Well, I'm still waiting for my 'Indian Summer' to arrive... But not complaining, as we still haven't had a frost here. It's been close & several nights I've thrown a fleece cover across tender plants - still it's pretty good for the beginning of October, isn't it?
The result is a rather 'bollywood' display of colour in the cutting beds. Neon pink Nerines, next to purple Asters & fiery Heleniums plus a firework display of colour in the Dahlia & Cosmos beds. Certainly not short of dramatic bouquet combinations this week. Not everybody's taste, of course - but it keeps my spirits high on a dull day! Nonetheless, the sound of geese flying south overhead reminds me to be watchful - the frosts will be soon.
The first boxes of bulbs arrived from the wholesaler in the middle of last month so we've begun the big task of getting them planted. First to go in are the Hyacinths, Ranunculus & Anemones as I've set myself the challenge to coax a few into bloom for Mother's Day. I've invested too in many new varieties of Narcissi - different heights, shades & many chosen because the catalogues promise scent too. Time will tell if that's true... This lot need to be planted fast, before the tulip bulbs arrive in mid-November or we'll be overwhelmed by boxes.
The soil is still warm so it's a good time to divide perennial plants into smaller clumps. It can seem brutal but it'll rejuvenate the plants. Replant them to give you more flowers next year or perhaps pot them up as a gift for a friend. I'm targetting my Astrantia to split & move to a whole bed of their own - this has been one of my most useful plants for bouquets & need more of it for next year. As I replant the small divisions, I'll pop some of those Narcissi bulbs in between so the space gives me a double crop.
Last month I told you we've begun tidying the workshop so I can offer short 'hands on' courses in floristry & growing skills. Well, reality check time for me - It's just not going to be ready before December. It's two years last week since we arrived here & we've achieved much. This blog post gives you an idea of what we found but this project is going to have to wait a little longer.
So instead, I've arranged to run some practical & fun 'Make Your Own Wreath' workshops at the lovely Cat Strand Arts Centre in New Galloway. The dates areFriday 1st December & Tuesday 5th December. Just a few website glitches to iron out & bookings will open in the next couple of days. (Who knew when I decided to be an Artisan Flower Grower just how much time I would spend late at night designing websites?) Watch for an extra message from me this week as I announce dates & how to reserve your place.
As our flower production slows with the shortening days & cooler temperatures, we'll have fewer for bouquets, funeral flowers etc. For special orders I'll bring in flowers from growers in England (mainly Cornwall, Hampshire & the Scilly Isles). If you would like flowers, let me know & I'll do my best to supply but I do need notice. All the flowers included in our bouquets & arrangements are 100% British grown.
I hope your garden is bursting with late blooms this month & you've been able to cut plenty of gorgeous blooms to bring inside. Below are a few pointers of tasks for your Cutting Garden in the month ahead;
Jobs for the Cutting Garden in October;
Rosie Gray of Galloway Flowers. Artisan Cut Flower Farmer & Florist near Castle Douglas, in South West Scotland