Isn't May Marvelllous? The speed plants grow, from zero to bloom is almost magical. Suddenly the Flower Farm & countryside around us becomes a fresh, zingy green. The woods & roadsides are carpeted with Bluebells - stunning!
I wish the month was twice as long (I would gladly give up January...) The pressure is on as all the plants demand attention to keep them in tip top condition. Tiny seedlings need careful watering, larger seedlings must be 'pricked out' into larger pots, then 'pinched' to make them bushy, Of course, then planting out to bring them on to flowering stage begins - a mammoth task. With lengthening days, we seem to eat later each evening...
Here the Tulips are spectacular just now - bold & brilliant. Long stems & large flowers perfect for mixed bouquets & filling vases. Perhaps another week of these before we move on to the Alliums. It might seem mad, but I've already started on my order for next years bulbs. It'so difficult to second guess colours & quantities a full year ahead - who knows what I'll need? It's essential though to secure the best, more unusual varieties grown here.
Lily of the Valley is one of the most in demand Spring flowers. So romantic & deliciously perfumed. This year, it's early & stems are much longer than usual. A few bunches will be available for collection later this week. Let me know if you would like a special treat. Already Peonies are in bud & many of the Perennials will be ready to cut within the next fortnight too. A tunnel is planted with Sweet Peas & the outside crop is ready for planting outside. All the cottage garden classics I love, beginning another growing season of beauty.
Dahlia saga update; about 350 tubers are now chitting nicely in a polytunnel, ready to plant out soon. And it looks as if those overwintered in the ground are going to be OK, as a few are showing leaves. I'll be surprised if none are lost but mighty relieved with this result. Still a few more to start off - I know I've mislaid a box! It's going to be quite a sight - probably over 700 Dahlias in so many colours. As well as tried & tested favourites, I'm trialling more of the whopping dinner plate Dahlias, to test the best for vases etc. Everybody knows 'Cafe Au Lait' & I would like a few more dramatic beauties in a wider colour range.
Planting in the 'Big Trellis' garden by the workshop has progressed. Climbing Roses & Clematis are in place, & early crops of annuals growing away. A long way from finished & far from Insta-worthy of course, but coming along. We're planning a small 'Pick Your Own'area for workshop guests & I'm using this area to experiment in.
Along with the growing, we've begun this years season of weddings & parties. What a joy the bold colour palettes requested this Spring are, really making the most of our natural flowers. For me it was wonderful to see the flowers arranged for the Coronation in Westminster Abbey by Shane Connolly - all British grown, arranged in water without any floral foam. British grown flowers may still only be 14% of those sold in the UK each year, but their natural beauty & sustainability is being noticed. Very inspirational!
Requests for 'bloom buckets' of mixed flowers are building, especially for the busiest wedding weekends in July. So can I remind you gently to book in advance if you're planning to use our flowers to arrange yourself?
I started to write a list of tasks for May yesterday & came to the conclusion, all I could write was 'everything'. It feels like that every May. Somehow, we knuckle down & achieve the priorities. At least, 'No Mow May' takes that least popular task off the list & been a great success here. Every year more wild flowers (including Fritillaries & Orchids) return to our areas of grass.
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.