Tag Archives: gardening

It’s All About The Flowers!

HAMPTON COURT FLOWER FESTIVAL

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What a beautiful day we had. Well worth a visit.  The setting was absolutely magical, and the flaura and fauna first class.  Could have spent an absolute fortune, oh yes, I did. All in a good cause though.  Most of my purchases are now settling nicely into the garden, hopefully to be used next year in my quest to cut my own flowers for the business.

THE SWINDON MARRIOTT HOTEL

IMG_3077Whilst waiting for the above to grow though this weeks install at the hotel was inspired by the garden, as it is at the moment.  Beautiful copper beech, poppy heads and alliums.  The hotel give me a briefing and the botanical displays are to be seasonal, minimal and local.  Can’t get more local than this weeks.  Sometimes hard to make twigs, sticks and rocks look artistic.  January is a challenging month..

GREAT SHEFFORD OPEN GARDENS

IMG_3047Inspired by my neighbours, Roger and Jackie’s show garden gave me the colour theme for my church arrangement.  The church was decorated with floral displays from local groups and many villagers opened their gardens for the day. The weather played a huge part in making this a resounding success and proceeds raised went to the church fund. Hope they do it next year.  My garden might be ready. Here’s hoping.

 

 

 

The Rural Florists: Part II

For the love of all things holy, ‘PLEASE STOP RAINING!!!!!!!’

When we had grand thoughts of planning & planting the cutting garden we had this romantic idea of being out in the garden, turning over the soil, leaning on the gate whilst sipping our coffee, deciding what seeds are going where, what would grow in the best position… Well, since the gorgeous seeds arrived (the packet was opened with lots of ohh’s and ahhh’s) it has done nothing but rain… And when it hasn’t rained, we’ve had snow or frosts so hard we can’t stick a fork in the ground. The soil is ready, the fertiliser has been spread, it is waiting in anticipation of being filled with delights such as: lupins, eryingium, sweet peas, Veronica, Cerinthe… the list goes on. We want to get out there and plant but we can’t, they’d be washed away and we’d end up on our behinds, thigh deep in chicken poo.

The only saving grace is the arrival of spring. Hidden away in the garden, all those bulbs have started to appear. Snowdrops have arrived, cowslips around the base of the tree, daffodils breaking through the soil… It’s truly a delight to see these delicate flowers poking through. Despite everything they still come up and give us gardeners hope.

So to cheer ourselves up (and stop us drinking our body weight in caffeine) we visited a secret plant nursery. It’s in the back of beyond. Honestly, if you put a gun to my head and demanded the directions, I couldn’t tell you. At one point, I thought Claire was taking me to a secluded spot to hit me across the head with a spade! Maybe she thought about it but realised the ground was too hard to dig a grave. Thankfully, I’m still alive to tell you about the plants. Oh my goodness, I wanted to buy EVERYTHING!!! Pittisporum, Viburnum, Clematis, Jasmine… it goes on and on and on and on. Oh, I could have filled my car twenty times over. Honestly, in my head the sun was shining and the sky was blue. The endless joy that plants give me – to imagine what they’ll grow into over the coming months – fills me with utter happiness. I’m desperate for the days to get warmer and longer; I’m excited to watch things grow and evolve. No matter how much you plan, you can’t guarantee it’s going to work out the way you want it. You have to adapt, to work with the plants and the weather. Get out there in between the rain clouds, prepare for those better days, so you can utilise the time. Just imagine sitting in the sunshine, breathing in the heady scent of those sweet peas that you know you grew from a tiny seed. Total smug zone moment.

This was contributed by Claire S.