Monday, 21 August 2017

Lazy, hazy summer days

What a lovely thought, lazy, hazy summer days.  Sadly in this small corner of the world the weather has been less than favourable with wet and blustery weather and only a few of those hot sunny days that we all long for. 

The garden has been doing its own thing as usual although some annuals have gone over far quicker than normal because of the continual downpours.  Whilst all this has been challenging it has again made me realise that failure to prepare means prepare for failure, as I constantly tell my children!

There will be more staking required for the next growing season, more successional planting so that if the worst happens, I will always have substitutes waiting in the wings.  A combination of rain and wind caused the cornflowers to tie themselves in a knot and then collapse but I had already sown some outside in June, about the only crop that does well being sown directly, so all was not lost.

Its so easy to overlook this crucial planning stage when every available space is full with seed trays and most of the plants are so in need of planting out they are hitching up their skirts and walking off the bench themselves, so I forgive myself for forgetting the 2nd sowing, let alone the 3rd one.

Biennial seed sowing also comes around far too soon, June to be precise.  Foxgloves, sweet william, honesty, sweet rocket and wallflowers should all have been sown to start off spring with a riot of colour.  I will admit that the June sowing date slipped a bit, I was full of good intentions of course but I just forgot about it.  However, all is looking good, there are trays and trays waiting to be planted out in September when I start clearing the beds.

Here are some photographs of the cutting garden and paddock and some of the beautiful flowers I grow.  I should say at this point that most of the photographs were taken by my daughter who has a much better eye than me.

So my jobs this week include clearing some beds in the polytunnel, deadheading to keep those wonderful blooms blooming, weeding of course, and making space in the diary for the orders already being booked for 2018.





Clary Sage
Cutting garden with raised beds
Paddock with cutting beds

Thursday, 29 June 2017

My first blog

Hello and welcome to my first blog and my new website which I am very excited about, but where to start, should I be witty, trendy, erudite, no I think I will just tell you about progress in the garden and share the highs and lows of being a cut flower grower in Scotland.  

I have no formal training, that is the first thing to get off my chest, I just love gardening and flowers but this new found love only started when we moved to our house here in the Scottish Borders.  The garden was a blank canvas with the exception of a wonderful old apple tree with a distinct lean, two pink peonies and a pretty laburnum.  After 14 years the garden has gone through a dramatic transformation with a woodland garden, spring border, white border, three new long borders, a cutting garden with raised beds, 12 more beds for cut flower production, an orchard and a new vegetable garden, I commandeered the last one.

The growing season here is from April to October, but this is heavily dependant on the weather, gardening at 700 ft has its challenges but I am constantly surprised by what will grow.  I have the use of a polytunnel which helps enormously as we can have very late and very early frosts.

Someone who came to visit us questioned why we had not bothered to install an irrigation system in the garden.  After I had stopped laughing I explained that it would be surplus to requirements, it's OK though, he's my cousin and has not lived in the UK for a very long time.  If he were here now he would understand why that is not really necessary.  It is pouring with rain so I am inside planning, and writing this.  Also I have time to look through the bulb and seed catalogues that are now jamming up the letterbox.  It seems strange to be thinking about next years flowers before we have really got going with the flowers this year but it's a guilty pleasure of mine to look through them all, write down what I would like and then go through the list again cutting it down by at least half.  Children and sweet shops springs to mind.

So today is an inside day, I will go to the polytunnel later, listen to the rain hammering down on the plastic and deal with the sweet peas that are now so tall I need to stand on a ladder to get to them. Weed between the bells of ireland, amaranthus, snapdragons and dahlias and clear the cornflowers which have served me well but now are passed their best and the outside plants are flowering plus I need to make room for the plants still waiting for a home.

I hope you will enjoy reading this.