I have been living in the garden this weekend but it seems I wasn't alone! I kept hearing a cricket and eventually found him or her inside this dahlia.
Exhausted is not the word but the good news is I have started getting things done. What with building websites, writing blogs (sorry everyone) and sending off bulb orders the garden had got very neglected.
I have cleared the beds in the front garden and rehomed some old daffodil bulbs. More importantly direct sown some hardy annuals, Larkspur Grand Imperial Miix, Niigella Persian Jewels, Ammi majus, and Paeony Double Poppies for seed heads....I planted 7 delphiniums including Jill Curly and Pandora and some special crosses propagated by my Dad. Clearing beds adding compost and bulbs as I go. The greenhouse is still a mess....watch this space...and I have a to do list as long as well my arm, your arm and... well... all of our arms but as I said I have got started!
Today I have begun my autumn tidy up in the garden, adding compost to the beds and planting bulbs as I go. The weather has been glorious and set to continue for a day or two.....so hopefully I can get a lot done. I am also planting some new perrenials including delphiniums, cat mints and asters. This is a busy time of year for me in the garden and this year more so than ever. I am planting a lot more bulbs, daffodils at the minute but then I will move on to alliums and then tulips. I am still sowing hardy annuals and clearing out the greenhouse ( which has become messy and cluttered over the summer). This afternoon I have rehomed some of the daffodils I planted last year into the front garden. The idea is to plant mainly scented narcissus in the cutting garden. In particular I love Silver Chimes.
The cutting garden is still in full swing with cosmos, dahlias, sunflowers and Verbena bonariensisbut no chrysanths yet. It is difficult to think ahead to winter and spring when the weather is still so lovely and the garden is full of flowers. I keep reminding myself that if I don't plan ( and do the work) now there will be nothing to cut next year! Any way must have another cup of tea....
I have just come back from a trip to West Dean Gardens with my Mum. We went on a kitchen garden design workshop. The gardens are absolutely lovely in a beautiful setting of rolling hills. Coming from Suffolk I couldn't get over the hills! There is an amazing kitchen garden with veg, fruit and cutting beds. I must admit we were exhausted by the journey but it was worth it to be inspired by Sarah Wain the garden supervisor. Organised is the watch word of the day ....and something I must get. This is Sarah's potting shed, I will not show you a photo of mine! The garden is so productive and everything looks beautiful as well, with veg being taken to the art school for drawing classes. So this week I am planning to clear the greenhouse and properly stack my pots, clean the tools, oil the secateurs, and so much more.I will let you know how I get on. On the cutting front. I am still waiting for the Chrysanths to come out. There were some out at West Dean but it is milder there and the daisy varieites like mine were being grown under glass. Hopefully they will start showing soon......
I have been planting out bienniels this week.....that is things that will flower next year, like wallflowers. So far there is honesty, sweet rocket, wallflowers and sweet williams. Still hanging about in the greenhouse are forget me nots, foxgloves and lupins. I have gone big on red with the wallflowers which I have grown from Sarah Raven seed. Last year I had lots of browns and oranges, I have some of those as well but I am hoping these will be something special.
I am still cutting:-
The bad news is I have seen a rabbit in the cutting garden....Must repair the fencing!
This is where it all started ....a small patch of soil and a little scrarecrow to try to stop the birds eating the seeds! Now I have lots of wonderful sunflowers. The most popular are yellow. I particularly like a pale one called Moonshine, which is tall ,elegant and has a medium sized head.....too large and they are difficult to use in bouquets. I have also grown Vincent which has splashes of red, Claret which speaks for it's self and yellow mongrels from my own collected seed. Sadly the weather has turned and the wind over the last few days has battered them . Looking through the kitchen window we could see petals blowing off with each gust! However there are still enough to cut.
This week I have been cutting Sunflowers, Verbena, Dahlias, Zinnias and Cosmos with wonderfull dark burning bush foliage. I am waiting for the Chrysanthemums which are all in bud. I planted a great range of autumnal colour, so they should look good mixed together and have a lovely scent.
Collecting seed heads for the Christmas boxes and for seed for next year is in full swing, I love the Nigella heads; I now have two types, the more common one but also Hispanica which are bigger and more exotic looking. I am also starting to plant bulbs for forcing, so worth it to have Hyacinyhs in January! Must get back in the garden as the sun is out now and who knows how long it will last.....
It is hot and I am cutting sunflowers!
Today is day one, it is hot and I am writing my first blog post. In the garden this week I am cutting marigolds, sunflowers, dahlias, cosmos, verbena, fennel, gladioli, buddlia and zinnas.My favourite dahlias are the incredibly dark Chat Noir. They are very prolific, good doers as they say around here. These look wonderful mixed with an assortment of other dahlias especially reds and oranges but also with brilliant pink cosmos. The sunflowers looked as if they might disappoint earlier but are now coming into their own. Everyone seems to love my zinnias, they seemed to go out of fashion but now are definately back in. I love them and am definately going to grow more next year. This year I have had a great assortment of colours including a subtle apricot shade which has proved particularly popular and versatile. Also putting on a good show are the gladioli a great combination has included dark Black Jack with apricot and ivory. Everything looks good with fennel heads which also smell of aniseed. Fennel grows wild around here including in my garden where it self seeds everywhere but I can't get enough of it. It always reminds me of home.It has been so hot and dry here in Southwold it has been wonderful for holiday makers,butterflies, bees and flowers so long as I keep watering them.......the flower that is!
Planning ahead I am waiting for the arrival of my first bulb order. I have sown some hardy annuals including cornflowers and larkspur for next year. I am also starting to plan the Christmas boxes.I am collecting seed heads from the garden to spray silver and gold. The boxes make great gifts and include festive foliage beautifully packaged and sent via Royal Mail.
My story in flowers started as a child growing a tiny patch of London Pride Saxifraga...also known as Whimsey or Look Up and Kiss Me! Fast forward to 8 years ago when I started a City and Guilds training in floristry. I qualified as a florist and then to deepen my growing knowledge and skills I trained in horticulture as well. I trained under a WRAGS scheme at Darsham Nurseries and at Somerleyton Hall. Developing a passion for both growing and designing/arranging British garden flowers, I planted a cutting garden. Having become increasingly concerned about where and how flowers are grown, coupled with a love of British grown flowers. and natural styling, I now specialise in growing and using beautiful British grown flowers to make romantic natural designs. for weddings, events, gifts and much more.