One thing about flower farming is that you are always having to think ahead about what you need to do now in order to grow fabulous seasonal flowers for the future. Of course, I’d like to say ‘plan’ rather than ‘think’, and yes, I do plan to a certain extent……but if there’s one thing that 2018 has taught me is the absolute truth of Burns’ phrase, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men…..”.
Spring can be a funny time for flower farmers. The initial rush and blooms of the daffs, hyacinths and tulips has been and gone, but it’s too early for the biennials. Therefore, it was with some trepidation that I decided to participate in a local artisan makers and designers fair (the Amersham Artisans) in late April, knowing full well that I might have limited flowers to sell.
I’m a firm believer that boundaries and constraints bring with them the most innovation and opportunity, and a quick assessment of what I had growing a couple of weeks ahead of the event made realise I would need to approach this differently to make best use of what I had. So rather than just sell flowers as I usually do, I decided to create a bold floral arrangement that would get people talking and interested, showcase British seasonal blooms at their best, and create something that quite frankly, I wouldn’t do every day! Continue reading How to make a Peacock using Seasonal British Flowers….
Last November, I did the seriously back-breaking job of digging two long trenches in my new allotment that obviously hadn’t been dug over for several years: pulling out all of the weeds, and filling it up with lots and lots of lovely tulips. At the time, it felt HARD!! And one had to wonder whether it was all going to be worth it, toiling with my spade in the icy Chiltern air. Continue reading Tulipmania 1
It’s been quite a while since I last updated my blog, not least because so much has been going on!! I got a new greenhouse last autumn which I have been busy pottering around in, and sowing endless trays of seeds ready for this spring and summer. Christmas came and went in a cornucopia of festive wreaths and decorations. I’ve been working with florist friends on weddings and events. And I think most exciting of all, I’ve now been able to extend my growing space out substantially so that I can grow many more flowers, with much greater diversity that I was able to last year. So, yes, a lot to catchup on!
It’s that dahlia that time of year again…… All those midnight excursions into the garden with my torch and chopsticks to remove slugs finally seem worth it as my cafe au laits bloom into their giant fluffy and dishevelled loveliness.
But my garden dahlias are nothing compared to the dahlia show I went to last weekend at Chenies Manor, Buckinghamshire. It was a glorious Bank Holiday Monday with the sun beating down on hundreds of dahlias of all shapes, colours and sizes. Chenies Manor itself is a beautiful building, parts of it dating back to Tudor times. It’s the sort of place I would love to gambol around the gardens in a floaty lace dress accompanied by a chap playing Greensleeves on a lute to me. Nice slice of Victoria sandwich too!
I’m actually going to not go on too much about it because, as they say, a picture speaks a thousand words, so I’ll just show you a lot of stunning dahlia photos instead. Enjoy!!
It’s a grey and chilly Saturday in south-east England. The thermometer tells me it’s a measly 6C, although my creaky knees make me think it’s about -9C. Here at the Bloom Carousel, I am longing for summer, having felt like a small child on an endless car journey for the last 4 months. However, despite the cold, this morning I have been out in the garden, putting plans into action to make my summer dreams come true. A cornucopia of crazy Craspedia, amiable Ammi, earnest Eryngiums and euphoric Eucalyptus await me in my garden with just a little time, patience and some help from a kindly Mother Nature.
With Spring I hope now soon to be upon us, I’ve decided to go small this week with my floral arrangement. Not least because things in my ‘other life’ have been busy and all encompassing in the last couple of weeks and I haven’t had too much time to think about it. But more importantly, because it’s nice to be able give the opportunity to those lesser sung heroes of the floral world, the mini-superstars that we all love but who don’t often make it onto the florists’ catwalk, those that are just too dainty, too fragile, not loud enough.
You’ll remember from my first post last week that I told you about my Bloom Carousel 2016 Challenge where I will be creating flower arrangements using unusual vases, rose bowls and other vintage bits and bobs. You can find out more about the challenge and the ‘rules of the game’ in my earlier post Here
So at last….ta da…. the Challenge is underway. Bet you’re gripped to your seats, huh? This week, I am using a pale pink Depression glass fan style vase which has its own removable flower frog – no need for floral foam here! This blushing beauty has survived intact since the 30s – you can see that it is very characteristic of the time.