The flower season here is over...
Last night’s frost was harder than anything experienced before this Autumn, finishing off the few flowers still blooming. I cut our last few Giant Dahlias from the Polytunnel on Thursday for a party - not bad for November. Today the plants are blackened, lying flat on the soil. The colourful, brilliant leaves on the Maples lie in a bright red skirt below. All very final.
So it might not be a very November photo above but believe me, those Delphiniums are a nicer sight than blackened Dahlias! A Flower Farm in Galloway in November doesn't look like a 'Country Living' photoshoot, I'm afraid. But it's still a busy time as we put foundations for next year’s flowers in place.
Most of the Dahlias are lifted (well, about 150 still to go) which is a comfort to know. I was lucky last year, most of our tubers survived the cold temperatures (though Voles ate more than their fair share as they sheltered beneath the black plastic sheets). But many British flower farmers lost hundreds of tubers in last Decembers cold snap. Replacing is a costly business (& aren't all easy to find) so I'm super cautious this year. Each tuber needs cleaning, then dried & stored away in a frost-free place. Then in March I'll bring them out ready for next year's display. It's very satisfying to see how a small tuber multiplies over time to make new plants if I'm lucky.
Roses deserve attention too this week to make sure they continue blooming strongly next year. The new Shrub Roses have got very tall (that rain in August). I'll reduce their height by about a third. This protects them from fierce winds. 'Windrock' causes considerable root damage. I'll gently firm them in at the base & give a generous dollop of good compost too. The hard pruning can wait until February/March.
Tulips have arrived & can be planted now. In recent years, 'Tulip Fire' virus is becoming a problem in British gardens. In 2021 the Virus affected several hundred of my bulbs. It's ugly, deforming the flowers & stems. When it appears, destroy the bulb as it spreads fast to the others. Overnight along a row - like fire in fact! None of the affected stems could be sold & I considered whether to stop growing them. Trouble is, when you buy a bulb, you don't know if it has the virus. Last year I reduced the numbers grown & planted all in large pots & buckets. They flowered spectacularly with no Virus at all. This year, I'm trying the pots again & keeping my fingers crossed...
Usually, we arrange our last weddings at the end of September as the flowers begin to reduce about then. This year, I arranged flowers I had dried for weddings too, the last in early November. There are still dried flowers, grasses, seedheads remaining & I'll bunch them for sale in the next few weeks. Perfect as Posies for Christmas gifts or for your own craft projects.
Christmas is coming up fast now so here's an update on what we're planning;
Make A Christmas Wreath' workshops are scheduled for the following dates;
The Wreath shop is open for pre-orders now. All my wreaths are handmade, without floral foam, from foliage grown here or elsewhere in the British Isles. Wreaths can be collected, delivered locally or sent UK wide by post.
Christmas Flowers & Foliage
Jobs for November:
Until next time,
And the last word this month?
'All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today;
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.