Friday Flowers' bouquets delivered locally again today, included these stunning Dahlias.
Everything grown by us here in Galloway, except a touch of Eucalyptus from Cornwall.
The frost was hard last night so I cut buckets of stems yesterday to beat it.
Most have been delivered to our Regular Flower Subscribers today, the rest will be dried & added to our dried flower wreaths over the next few weeks.
The Dahlias have been fabulous this year, but like everything, have their season. Our growing season is drawing to a close, though I've a fair number of flowers still blooming in the tunnels.
The next few weeks we'll be busy digging up the tubers, ready to store & then the bulbs & hardy annuals will be planted in their place.
Gotta keep that soil working all year round... Roll on Spring 2022!
This year, I've received a frustrating number of Dahlia tubers that are not what they should be.
And yes, they're from reputable suppliers.
When a dormant tuber arrives, it's impossible to tell what it is so all are given the same care to get them going from March. Compost, water, space, love...
Eventually, months later, the first flowers bloom. Always exciting to see a new variety - but so disappointing when it isn't what was ordered.
Several have been so poor, they've already been dumped!
This one isn't the raspberry coloured confection I hoped for but at least it's a nice colour, has strong stems for cutting & lasts well. It's a keeper. (just as well - there are 10 plants).
Anybody recognise it & know the name?
I would be so pleased if you could tell me so it can be labelled correctly for next year please. It isn't anything I've grown before. At the moment it's known as 'the mystery bright peachy yellow big ball' & I'm sure it deserves better than that!
A petite Wedding Bouquet for our petite Bride, Nicky at her Gretna Green elopement wedding ceremony in September.
An elegant colour palette of white & dark blues, using Dahlias, Sweet Peas, Michaelmas Daisy, Grasses & Thistle.
All grown here at the Flower Farm near Castle Douglas, except the Thistle from Lincolnshire.
Nicky told me 'Thank you so much Rosie - it was absolutely beautiful'.
If you're planning a wedding in Dumfries & Galloway, more information about our naturally styled wedding flowers can be found here Wedding Flowers Dumfries & Galloway
In my 'Happy Place' - it's a while since I added a picture of me online, I prefer to let the flowers do the talking. But hey, look at those Dahlias!
There are still plenty of Dahlia flowers & they're not slowing down yet. Usually Jack Frost has reduced them to a nasty black mess by early October, bringing our main season of locally-grown flowers to an end. With no sign of a frost in the forecast (I know that can change fast) I've decided they've until next weekend, then I'm going to start cutting down & lifting them anyway. Otherwise, I'll struggle to get them stored properly before the weather is really wet & I'll get behind with work on Christmas wreaths.
It's time for tough love... the Dahlias are in beds where bulbs, & Hardy Annuals must be planted. If those plants don't get into the ground soon, they're at risk of not making it through winter or not being ready when I need them. I've more space than most people, but it's always a juggling act.
Anemones & Ranunculus are underway now, & should be ready to cut from April. These are probably the 2 most capricious crops I grow - when they're good, they're very, very good ...but oh, boy are they picky. Expensive to buy, they suffer from random rots & moulds, must be well-drained but don't like it too hot & dry. But such gorgeous colours, they're always a lovely addition to the Spring bouquets, so worth extra effort.
Most of the Spring bulbs are here & I've begun planting them. Tulips wait until November as it reduces the risk of 'Tulip Fire', a nasty virus that distorts growth & ruins the flower. Looking forward to them already!
Traditionally, Sweet Peas are started off this month for early flowers by many growers, kept in a cold frame over winter. I'm not bothering as to be honest, they're expensive mouse food! I'll start an early batch in January to flower in the tunnel from May, & my main crop on Valentine's day for the outside beds. I like them for early weddings, but not too many as it overlaps with other late Spring flowers - I prefer to enjoy an abundance of varied flowers, changing with the seasons. This year the Sweet Peas were fabulous, loving the warm Summer weather & producing long, scented stems for months. Fingers crossed next year they'll be as good, as I loved using so many for weddings.
The house is crammed with dried flowers (isn't that what guest bedrooms are for?) ready for this seasons dried wreaths & bouquets. I've made the first & will start putting them on the webshop later this week. If you would like me to make one in a particular colourway or size for you, let me know while I've planty of choice.
As the Pandemic seems to be calming locally (or we're just resolved to getting on with life), we''re returning to projects scheduled for 2020. Expanding my little workshop & restructuring the old nursery beds were put on hold - frankly this area has suffered this year as I simply couldn't keep up with my broken arm. All the new trellis, materials have been waiting since March to be used. Fortunately, I hadn't ordered plants as they would have died in their pots during the hot, dry weather). My brother is coming to help (oh dear, I really do need to clear the guest bedroom of those dried flowers...) & this will give us a real boost - another pair of hands makes such a difference.
To help us focus on this project, I'll be scaling back 'Friday Flowers' deliveries until early December. We'll continue with our Regular Flower Subscriptions & offer a limited number of local deliveries/collections & funeral flowers each week. If you have a special birthday,event etc coming up & would like me to order flowers, please get in touch early so I don't disappoint you.
Christmas - as the television is already screening ads, I think it's OK to say the word. The Wreath shop is now taking orders on the website & natural hand-made wreaths can be collected, delivered locally or sent by post again. More options will be added for Christmas flowers as we get nearer to the time.
2021 Workshops are now booking;
Today it feels like Autumn again - golden sunshine, cool & misty this morning, very still air... a beautiful day for gardening & getting ahead before the inevitable wet weather. I'm listening for the Geese & the Fieldfares to arrive, it won't be long now...
Jobs for the Cutting Garden in October;
And a thought relevant for all of us Gardeners...
'The future depends on what you do today' Mahatma Ghandi
Until next time,
Your Flower Links for October;
Dahlia 'Cafe Au Lait' - how did it get to October before I posted a picture of her?
While the colourful carnival of bright Dahlias goes on outside, these plants have quietly been pumping out subtly coloured blooms in the Tunnel since mid-August. Grown at the flower farm near Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway.
So perfect for weddings & everyday too -always classy.
It's easy to see why Dahlias have become such a popular flower for weddings, isn't it?
These are a few of the White Dahlia varieties from this years crop, flowering from early July to the Frosts. All grown here at the Galloway Flowers Farm near Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway.
Fingers crossed I might have them for a little longer...
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
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.