This Week

roses

roses

There is a huge, spilling abundance of roses in the flower garden just now, perfect for picking for our six June brides to make romantic, richly scented bouquets and other arrangements. The David Austin rose 'Tranquility' has been planted for four years now and this year it has come into its own, its glossy-leaved branches heavy with fat creamy white many-petalled flowers which we have used for...

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a country wedding

a country wedding

Last weekend's wedding flowers when to a most delightful address: The Old Parsonage at Acton Piggot.  This kind of detail reminds me that I am in exactly the right job - I love the feeling that we could be providing flowers for a character in one of our little boy's vintage (my vintage) story books.  It was a small wedding brief, just the bouquets and buttonholes, with buckets of...

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foxgloves

foxgloves

This has been an exceptional week for foxgloves.  Although there are many drawbacks to growing flowers for cutting on a garden scale, rather than farming them (no mass-spraying; no ploughing in of the old crops; no moving things about by tractor - a tractor couldn't fit in through the gate in our wall), there are many benefits too.  A mini-environment, or tiny microclimate with...

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impending abundance

impending abundance

There is a wonderful feeling in the garden of impending abundance - of a firework about to go off,  a splendid water fountain just about to spurt with all its might.  The foxgloves are like rockets, towering all over the garden, although we have to pick four hundred of them for an order tomorrow morning, so they will be sadly depleted for our open day (in aid of The Historic Churches...

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lupins

lupins

The last month of fabulous sunshine followed by the last few days of magnificent rain have meant that the garden has put on a huge growth spurt over the weekend, and now everything is about a foot taller than it was a few days ago, and so many flower varieties look to be on the very brink of blooming.  Flowering on full throttle right now are the lupins, thrusting up their luscious pepper...

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The allium

The allium

Alliums abound this week.  It is magical to get to the garden early, when the sun is low and sparkling through the purple spiky globes.  Used to picking our flowers as I am, I still feel a pang as I harvest the alliums because they give the garden such drama.  They also make a kind of orange sap which stains my clothes and makes the water in their buckets turn pink.  They...

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flower class

flower class

It wasn't really a floristry class, more an opportunity for eight women to get to know each other better over coffee, cake, and a sun-flooded flower garden.  As the merry hens laughed and chattered at their tea table in the sun, I hovered about in the background, not wanting to interrupt their enjoyment, but aware that they had all come to have a go at making hand tied posies, and to see...

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flower supports

flower supports

This week we've been picking the last of the tulips, and starting on the first of the late spring flowers: dainty geum 'totally tangerine', arching solomon's seal, tiny forget-me-nots and starry blue camassias all help to fill the May flower gap.  We've also started to put up supports to help keep the stems of the next crop of flowers straight; in particular we have been using Barney's...

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flowers for Joyce

flowers for Joyce

I've been wanting to write all week about the flowers we picked and made into an airy, natural casket spray for the funeral of Barney's completely delightful grandmother, Joyce, who thrived until she was nearly ninety nine years old, and then just grew weary of outliving everyone else she knew.  However, the telegraph pole at the bottom of our lane has been skewiff all week, and the story...

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narcissi

narcissi

Having always disliked the very overbred large yellow trumpets of the daffodils planted under the fluffy pink cherry blossoms next to the cricket ground in the Yorkshire village where I grew up, it has taken me a long time to trust to the idea that some narcissi can be really heart-achingly, soul-scrunchingly, headily gorgeous.  Last autumn, after having previously included only tentative...

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