15 May 2019
This month in my garden
It’s such an exciting but nerve wracking time of year for us flower growers. So much to do! But the garden’s taking shape – with sweet rocket, phacelia, clematis, hawthorn, allium, aquilegia, pink campion, venidium fastuosm, geum, apple mint, verbascum, euphorbia oblongata and apple mint leading the flower explosion, and cornflower, corncockle, cerinthe, oriental poppies, oxeye daisy and foxgloves hot on their heels. The recent hot weather should really bring things on and soon I’ll be looking out on a riot of colour!
Now the chance of frost is pretty much past, I’ve been planting out half-hardy annuals such as cosmos and sunflowers – hopefully before a spot of rain to give them a helping hand until they’re properly established.
Hardy annuals… and when to plant them
I’ve been planting out our hardy annuals (like cornflowers) since February. They’re pretty tough and can cope with a bit of frost, unlike their half-hardy counterparts. If they’re grown from seed in the early autumn they can even be over-wintered, making them stronger – and quicker to flower – than any other annuals.
The best way to ensure a succession of flowers throughout the summer is to sow repeats every few weeks. I start sowing in January and I’ve just sown my last – any later and they’re unlikely to flower before the end of the season.
I potted up the dahlias I bought as tubers this year into 2 to 3-litre pots at the end of April, and they’ve been sprouting away in the greenhouse. Some are already hardening off outside ready for planting in a week or so.
I’m happy to report that two thirds of the tubers I left in the ground and mulched over the winter have survived. Next job is to take root and nodal cuttings from some of them to build up stock for next year. They’ll be a spectacle of colour when they’re in flower from late July if recent years are anything to go by.
In other news, I’m super excited about my new irrigation system for the sweet pea arch and eight small flower beds nearby. It’ll save a lot of stress knowing that at least part of my patch is getting watered regularly!
Open garden days
I’ve decided to open the garden to the public on a few select dates this summer – ticket prices include refreshments and a small posy of flowers. People love getting an exclusive look at the inside secrets of my Cotswold flower garden, so tickets are already selling quickly! https://www.cotswold-country-flowers.co.uk/tours.html
Cotswold floristry courses and workshops
On the events front, I’ve loved running flower-arranging workshops over the past few months. We’ve made flower crowns at hen parties and handtied bouquets for friends celebrating special birthdays. Workshops are listed on my website, and always sell out fast! [link]
Speaking of workshops, I’m looking forward to hosting an all-day flower arranging workshop for some Argentinian flower lovers at the end of the month. We’ll be working on floral arrangements for a typical village wedding – using fresh-cut flowers from my Cotswold garden, as always!
Local flowers for Cotswold weddings
I get so much joy from providing floristry and flowers for Cotswold weddings, and I’ve worked with customers with very different budgets! This month I’m doing the floristry for three weddings in the Cotswolds – ranging from providing glorious buckets bursting with hand-picked flowers for a family who are doing the arrangements themselves, right up to the whole shebang: church, venue and bouquets. The party has well and truly started!
Until next time!