Autumn is definitely here now, no longed for 'Indian Summer' for us this year. We protected Dahlias on several nights with fleece & they survived light frost. But our 7th (can you believe it?) season of growing flowers here has come to an end, our last wedding scheduled for the year delivered on Friday. So now, we'll stop the protection & let Jack Frost win.
Last year, the mild Autumn allowed the Dahlias to bloom into November.It put us under great pressure to lift them when the soil was cold & wet, not ideal for storage. Also, it left little time to prepare for Christmas wreathing - even the dried flowers were barely used, still in boxes in the spare bedroom! So while always sad to see my much-loved Dahlias go, I've learned the lesson....
There are still flowers of course - plenty of Nerines, Hesperantha, Dahlias, Michaelmas Daisies & grasses. I'll cut & use them in bouquets etc. while I can. Just not enough to fill the 'Bloom Buckets' of flowers we've supplied over the year to those wanting to arrange flowers themselves. 'Friday Flowers' will continue this month - please give as much notice as you can of those upcoming birthdays, anniversaries etc to be sure I can supply.
Often we think of Autumn as the end of the gardening year, time for 'putting the garden to bed'. For us though, it's very much the beginning of our 2023 season with so much to do. My desk is littered with post it note reminders... New plants to grow, some to grow more of, others to grow less off (sorry Lupins). And all those catalogues to flip through! So tell me, what are you planning to grow in your cutting patch in 2023 - I would love to know! Anything you love & recommend I try?
Seeds sown last month are poppping up nicely & on their way for next years flowers in May & June. An email on Friday warns me the bulbs arrive this week - some to plant immediately, Tulips will wait until November to minimise the risk of 'Tulip Fire' a nasty viral disease.
Many of last years Ranunculus & Anemones are popping up in the beds where I left them over Summer, reminding me to get more underway indoors.
The big job of the month is dividing perennials to increase stock & maintain vigour. As dry Spring weather becomes a pattern, this is an October priority as they re-establish so much better while the soil is moist & warm.
For us, this Autumn & Winter is about getting many of our delayed projects back on track. That means putting up the trellis bought 2 years ago for new climbers, revitalising many of the areas in the old nursery & continuing to plant foliage shrubs. And finishing off my workshop renovation, started in Springtime. I'm promised a new window pane (without a large hole) & we plan to repaint the walls. Woohoo!
The workshop needs finishing as we'll be hosting Christmas Wreath Making workshops here at the Flower Farm this year - a deadline always helps doesn't it? Groups will be small so please don't delay if you're planning to book. The dates are;
Enjoy the glorious Autumn colours in the coming weeks & do make the most of any sunshine - it really is a beautiful time of year. KIck up the leaves like a five year old, collect conkers for your 'Nature Table' & fill your vases with glorious golden foliage & berries.
Until next time,
'To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow'
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% Flowers & Foliage grown in British Isles, all year round.