Monday, 25 November 2019

Gardening can be dangerous!

I love wandering in gardens and always come away thinking how beautiful they are compared to ours.  How tidy they are, where are all the weeds, bet they have a team of garden helpers.  So when we were approached by our local coordinator for the Scotland's Garden Scheme to open our garden of course the answer was no!  However, my husband and I decided after many discussions that it would be a great idea.  It would make us get on with all the unfinished jobs around the garden, tidy up the compost bins and let people see a working cut flower business.

All seemed to be going well for our opening in July and then I broke my knee, a gardening accident that could have been avoided if I had not filled my wheelbarrow so full and had been wearing my knee pads.  Sadly I was being vain and decided to take them off while trundling my top heavy barrow across the village green from the polytunnel.  I tripped on a bamboo cane and landed on my knees on the gravel.  A visit to A&E confirmed a broken knee, luckily no surgery just lots of resting.  Easier said than done with the SGS day looming.   It was then all hands to the pump, children and husband digging and weeding, building, shredding, edging, building obelisks, the works.  Finally, we were ready and after an amazing article in the Scotland on Sunday magazine the day dawned.  It was pouring with rain and cold, typical!  However with 10 minutes to spare the sun appeared and we had the most amazing day of warm sunshine and over 150 people came to wander around the garden and have a most delicious homemade tea in our lovely village hall. We were exhausted and spent Sunday evening saying never again!  So in 2020, yes you guessed it, we are opening our garden again, Sunday 19th July 2pm-5pm.  Teas in the village hall and proceeds to the Village Hall Committee and the SGS Charities.

Scotland's Garden Scheme

The feedback was wonderful and it was so lovely talking to everyone and getting some top tips from keen gardeners, every day is a school day.  My husband was particularly pleased as his vegetable patch was looking at its best.

Looking forward to next year in the cutting garden I have already planted the tulip bulbs, hardy annuals and biennials in the polytunnel for early flowers in the spring.  The ranunculus are growing in the polytunnel and anemones are starting to sprout.

This year for the first time I am holding two wreath making workshops.  It's a really fun way to kick Christmas off and get together with some friends and learn to make your own unique wreath with all natural ingredients.  The foliage is sourced locally, with landowners permission, that is very important.  The wreaths can be composted and bits and bobs saved for next year, no plastic and no floral foam.

Both classes are fully booked already so I think that next year I will have to add more dates so more people can join in and learn a new skill.

Whilst the weather has been cold and wet recently there is still lots happening in the garden.  Spare a thought for the birds and insects in your garden and don't tidy too much.  Leave the woody stems of plants and shrubs for birds who can help themselves to the seeds, a pile of leaves will act as both a mulch for more tender plants and hide a few slugs which we find irritating but hedgehogs and birds find delicious.  Spring will be here before we know it and then the job of tidying can start.  For now take time off from the garden, pour over the seed and bulb catalogues and plan for 2020, that's what we are doing.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Springing into summer

It's hard to believe that it is almost 5 years since the seed (excuse the pun) of an idea started to form, growing flowers as a business, well what a very busy 5 years and what a very steep learning curve into the world of cut flower growing.  I had always picked a few flowers from the garden to "plonk" into a vase but there is gaping void between that and producing enough flowers for variety, vase life, colour and scent to sell.

Looking at the trays and trays that need to find a home I think I definitely will have enough, I know the varieties that work and I know that most of them will be scented!  I grow a huge variety of annuals both hardy and half hardy, perennials and biennials.  When people ask me what I grow I only reel off a few names and then think, wait a minute that is a fraction of it!

The sun has finally warmed everything up and the flowers in the polytunnel are starting to flower and before long the outside cutting beds will be bursting with colour.

All of this needs to find a home and now that hopefully (!) we have seen our last frost I am taking the plunge and planting everything out.

The cutting beds will soon be bursting with colour ready for the summer. 

We have been digging new beds and extending others in the main garden and generally giving everything a good tidy.  Not only do we have to concentrate on the business side of things but our own garden has to get some attention and this year has been no exception.  We are opening the garden on Sunday 28th July 2019 as part of the Scotland's Gardens Scheme.  Come and have a wander around the garden and see the cutting beds for Schoolhouse Flowers, our new wildlife pond and recently planted orchard with bee hives.  We can't do enough for the bees and other pollinators that visit our garden. 

Here is a link and we look forward to seeing you in July.

Trays and trays in the cloches

...and there's more

Full greenhouse

Dahlias getting acclimatised