High Summer at last... long days & much needed rain! So many plants had been holding back, waiting for a good soak. Now I'm cutting flowers by the bucket in so many colours & varieties, I'm spoilt for choice - a luxurious abundance!
The prolonged dry period (while wonderful for working outside) was adding so much length to our day. Too dry for seedlings to be planted out, it was easier to keep them alive by watering them in their baby trays. As a result, some are now a bit leggy, needing a nutritional boost. But at least they've survived. They'll catch up quickly & continue flowering later.
For us, May & June passed in a floral blur. We were busy flowering up events & hosting workshops as well as growing flowers for the rest of the season. At times, it seemed as if Sundays, Mondays & Tuesdays were 'Sow, Plant, Water'. Wednesdays through to Saturday 'Cut, Arrange, Deliver'. All on rinse & repeat. Hugely enjoyable if hectic. Our time is never quite that neatly organised but it gives a gist of a Flower Farmers life.
Inevitably, the dry weather has resulted in winners & losers. The Perennials (like the Delphiniums above) have been winners. Flowering their socks off without additional water, filling vases when other varieties disappointed or were late.These Delphiniums were cut just before a Storm broke. I knew they would be knocked flat by the forecast wind & rain. So I cut them quickly & put them away to dry.
And the Roses in June - never have they been so good as they basked in the dry sunshine. Most have finished their first flush.Now trimmed, fed & fingers crossed, many will give a repeat show. I don't grow that many Roses, but the heady scent was so wonderful. If I knew June would be like that every year, I could be persuaded to grow more. (Actually, I might already have ordered a few for planting in November.)
On the other hand, the first batch Sweet Peas didn't like the high temperatures, shooting too tall & flowering fast in the polytunnel. Of course, the second batch outside, aren't keen on the cooler night time temperatures in the coming weeks either. It's like looking after Goldilocks! But we've had plenty for the weddings, & I'm sure the glut quantities will be here soon.
Dahlias are leaping ahead now. I cut the first few stems this week. Soon they'll be appearing in the weekly 'Friday Flowers'. Lots of trusted favourites plus new varieties this year in a full range of colours. Dahlias still have a bit of a reputation for bold, clashy colours, maybe even considered a bit naff by some. Many of the new varieties are soft, subtle beauties, just perfect for weddings. I grow a wide range & they mix & match so well with other flowers.
Our 'Country bunches' of mixed seasonal flowers are now available to order via the Glenkens Food Hub. Along with a wide selection of locally produced products, flowers can be collected from the Food Hub locations. These are; Castle Douglas, Newton Stewart, Gatehouse, Moniaive, Low Auldgirth & Dalry.
In other news, the Spotted Flycatchers have fledged in the main polytunnel. We're being dive bombed by Swallows nesting in the tool shed. And Ken has a new obsession - a moth trap! We knew there were many different Moths here as I find them in the polytunnel asleep on flowers. Such wonderful names & so difficult to identify accurately.
The fashion for dried flowers continues growing & I've been building our stocks again. The Guest EnSuite is already a 'no go' zone again as it's used to store them, I'll be sharing the dried materials in Wreath workshops this year. Scheduled for Sunday 20th August & Sunday 24th September. Let me know if you would be interested & I'll send details. I'll add to the website & social media as soon as I get a moment.
Until next time,
And the last word this month?
'And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down.
Without the rain, there would be no rainbow'
G.K. Chesterton, (British Author)
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.