The wood opposite has turned from Autumn Golds to Winter Browns, making me acutely aware of the changing season. Still beautiful – I see further through the curvy trunks, often spying Roe deer further in. Colourful leaves on the ground & I couldn’t resist gathering different shapes for the flower press. Long dark evenings are an opportunity to use them for special handmade cards, gift tags & such.
This Autumn seems to have been spectacular – perhaps the trees kept leaves later, until last weekends storms. Perhaps I appreciated being out & about in the golden light, enjoying reflections in Loch Ken on still days as I went about my deliveries.
We spent several hours raking leaves last week. It’s a precious compost additive & best done before they become wet & slippery on paths. But I’m not sure it looks as if we’ve started! So many more seem to have fallen in the past few days. Hard warm work but enjoyable when the sun shines.
The pace is slower at the Flower Farm this month, less urgency & a chance to catch my breath before the Christmas wreathing rush begins. The Dahlias are blackened by frost so we’ve started lifting them. One of the least favourite jobs of the year – easiest to do while the soil is dry as cold, wet, muddy tubers are horrible to handle. I try to get them all out as they’re expensive & more likely to survive until next year if I do.
Every daylight hour is precious, especially on dry days. Weeding is a huge job this month – they really got away from me in the wet August rain & I’ve catching up to do. Then the ground can be given a good mulch with compost & planting Tulips & Hardy Annuals out can begin. These are the crops for cutting next April through early June & it’ll be good to see them underway. When planted, I’ll fleece them to give protection from cold nights & wind.
This winter, we’ve decided to change the large polytunnel layout. Long term it’ll be more efficient so I’m planting less in there than usual. And we want to knock down the dividing wall in my little workshop making it larger too. Social distancing is going to be with us for a while so more space for visitors is needed. Sounds so simple but both will take us hours to do.
My workshop became a bit of a dumping ground this Summer, if I’m honest. Without regular weddings requiring floristry space (& visitors!) it became more of an embarrassingly scruffy potting shed! I’m intrigued to see the tidy potting sheds of Monty Don or Carol Klein on ‘Gardeners World’. All those neatly stacked (washed) trays, pots, swept floors, tools on hooks, no cobwebs… how do they do it? Maybe mine will be like that next year…
This Autumn has been a poor one for berries – few on the Hawthorn & Rowan trees. The Fieldfares stayed only a short time before moving on & birds are already flocking to the nut feeders. And the Red Squirrels are eating us out of house & home at the moment! Our ‘regulars’ can be identified by their slight variations in colouring & yes, somehow they end up with names...
Now the long dark evenings are here, I’m making wreaths with dried flowers stashed away all season. I’ll bring some along to the Farmers Market in Kirkcudbright on Sunday November 22nd & the Christmas Market in Castle Douglas on Saturday 28th November. These make lovely Christmas gifts, weighing little & easy to send by post. If you would like me to make one for you in a particular colour scheme, let me know.
Almost all of our flowers are harvested now. For the next few months, our bouquets & chocolate shop posies will be filled with flowers from growers further South (mostly in Lincolnshire, Cornwall & the Scilly Isles). Our Regular Subscription flowers, local bouquet deliveries on Fridays & flowers for funerals will continue. All 100% grown in the British Isles as always. To order flowers, please give as much notice as possible to ensure I've plenty for you.
Christmas Wreaths can be ordered for delivery from week commencing 30th November. Order online or by telephone.
The 'Make Your Own Wreath' Workshops are bookings fast. The dates are;
Jobs for November;
The growing year gives us a feeling of continuity, always something to look forward to. Plant a flower, watch it grow & you know something beautiful is on it’s way, soon. With a little planning, as one flower fades, another takes its place. It keeps us optimistic.
Last month I finished with my favourite gardening related quote. So many commented on it, so here it is again.
'To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow'
November can seem a dark, damp, sad month in the garden some days, the end of the year is close. But it isn’t at all. Plans made now, bulbs, shrubs, trees planted this month will bring pleasure next year & beyond. This is the beginning of your gardening year too & there’s plenty we can do to make 2021 a better one.
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.