Tag: #britishflowers

A bit of sunshine

British Flowers

Well happily, the sun has started to shine in Buckinghamshire, and all the flowers have responded by bursting forth!

Some more dahlias have emerged over the last few days. Only one or 2 here and there, but they are absolute beauties and a really encouraging sign of what is to come later in the season. Last year the flower that I fell utterly in love with was the Dahlia Cafe au Lait. I had one in a large pot outside my back door and swooned every time I looked at it. It flowered from early July right through to the first snow in November. I thought that nothing could surpass that beauty….but something has. This year I bought a few Dahlia Labyrinth tubers, and the first flower has just come through. I wish I had bought more. This flower is magnificent! Feast your eyes!

Dahlia Labyrinth - up close
Dahlia Labyrinth – up close

This morning I dropped in a large bunch of flowers to the pre-school my youngest daughter goes to as they have a weekly delivery every Monday morning. I collected the bunch from last week and here it is one week on.

Large bunch - one week later
Large bunch – one week later

I must admit that I snipped off some campanula and foxglove flowers that were going a bit brown, and took the petals off the knautia so the round seed heads are exposed, but have done nothing else at all. I’m so pleased with how it looks after a whole week without a water change. Which has lead me to wonder how much changing the water has an effect on the longevity of the flowers. I never change the water at home (bold!), but I do top it up as some flowers can be really thirsty. This week I am going to put together 2 identical small bunches of flowers and keep them in the same place, change the water in one every second day, but do nothing with the other. It will be interesting to see the difference in the length of time the flowers stay looking good.

 

British flowers week, website launch and sowing biennials

British FlowersUncategorized

Welcome to British Flowers Week! New Covent Garden Flower Market started British Flowers Week 3 years ago in an effort to raise awareness about the wonderful flowers that are grown right here in the UK. There are events taking place all over the UK and to see what’s on near you, have a look at their website. I’m going to go the Green & Gorgeous open day in Oxfordshire tomorrow and am eager to see how such a large flower farm works. On that topic, last Saturday I spent a very flowery morning with Claire Brown from PlantPassion on her farm near Guildford. It was great seeing how her farm has developed after 4 years of growing there, and how many different varieties of flowers she has in bloom this time of the year. We had lots of fun arranging freshly picked flowers from her farm, and I came away with some great tips on both flower arranging and growing. Hopefully I will avoid bud drop on my sweet peas as a result! She also kicked me into biennial sowing mode. I had done a few trays of foxgloves, but that was it. So today I got busy sowing sweet williams, icelandic poppies, aquilegia, more foxgloves and some anthriscus ravenswing. I also did a few trays of craspedia and ping pong scabious for a wedding in October, along with more ammi majus, because I don’t think I can ever have enough of that! I usually use New Horizon peat free compost, but had run out, so I picked up some Sylvagrow compost from Wisley on the way home from Claire’s. It is lovely stuff and it will be really interesting to see if there is much difference between how the New Horizon foxgloves and Sylvagrow foxgloves progress.

Finally, I have officially started taking orders online this week and am delighted to have had a few orders for delivery placed already. Thank you Vicky & Helen! I decided to launch during British Flowers Week and have put flowers and business cards in various businesses locally.  If you are around Holmer Green and surrounding areas this week, keep your eyes open for lonely bouquets, as I will be leaving small bunches of flowers around for people to find and take home.

 

 

Chelsea Fringe Henley flower market

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Yesterday I had a lovely day at Chelsea Fringe flower market, which was run in association with Greenshoots and the Henley Allotment Association.

Jane and Victoria both do a wonderful job raising the profile of the Chelsea Fringe in Henley and organised the cut flower section of this market. Chelsea Fringe runs until the 12th of June and has lots of garden-related events worldwide – http://www.chelseafringe.com/.

I packed my car to the gills with flowers and plants, and set off to Henley first thing on Saturday morning.

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Jane and I were positioned beside each other, and our tables complemented each other well. Both showed very different styles of British flowers. Jane had some beautiful, pink, blowsy peonies that caught the eye of everybody passing by. She also had irises, alchemilla mollis, viburnum opulus and achillea and was putting together wonderful, structured bouquets to order.  She sold out of the peonies within an hour!

My bunches of flowers had an artisan, wildflower slant and they went down very well with visitors to the market. It was wonderful to meet so many people who appreciate this style of flower arranging and I loved seeing how much joy they brought to people. Cow parsley is such a beautiful plant to give flower arrangements a frothy, light touch. When the cow parsley is finished I will start using the ammi majus that I have planted in the allotment to take its place.

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I sold all the potted dahlias, most of my plants and came home with only 3 bunches of flowers. All in all, it was a successful and enjoyable day with the bonus that one of the leftover bunches of flowers is now placed in my bedroom and brings a smile to my face whenever I see it. Even at 4am this morning when my 2 year old daughter decided that it was time to start the day.  I have a feeling that today will be a bit less productive than yesterday!

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Chelsea Fringe Flower Market & website construction

British Flowers

Well this week has been all about getting The Hidden Gate Blooms website up and running (currently still very much under construction!) and getting ready for the British Flowers market that is being held in Henley tomorrow as part of the Chelsea Fringe festival.

I will be selling lots of plants and a few beautiful bouquets – some with a British wildflowers twist. I will post some pictures tomorrow morning when it all comes together. It has been great to have the market as a focus to organise all of my plants. I have way more dahlias than I have space for in my allotment & garden, so it has been good to sort through them all and work out which ones I can part with. The dahlias that I will be selling tomorrow are ‘Cafe au Lait’, ‘Fleurel’, ‘Myrtle’s Folly’, ‘Eveline’, ‘Wine Eyed Jill’, ‘Gerrie Hoek’, ‘Peaches’, ‘Preference’ and ‘Blue Bayou’ all in 2-3 litre pots for £4.50 each. I also have some lavender, nicotiana sylvestris, achillea & snapdragons and am hoping to go home with just empty crates. Although if any of the other sellers there have anything interesting I’m sure I could be convinced to take a couple more plants home with me!

All the plants in the allotment are really starting to come on, and I think I will start cutting sweet peas in the next couple of weeks, which will be lovely. I hope to start selling posies online before the end of June, so watch this space!