Bouquets. These are some of the seasonal bouquets that we have delivered from The Garden Gate. We deliver bouquets of seasonal flowers around Southwold and Reydon and all the surrounding villages....Brampton, Bramfield, Beccles, Blyford, Blythburgh, Darsham, Hinton, Holton, Halesworth, Henstead, Hulver, Sotterley, Uggeshall, Walberswick, Walpole, Wangford, Westleton, Wrentham, Wenhaston...all the Ws. Yoxford. Only when I started writing the list did I notice most villages around here start with W, H or B......This list isn't complete but just a guide to the area we cover. If you would like to order a bouquet please email or phone. More details on the bouquet page!
For the last few years we have rented a beach hut in September. This year a few weeks later than usual it has coincided with the start of Autumn. We have been very lucky with some truly fabulous and a little unseasonal weather. I use it as an opportunity to catch up with myself and order my spring bulbs, plan the autumn planting schedule and think about the year ahead. I also plan my Christmas workshops...these will be going on the website soon. It is difficult to think about Christmas with all this gorgeous weather but needs must!
People watching...you see lots of dog walkers, young families, old and young couples, groups of friends, photographers, runners, walkers....The beach has a community all of it's own. I can't say how lovely it is watching the sea and sky, drinking cups of tea and eating fish and chip suppers....We even managed a pint of Adnams beer at The Lord Nelson. Living locally we often don't find time to do all the things the tourists love about Southwold.
This year there have been so busy at The Garden Gate, which has been fabulous but finding time to recharge is vital for me. It is easy to become so involved with the day to day you lose sight of the bigger picture. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures I took from the beach hut.
Those of you that follow me on social media will have seen the pictures I have been posting of my Dahlias. I have to say I don't think this is my best year. There was a slow cold damp start which encouraged slugs and snails. Followed by a drought. Dahlias are absolutely delicious to slugs and snails and they also need plenty of water and feeding during the growing season. They don't cope with frosts or waterlogged ground in the winter.....
I grow about 100 plants of a multitude of colours and use them in my autumn weddings and bouquets. I leave my dahlias in the ground over winter but mulch them thickly to protect them. Feeding with chicken manure pellets early in the season and tomato food once flowering.
Dahlias come in a variety of shapes and textures. The larger "Dinner Plate" varieties such as Cafe au Lait don't last as long in the vase as the smaller more compact varieties but have a huge wow factor. Small pop pom style Dahlias are great for buttonholes and then there are Water Lily and spiky Cactus varieties inbetween. Dahlias don't travel well so are best cut and used as locally as possible. They also have a shorter vase life relatively speaking and so a short "cut to vase" time span helps prolong the time they can be enjoyed.
Favourite varieties this year have included Thomas Edison and Downham Royal both purple and Karma Chocolate burgundy, Some of my Dahlias have lost their labels so I don't actually know which varieties they are anymore! With some coming from suppliers not ending up the colour I was expecting....but they are all beautiful.
I am already thinking ahead and wondering which colours and styles to add to my collection for next year!
No blog post for nearly a month!!! It has been a hugely busy month for weddings and events.. Now it is time to think about moving forward into Autumn. It is time for planting out the Bienniels sown in May/June (Honesty, Sweet Rocket, Sweet Williams, Foxgloves, Wallflowers)...ordering and planting bulbs for the spring and sowing hardy annuals to over winter. I am sowing Hardy Annuals....Cornflowers, Marigolds, Nigella, Clary, Scabious and Malope. It is lucky that the weddings and events are starting to quieten down so there is some time for growing otherwise I would have nothing for next year.
I am taking a few days rest after this weekend's wedding when I am planning to order my Tulips....that is for a blog post all of their own.
I do love the growing side of my business. It is so therapeutic. It is also nice to think about which colours might be "in" next year.
I have decided that September is really the start of my year in many ways...planning and preparing for the next calander year (2017). The events do continue throughout although they tend to be quieter affairs through the winter other than Christmas of course. The true quiet time is really January and February when the garden has gone to sleep and so have we!
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.