It’s definitely got an Autumn feel today, as I look out over the meadow. Cobwebs glisten with dew, decorating the last standing seed heads & the Oak trees on the edge of the wood are developing rich golden tones. A frost was forecast again last night but I think we’ve got away with it – each morning I go down to check the Dahlias, tucked up in fleece & hardly dare look to see if there’s any damage. So far I’ve been lucky.
And September was a wild month as Storm Ali raged through, bringing down many mature trees across the region. Some of our large oaks lost branches but with care should survive. It has kept Ken busy clearing the mess & storing the logs away to dry.
But overall the garden is looking good! Last year I gave considerable thought to adding plants that could still be cut for late bouquets in October. I added many new ones & now seeing the results.
A large bed of Michaelmas Daisies (now renamed Symphytrichum but I’m struggling to remember that name, they used to be Asters) are such stars. I grew most from a packet of mixed seed sown in early 2017 & this is the first year they’ve flowered properly. There are some named cultivars in the bed too. Often these plants suffer horribly from mildew but so far these are all fine. Tall, long strong stems & hundreds of long lasting starry flowers in colours from deep purple, hot pinks through to pretty lavenders & even whites. I’ll be marking the best & propagate more to increase stocks for next year. They're so useful as the 'supporting act' to the glamour flowers such as Dahlias in bouquets & arrangements.
And these are joined in the bouquets this week by a rich mix of Scabious, Rudbeckia, Dahlias, late Gladioli & autumn tinted foliage. Even the Roses are having a last hurrah! In the polytunnel the Garden Pinks are throwing up dozens of deliciously scented stems & the first few Chrysanthemums are being cut. So yes, more to add for next year but proving ‘Galloway Grown’ bouquets are definitely achievable. into October!
And the fruit & berries have been plentiful this year – the last cold winter encouraged this. There are so many rose hips I’m trying to preserve them to use in the Autumn & Christmas wreaths. That can be a bit ‘hit & miss’ but if you don’t try…
Bookings are coming in for the ‘Make Your Own Christmas Wreath’ Workshop in New Galloway on Tuesday 11th December. So be sure to book your place if you would like to come. Book here. I’ve been asked to deliver this workshop in Dumfriestoo & looking into possible venues. Email me if you might be interested & I’ll give you priority before the date’s announced on social media.
There are so many jobs this month to prepare for winter & of course, for a glorious Spring cutting patch – plenty of suggestions below. But even more importantly, give yourself time to admire the brilliant colours of the trees, enjoy gathering conkers & cones, simply make the most of these golden, shortening days.
Jobs for the Cutting Garden in October;
Rosie Gray of Galloway Flowers. Artisan Florist & Cut Flower Farmer near Castle Douglas, in South West Scotland. Using 100% British Flowers all year round.