Sunshine - what a difference it makes to our mood! Today it's been a pleasure just being outside, checking on progress in the Cutting beds & feeling sun on my face. Not enough to pack away my thermals for the year but it's moving in the right direction & days are noticeably stretching. And the first Daffodils are flowering, yippee!
Suddenly it's as though the race is on. It's early yet but I still feel as if I'm falling behind, so much to do. The recent dry spell has been a gift as I've been able to prep many of the beds already - weeded, composted & fed. As we follow organic methods we work to create good, healthy soil & this preparation is vital to keep plants producing high volumes of stems each year.
I've split quite a few of the established perennials as although it will reduce stems this year, it keeps them healthy & is a cheap way to increase overall numbers of plants. I'm being ruthless with some of the ones I don't like much - some of the Michaelmas Daisies are fairly dull so being reduced in number overall, others I'll move & use as a foliage in Summer rather than wait for them to flower.
Seed sowing has begun, slowly. I start Summer annuals off this month (such as Nigella, Rudbeckia, Cornflowers) but there's no rush. I want a small number of plants to keep flowering for months, rather than a huge volume in July & then nothing. It's always tempting to sow a whole packet of seed at once but really, it works better to divide it into batches. So some will be sown in April & May too.
I must watch the seeds carefully as they develop - some are covered as they need dark to germinate, some need light. Some are outside in the cold, others on the heated bench. Watering needs to be watched too. They mustn't dry out & die, or get too wet & 'damp off'. Fussy little things, & it makes plug plants seem such good value!
This past month we've felt at times as if we've gone backwards - the Tree Surgeons came for 3 days to take down a couple of large dying trees & a section of Leylandii hedge. What a difference! So much space & light which is wonderful - but oh, what a mess it looks just now. You don't make omelettes without breaking eggs they say... It'll be good in time.
Our display of bulbs is going to be even more spectacular than usual this year - last May I ordered extra Tulips, Crocus & Iris Reticulata, hoping to run the 'Bulb Lasagne' Workshop again in November. Of course, that didn't happen so there'll be quite a display - the bees are loving the Crocus.
This months work is dominated by Mothers Day on Sunday 14th. This year I've been stunned by how far ahead Customers are planning - & I'm grateful. It's our busiest weekend of the year (apart from big weddings) & this year even more so as Customers aren't allowed to collect flowers from us - all has to be delivered. We'll be delivering on Friday & Saturday, & Ken has been enlisted as an extra driver. As I write, we've almost sold out. The wrapping paper has been folded, the ribbons cut, tonight we'll write message tags & we're as prepared as possible. I may deserve a glass of something nice next Saturday night...
And if you've forgotten to order flowers, don't panic. There's still time to order Gift Vouchers for flowers later in the season or a 'Regular Flower Subscription', where I deliver a fresh bunch of flowers every 2 weeks or monthly.
The figures for Corona Virus are improving fast in Scotland, though still serious. We're hopeful 'non-essential' shops (which includes us) will reopen in late April & maybe we'll be able to restart Flower Farm visits in late May or June. Ken & I have both had our jabs, much earlier than expected so feel as if we're getting closer. The Kirkcudbright Farmers Market will be back in late March for food businesses only - hoping we'll be back soon too. I understand an update on the restrictions in Scotland will be announced on Tuesday so fingers crossed.
After Mothers Day, the next delivery day will be Friday 19th March & orders can be placed online now. Order online or by telephone 01644 420407
Every year is different in the garden, there's always something new to try. We're looking forward to sharing our flowers & seeing everybody again very soon,
Jobs for the Cutting Garden in March;
‘Where Flowers bloom so does hope'
Lady Bird Johnson, Former First Lady of the United States of America
1912 - 2007
Until next time,
Your Flower Links for March;
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.