Everything softens

As Henry rattled off with his trolley for collecting leaves this morning, taking the dog out, the sun was rising behind the apple trees and beginning to spread a warm orange glow across the far fields, but the air was still very cold and it felt like autumn; it didn't take us long to fill the little trolley with fallen golden brown oak leaves and little bits of twig.  Now the sun is strong and the day is lovely, but the flowers are definitely responding to the cold nights.  We particularly notice it in the hydrangea paniculata bushes: their beautiful papery flowers are turning a lovely blush pink and the greens are deepening.  These flowers seem to me a perfect foil for everything else we are picking at the moment, from fierce bright dahlias and zinnias (which have completely triumphed this year) to the popular soft dusky palette of wild carrot, blush roses, cream/rose/peach/claret.  This week is one of our busiest yet in terms of different orders to cater for and balance against one another, with four collections of bouquets and buckets from the garden, seven deliveries (including two separate trips to London) and one wedding.  We are so lucky to have such a great team!  There is also much to be done in terms of planning and making sure the garden is even more heaving with glorious flowers for picking next year.  This is a very exciting time of year; the summer is drawing to a close but there is a feeling of new beginnings.