These are our beautiful pumpkins outside the front door. Grown by me and carved by number one daughter.
I am still cutting Chrysanthemums which considering the big storm is amazing, and today I have been cutting Beech to go with them for the farmers market at Snape Maltings on Saturday. One of the Chrysanthemums in a particularly fetching burnt orange is called Topsy which I find rather cute...who remembers Topsy and Tim?
Some of my wallflowers have died in the wind, so I am replanting hopefully on Sunday. I still have quite a lot of planting to do.... so I need good weather on Sunday please!
Last Thursday I was taking son number 2 to a bus at 7.30am. This was the view over the marshes at Blythburgh. The light was so beautiful and I saw a red deer stag standing in a field. Today you can't go outside due to the wind and on and off heavy rain. This is a large clump of wild fennel. I use a lot of fennel seed heads in my wreaths for Christmas and luckily I picked them this week ......otherwise I fear the seeds would have been scattered!
Did I tell you I had been sowing sweet peas? I grow mostly old scented varieties including Cupani and Painted Lady.I go big on scent. I sow them in toilet rolls ( cardboard centres obviously), that way I can plant out without root disturbance. My conservatory table is coverd in pots, as soon as they are up I will rehome in the greenhouse.....that is if it is still there after the big storm. I am thinking Wizard of Oz
I know it is still October and the weather is incredilbly mild BUT by popular demand I have just published my Christmas web page. If you know what you want please let me know as soon as .....It just helps!
The day of the big bulb planting session dawned, I looked out of the window.....What can I say, inbetween down pours I planted some Alliums and then I retired to clean out the greenhouse. It was good to have everything ordered in there again but I still have a lot of bulbs to plant
I have some wonderful Chrysanthemums out now, beautiful autumnal colours. They form a wall of colour and certainly extend the season for cut flowers. I have two varieties out now and probably another three or four to come. The plants came from the fab Wootens of Wenhaston. Although they are technically hardy varieties, I think I will lift them and store them in the greenhouse over winter as it would be such a shame to lose them.
This week in the cutting garden I have been picking Dahlias, Chrysanthemums, Zinnias, Cosmos, Ivy flowers and Burning Bush. The colours are terrific.
This week has been BUSY. I am working on borders in three different gardens, plus my own! They each have their own unique style and it is great fun to be involved with other people's gardens. I have been planting perennials, cutting back shrubs and sowing sweetpeas, and hopefully helping the customers create beautiful gardens.
I also went this weekend for a special birthday party for my aunt and met up with my cousin ....Wendy. She is very artistic and makes lovely vintage crafts including these beautiful pottery tealights. She also makes bunting and other decortive pieces from vintage fabrics. She is based at Lime Kiln Crafts (you can find her on facebook) and is inspired by her love of Cornwall. I think these tealights would look fab for Christmas but also I am thinking ahead to next years weddings....
This weekend I was taking an order for a customer who couldn't decide what to call her flowers. "Is it a bouquet (sounds so old fashioned)....it's not a bunch" she said. I suggested a posy. My flowers definately don't look like bouquets you buy from other florists, there are no out of season flowers flown in from overseas. The usual question is "what is that flower? Followed by ....isn't it lovely...I haven't seen it before" It is so sad that people have become used to buying just a few types of flowers grown on a mass scale abroad and often because they have been bred to last (as they spend so long being transported here) they have no scent. I am part of a network of British growers who are "doing different". I grow on a small scale , small amounts of lots of different varieties. There are some who grow lots of one thing e.g. daffodils. Did you know we actually export daffodils! Much like the changes that have occured in food production we firmly believe that buying British and ideally local is best.
Since I started I have found that growing cut flowers is like a lost knowledge. The people who used to do it, know what lasts in a vase and how to grow are the older generation. It is rather like cooking and the arrival of the ready meal...only good in an emergency and if truth be told not real food. This is all about real flowers, for us and our wildlife. (Many more butterflies and bees have started visiting my garden since I started the cutting garden) I have just joined an organisation called Flowers from the Farm. They have a website showing lots of British Flower growers, worth a look to see the huge variety of seasonal British flowers being grown across the country.
Today I have been making an arrangement with the last of the roses mixed with hips and lots of autumn leaves. I am choosing some new roses for the cutting garden, they are coming from Peter Beales a great local grower based near Attleborough in Norfolk. I particularly want at least one which will produce long lasting beautiful hips.... I have chosen Rosa glauca....plus several varieties which produce beautiful blooms for cutting. I love to use rose hips at this time of year and have recently used them to decorate a marquee for a wedding. Obviously they are covered in thorns so they take quite some time to dethorn but the effect mixed with leaves is so evocative of an autumn hegderow it is worth it.
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.