The days are finally getting longer at both ends & after a quiet January, I feel ready to begin another year of flowers (our 7th) here. Early bulbs are pushing up through the soil & many of the Perennials are appearing too. By late March we'll again be cutting our own grown flowers for bouquets & events. Bring it on!
The highlights in the garden just now are the Scented Shrubs - Daphne, Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera X Purpusii) & Sarcococca. Most of the year these are plain, unassuming shrubs but their scent just now is delicious. It wafts about on gentle breezes. I cut a stem or two to bring into the house or to tuck into bouquets. It's just enough to keep people guessing what it is - any more & it can be overpowering. If you have space for one of these lovely plants in your garden, I recommend them highly.
The Hellebores are forming nice fat buds & will be ready to cut soon. They're a fabulous cut flower but require a little care to ensure they don't flop pathetically in the vase. The trick is to leave them until at least one flower on the stem has been pollinated by the bees & a seed pod is beginning to form. I sear them in boiling water too just to give them extra strength - with care they last well. Most of my Hellebores were grown from seed given to me in a tiny envelope nearly 30 years ago by the Great Aunt of a Primary school friend. Over time, I've picked out & increased the better colours - they're still called 'Auntie May's Hellebores' though!
The new seasons seeds have arrived & I'm itching to begin sowing! But I know it's too soon & must step away from the seed packets... Seed will germinate given warmth but unless additional lighting is available the seedlings will grow weak, & skinny. Wait a few weeks & seed sown later with better natural light soon overtakes the early starts. If you want to sow something now, Sweet Peas, Antirrhinums & Broad Beans will appreciate the early start.
I'll cut the first of our Anemones this week, early as they're last years corms brought into the Greenhouse. My expensive Ranunculus planted in October have been a complete disaster - all eaten by a mouse! Fortunately I only planted half the corms so still time to plant the rest for late May/June flowers.
The wedding calendar is filling up nicely in recent weeks - if you know a couple hoping to use our locally grown flowers this year, please suggest they get in touch soon. I take on only a few weddings each week & the popular weeks fill quickly.
And today I've made a few events for this year available to book on the website - the first in a very long time. We're looking forward to welcoming visitors again soon.
The last two years have turned so many of our plans upside down (like everybody else, of course). We worked hard to keep this little business afloat & when I look back to 2020, it seems plans for that year are mostly still on the list! Probably not completely true (we did get the second polytunnel up & running) but my workshop hasn't been knocked through & the Old Nursery area remains a complete mess after the Leylandii hedge was removed. It is what it is.Hopefuly these projects will be completed this year & we can get back to what we do best - growing lots of beautiful flowers!.
Today was miserably wet & didn't encourage me out for long. It's a good opportunity to snuggle by the fire, read seed & plant catalogues & plan for this years flowers. But I could see the Catkins dancing in the wind, a reminder that Spring is on the way... We look forward to sharing our flowers & Flower Farm life with you in the season ahead,
Until next time,
Jobs for the Cutting Garden in February;
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.