water to their animals as the burns ran dry, adding hours to their already long days. Watering polytunnel plants & those in pots added extra time for us too. I knew the lack of water was becoming serious when I found a Toad sitting in the dog water bowl by the back door...
How quickly my daily routine switches from saving precious water from the kitchen for plants, to emptying trays full of rainwater to ensure plants don't drown! The plus of the dry weather was tht the grass doesn't need cutting & weed seeds don't germinate - I suspect both of these will be on rapid catch up now!
Most outside plants are given a good soak when planted & then usually are fine here. This year, ithe prolonged dry spell slowed growth & flowering, with many showing yellowing on the leaves. Plants can't take up the nutrients they need from dry soil causing yellowing - they'll recover quickly now after the rain & a little seaweed tonic. The Dahlias began flowering really early this year & have taken a break because of the dry. I checked on them this morning & already a new flush of buds have appeared, promising to be back with a bang soon!
There were plenty of flowers in July as others came on early - the Phlox, Scabious & Rudbeckia are way ahead, the Sweet Peas have been our best ever. Others have finished early such as the Cornflowers - I'll rip them out this afternoon. My careful succession sowings went to pot as all the Nigella came at once - still plenty of seed pods to dry. It's a text book year for demonstrating how critical it is to grow a variety to be able to produce bouquets over a whole season.
And the weddings have been so enjoyable in the past month. Finally, we could flower up several big marquee weddings as well as some lovely small garden ones, & intimate elopements. The wedding industry employs so many across Dumfries & Galloway - I enjoyed catching up with other suppliers all delighted to be working again. Our Wedding Bookings are now open for 2022.
Anyhow, it's finally getting back to normal as I've started driving again. Hurray! After 5 months of being chauffered everywhere by Ken, this was quite a day. I felt as if I regained my independence, freeing so much time for Ken. Yes, I'm sad & resigned to the planned projects left undone for this year. Now I'm ready to move on.
August may be high Summer still, yet planning for 2022 is underway here. I've a list of Perennials to divide (many should have been split in Spring but my broken arm put paid to that), Biennials are growing on slowly but surely, ready to plant out for early Summer. I'll begin sowing the tough Annuals (Ammi, Cornflowers & Larkspur) for overwintering at the end of this month. Others are being left to collect seed from - they look untidy it's true & very worthwhile none the less.
For a while in early July as Corona Virus figures rose, I thought we might have to cancel the Open Weekend. Over half the tickets were booked already so I decided not to put it on social media, just in case. All is looking better now & we're going ahead!
At the moment there are 9 tickets for Saturday 14th August & 5 for Sunday 15th. It will be published on social media this afternoon so this is a last priority call to book places. Cake baking will begin, the weather forecast looks OK & we're really looking forward to this big step towards returning to our normal activities. Book Here
I'm planning to bring flowers to Loch Arthur Farm Shop & Cafe on Friday August 27th & to Kirkcudbright Farmers Market on Sunday 29th August. If you would like to pre-order flowers to collect, send an email.
'Friday Flowers' are being delivered on Fridays (not 13th August) plus 'Click & Collect' on Fridays & Saturdays. Order online or by telephone 01644 420407.
The week ahead looks like a great growing week - full of sunshine & showers. Just as well as I seem to have plenty of suggested tasks for the month ahead...
Jobs for the Cutting Garden in August;
Until next time,
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.