In my 'Happy Place' - it's a while since I added a picture of me online, I prefer to let the flowers do the talking. But hey, look at those Dahlias!
There are still plenty of Dahlia flowers & they're not slowing down yet. Usually Jack Frost has reduced them to a nasty black mess by early October, bringing our main season of locally-grown flowers to an end. With no sign of a frost in the forecast (I know that can change fast) I've decided they've until next weekend, then I'm going to start cutting down & lifting them anyway. Otherwise, I'll struggle to get them stored properly before the weather is really wet & I'll get behind with work on Christmas wreaths.
It's time for tough love... the Dahlias are in beds where bulbs, & Hardy Annuals must be planted. If those plants don't get into the ground soon, they're at risk of not making it through winter or not being ready when I need them. I've more space than most people, but it's always a juggling act.
Anemones & Ranunculus are underway now, & should be ready to cut from April. These are probably the 2 most capricious crops I grow - when they're good, they're very, very good ...but oh, boy are they picky. Expensive to buy, they suffer from random rots & moulds, must be well-drained but don't like it too hot & dry. But such gorgeous colours, they're always a lovely addition to the Spring bouquets, so worth extra effort.
Most of the Spring bulbs are here & I've begun planting them. Tulips wait until November as it reduces the risk of 'Tulip Fire', a nasty virus that distorts growth & ruins the flower. Looking forward to them already!
Traditionally, Sweet Peas are started off this month for early flowers by many growers, kept in a cold frame over winter. I'm not bothering as to be honest, they're expensive mouse food! I'll start an early batch in January to flower in the tunnel from May, & my main crop on Valentine's day for the outside beds. I like them for early weddings, but not too many as it overlaps with other late Spring flowers - I prefer to enjoy an abundance of varied flowers, changing with the seasons. This year the Sweet Peas were fabulous, loving the warm Summer weather & producing long, scented stems for months. Fingers crossed next year they'll be as good, as I loved using so many for weddings.
The house is crammed with dried flowers (isn't that what guest bedrooms are for?) ready for this seasons dried wreaths & bouquets. I've made the first & will start putting them on the webshop later this week. If you would like me to make one in a particular colourway or size for you, let me know while I've planty of choice.
As the Pandemic seems to be calming locally (or we're just resolved to getting on with life), we''re returning to projects scheduled for 2020. Expanding my little workshop & restructuring the old nursery beds were put on hold - frankly this area has suffered this year as I simply couldn't keep up with my broken arm. All the new trellis, materials have been waiting since March to be used. Fortunately, I hadn't ordered plants as they would have died in their pots during the hot, dry weather). My brother is coming to help (oh dear, I really do need to clear the guest bedroom of those dried flowers...) & this will give us a real boost - another pair of hands makes such a difference.
To help us focus on this project, I'll be scaling back 'Friday Flowers' deliveries until early December. We'll continue with our Regular Flower Subscriptions & offer a limited number of local deliveries/collections & funeral flowers each week. If you have a special birthday,event etc coming up & would like me to order flowers, please get in touch early so I don't disappoint you.
Christmas - as the television is already screening ads, I think it's OK to say the word. The Wreath shop is now taking orders on the website & natural hand-made wreaths can be collected, delivered locally or sent by post again. More options will be added for Christmas flowers as we get nearer to the time.
2021 Workshops are now booking;
Today it feels like Autumn again - golden sunshine, cool & misty this morning, very still air... a beautiful day for gardening & getting ahead before the inevitable wet weather. I'm listening for the Geese & the Fieldfares to arrive, it won't be long now...
Jobs for the Cutting Garden in October;
And a thought relevant for all of us Gardeners...
'The future depends on what you do today' Mahatma Ghandi
Until next time,
Your Flower Links for 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.