Category Archives: News

June 2018

JUNE 2018

It is now mid-June and what a difference a month of lovely warm weather has made to the garden, the walled garden and the flower cutting patch. Apart from some very heavy rain at the end of May and beginning of June (May was the warmest on record) the weather has continued to be warm and humid, wonderful growing conditions. The downside is that we have had to do a lot of watering with almost no rain for the last two weeks. There was some light rain last night but not enough to make much of a difference.

The Delphiniums and Lupins are loving their new home tucked away in a corner of the walled garden and have been staked and supported successful against westerly winds such as we are experiencing today.

The Delphiniums and Lupins are loving their new home

The Delphiniums and Lupins are loving their new home

We also managed to get the pea netting over the cornflowers before last night and today’s windy weather and within a few days they were already growing through the pea netting.

We also managed to get the pea netting over the cornflowers

We also managed to get the pea netting over the cornflowers

June really is a magical and very special time of the year, a time to sit back and enjoy the results of all that hard work. Our little garden has become a crèche for baby blue tits, hedge sparrows, blackbirds and woodpeckers. Some of the “babies” are as big as mum and dad now, the stay at home generation (avian style), wanting to stay in the garden with an abundance of lovely goodies to eat and still being fed by their parents! It really is quite enchanting!

One of the Ammi Majus that had self-seeded in the cutting patch is now six feet tall and the first crop from this year’s planting will be flowering in a few weeks’ time at around the end of June or beginning of July. This crop may well be over by the wedding in August but I am hoping that the second and third crops will all be flowering at the right time, fingers crossed!

One of the Ammi Majus that had self-seeded in the cutting patch is now six feet tall

One of the Ammi Majus that had self-seeded in the cutting patch is now six feet tall

We had a few pink Sweet Peas and Sweet William ready in time for the breast cancer charity tenth anniversary event at the beginning of June but not as many as we had hoped for.

We had a few pink Sweet Peas ready

We had a few pink Sweet Peas ready

 

May 2018

May 2018

The first weekend of May 2018 will be a memorable one for everyone as we all basked in a wonderful warm wave of heat over the May bank holiday weekend. This lovely warm weather combined with the heatwave during the third weekend of April has really kick started the growing season.   My story of a small garden flower cutting patch is rapidly becoming a story of the walled garden, a magical place shared by the residents of our unique little corner of the West Country.

Our Cosmos plants from the first batch, now getting strong and tall have all been planted out into the flower beds in the walled garden and the plants from the second batch have grown so fast that they have been planted straight from the seed trays into tubs on our patio.

Cosmos plants from the first batch now getting strong and tall

Cosmos plants from the first batch now getting strong and tall

The little seedlings, Ammi Majus, Ammi Visnage, Cornflowers and Nigella were potted on at the beginning of May and have already tripled in size and will be ready to plant out in the cutting patch next weekend.  I know that a lot of people say that Ammi and Nigella don’t like being moved so we shall see; it’s all a big learning curve!  But just in case, I also planted seed direct into the ground last month which has all germinated well.  I have also planted three rows of Gypsophila seed direct into the ground. I hope the night time frosts are now over as these are not frost hardy at all.

The little seedlings, Ammi Majus, Ammi Visnage, Cornflowers and Nigella were potted on at the beginning of May

The little seedlings, Ammi Majus, Ammi Visnage, Cornflowers and Nigella were potted on at the beginning of May

We are growing all these flowers for our son’s wedding later in the year and as the weather is so unreliable and we don’t really know what will be ready in time we have planted several batches at three week intervals and hope that some or all will be ready in time!

Cornflower and Calendula seedlings

Cornflower and Calendula seedlings

All the Sweet Peas have now been planted and so have most of the Calendula and California Poppies.  The Sunflowers are ready to be planted out next week and the Dahlias will soon be ready to be moved from pots into the ground.  It is all beginning to come together!

All the Sweet Peas have now been planted

All the Sweet Peas have now been planted

Last year in June our magnificent Delphiniums and Lupins were completely destroyed in one day by a terrible storm.  The wind and rain demolished them all and left us with a ruined mass of mangled and broken plants despite us having staking them really well.  So we have moved them all from the cutting patch into a sheltered corner of the walled garden in the hope that this year they will be protected from any harsh weather.

Delphiniums and Lupins have been moved to a sheltered corner

Delphiniums and Lupins have been moved to a sheltered corner

One week on and with the weather staying fine everything is growing beautifully.  The Lupins which we moved out of the cutting garden into a more sheltered part of the walled garden are starting to flower so that was a successful move; we have also planted out all the tall sunflower plants.

We have planted out all the tall sunflower plants

We have planted out all the tall sunflower plants

All the Ammi Majus, Ammi Visnage, Cornflower, Nigella and Salvia seedlings have been planted out into the cutting garden in groups as they are the flowers that we hope will be ready to use for the wedding.

Cornflower seedlings have been planted out into the cutting garden

Cornflower seedlings have been planted out into the cutting garden

Our three rows of Gypsophila seeds have all germinated and the Ammi Majus, Ammi Visnage, Cornflowers and Nigella seeds that we planted direct into the ground are growing really well and will soon need thinning out.

April 2018

April 2018

The first week of April has been a little bit warmer than the last week of March but still nowhere near as warm as this time last year.  We have planted out some of the Sweet Peas but are still holding off directly sowing seeds into the ground until next weekend.

This week we have potted on all the Cosmos seedlings into fibre pots and also planted another three cell trays with more Cosmos seeds, potentially another 180 plants if they all germinate! We have also planted more Calendula, this time Indian Prince and more Sunflowers seeds, Vanilla Ice, Pacino which is a short sunflower and more Garden Statement.  We have also planted more Sweet Pea seeds, Kingfisher, Skylark Mixed,Lilac Ripple and Singing the Blues.  All in all this weekend we have planted approximately 300 seeds!

The Cosmos seedlings potted on into fibre pots

The Cosmos seedlings potted on into fibre pots

The Cornflowers, both Black Ball and Blue Ball, Malope, Salvia and Ammi Majus seeds planted last week have all germinated.  The Calendula White Princess and Daisy Mixed and the Nasturtiums have also germinated and the Sunflowers Garden Statement. The Sweet Peas planted last month have germinated although with some of them the germination has been poor.

April 2018 Seeds planted last week have all germinated

April 2018 Seeds planted last week have all germinated

14th April.  This Saturday has been the first really warm day of the year so far and we have been out in the garden sowing the first batch of flower seed directly into the cutting garden.  We have planted Ammi Majus, Ammi Visnage, Nigella Oxford Blue and Persian Jewel and Cornflowers Black Ball and Blue Ball.

The Ammi seeds are really tiny and so we sowed them with just a few millimeters of sieved seed compost covering them.  We then covered all the lines of seed with netting cloches to stop them being washed away by the next lot of rain due in the next day.

We have also sown the same seeds into cell trays as a backup in case the flowers sown directly into the soil don’t germinate.  We have also planted three fennel plants; the fennel is going to be the foliage for the table centers for the wedding.

All the Cosmos seed that we planted last weekend have germinated and are thriving on our window sill.  We are going to have a lot of Cosmos plants this summer!

 

March 2018

March 2018

The first few days of March have been the coldest first days of March on record and as the ‘Beast from the East’ swept across the country from east to west blowing in sub-zero temperatures it met up with ‘Storm Emma’ moving northwards from Europe and covered the whole of the South West of England in a blanket of snow.

Our cutting garden and veggie patch covered in snow on the 1st day of March 2018

Our cutting garden and veggie patch covered in snow on the 1st day of March 2018

We covered our most tender plants such as Rudbeckia which were just emerging from their winter sleep with fleece and also covered our cold frame full of plants carefully nursed through the winter months with fleece and hoped for the best.  Thankfully all survived, the cold snap was short lived here in the south west and the temperature is rising once again and the snow is thawing, the sun is shining as I write.

The Cosmos seeds planted just over a week ago have been nice and cosy on the window sills by day and under the radiators at night and are germinating already.  All but two of the orange varieties ‘Polidor’ and ‘Brightness Mixed’ have come through.

The Cosmos seed are germinating after just over a week.

The Cosmos seed are germinating after just over a week.

The Sweet Pea seedlings are all really healthy and strong and will need to be planted out in the next few weeks when hopefully it will be a bit warmer than it is now.

The Sweet Pea seedling are really healthy and strong

The Sweet Pea seedling are really healthy and strong

Sunday 18th March.  As I sit and write my blog it is snowing once again down here in the South West of England!  All our Cosmos have germinated and are now just starting to produce their second leaf, still residing happily on our windowsills around the house.  On Thursday I planted another tray of seeds, this time two different varieties of Rudbeckia ‘Goldilocks’ and ‘Gloriosa Daisies’ and three different varieties of California Poppy (Eschscholzia Californica) ‘Superb Mix’; ‘Golden West’ and Strawberry Fields’.  You should be able to sow the California Poppy seeds directly into the ground in March but it has been so cold and now once again the ground is covered in several inches of snow so I have decided to start them off in cell trays indoors.  The next batch in April will hopefully be sown directly into the ground.  Spring has to be just around the corner now!  Think positive!

Friday 23rd March.  All the Rudbeckia and California poppy seeds have germinated already!  We have also planted the first Sweet Pea seeds for the August wedding.  We have planted five varieties, Cream Old Times; Swan Lake; Mammoth Blue; Lilac Ripple and Kingfisher.

31st March.  It has been a busy week for us, the Dahlias have been planted into pots and we have planted a lot of our annuals into cell trays as the weather is still very cold (it was snowing yesterday!) and after the heavy rain the ground is still too wet and cold. We have planted Ammi Majus; Ammi Visnage; Nigella Persian Jewels; Nigella Oxford Blue; Cornflower Black Ball; Cornflower Blue Ball; Salvia Blue Monday and Malope Vulcan.  We have also planted Sunflowers Evening Sun and Garden Statement into fibre pots; Calendula White Princess and Daisy Mixed and Nasturtiums Prince Charming into 3” pots.  Finally we have also planted another batch of Sweet Peas, this time Old Fashioned Mixed; Incense Mixed; Summer Sizzler; Skylark Mixed and Tall Mixed. Wow!! Every available inch of space on every window still in our house and on our porch is now full of seed trays and both cold frames are also full.

Hopefully in the next two weeks we will be able to get some of the plants in the cold frames out into the garden as next week the Cosmos are going to need potting on and will need to stay protected from frost until they go out at around mid-May.

February 2018

February 2018

This February has been bitterly cold so far but today we have had some lovely sunshine and it has prompted us to get organised and ready to do some serious planting quite soon.

We have been digging out all our collection of seeds and also buying lots of new seeds to add new colour to our garden and cutting garden this year.

To add to our collection of Cosmos this year we have bought Cosmos ‘Rubenza’ which is a lovely deep red colour; Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ a beautiful lemon yellow; Cosmos ‘Polidor’ a mix of orange shades which is a favourite of ours; Cosmos ‘Brightness Mixed’ – a mix of yellow and orange cosmos; Cosmos ‘Gazebo Mixed’ – a mix of reds, pinks and white.  It should all look amazing together with the Cosmos that we already have ‘Gazebo Red’; ‘Double Click’; ‘Sea Shells Mixed’; ‘Rosetta’; and ‘Double Dutch White’.  Wow, ten different Cosmos, yes that is a lot but we have a lot of space to fill this year.  As well as our Patio tubs and our cutting garden we will also be planting in the Walled Garden for our son’s wedding in August. We are going to start planting our Cosmos seeds indoors at the end of February and again at the end of March

For our cutting garden and walled garden planting we have also bought three different varieties of sunflowers ‘Evening Sun’ ‘Pacino’ and ‘Vanilla Ice’.  We are also going to be growing Dahlias for the wedding and have bought the tubers ready to plant into pots in mid-March an then plant out in the walled garden after the last frost around mid-May.

We have our two favourite cornflowers ‘Blue Ball’ and ‘Black Ball’ and two favourite Nigella ‘Oxford Blue’ and ‘Persian Jewels’.   We could never be without Gypsophila and Ammi Majus and this year for the first time we will be growing Ammi Visnaga.  A few other first timers for us will be Salvia Viridis ‘Blue Monday’; Malope trifida ‘Vulcan’ and Rudbeckia ‘Goldicocks’.

Last year we grew Eschscholzia, otherwise known as California Poppies and totally fell in love with them.  They flowered for ages and ages and were also a great cutting flower, bright and beautiful by day and curling up into little minarets at night.  So this year as well as ‘Golden West’ we have ‘Superb Mixed’ and a stunning frilly two tone variety called’ Strawberry Fields’.  We also have the two different Calendula that we grew last year ‘Indian Princess’ and ‘Snow Princess’.  We plan to plant our annuals in March, April and May to make sure that we have a continuous supply and to ensure that we have lots of flowers for August!

My husband has been out weeding, edging and composting with mushroom compost all the flower beds, cutting patch and veggie patch in readiness (he is a lot braver than I am when it’s still so cold) and also has a new shed!  He has also been gathering all our seed trays, cell trays and pots of all different sizes and buying in seed compost, so all set to go!

24th February 2018.  We are now into the last weekend of February and traditionally the time when we really start our seed planting. As it is freezing cold outside I have been planting my Cosmos seeds in trays indoors, the same as this time last year.

Cosmos seed planted into cells in seed trays, on a sunny window sill

Cosmos seed planted into cells in seed trays,on a sunny window sill

I have planted nine different varieties of Cosmos into cell trays of seed compost.  The cells have been filled three quarters full, then I put three or four seeds into each cell and covered with a quarter of an inch of fine seed compost and sprayed each one with tepid water.  The cell trays are in trays with incubator lids.  Even though it is very cold and set to get even colder next week, it is predicted to be clear and sunny and so we have put our trays of Cosmos seeds on the window sills around the house.  In the mornings they will be on the east facing side and get the morning sun and in the afternoons we will move them to the west facing side to get the full benefit of the afternoon sunshine.  They need warm temperatures and light to germinate so hopefully this will do the trick.

This is our first planting of Cosmos seeds and we have chosen Double Click; Sea Shells Mixed; Rosetta; Double Dutch White; Gazebo Red; Polidor; Albatross; Gazebo Mixed and Brightness Mixed.  We will do our second planting of Cosmos seeds in six weeks’ time and by doing so hopefully will have Cosmos flowering until September.

Young Sweet Pea seedlings

Young Sweet Pea seedlings

The Sweet Peas that we planted at the beginning of January are doing well and getting quite tall now.  They have been moved to the cold frame to slow their growth down a bit as it is still too cold to plant them out into the ground.  We have a variety of old plastic flower pots from various plants that we have purchased over the years and re-use them year after year.  These little pots are an ideal size for our Sweet Pea seedlings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 2018

January 2018

Happy 2018! ‘A gardeners year starts on the 1st of January and ends on the 31st of December’ I have no idea who first made that observation but how right he or she was! Although January is a much quieter time outside, it is a time to contemplate the year to come and to make plans be they grand ones or not so grand ones. To make use of the valuable time whilst on holiday from the day job I have been planning what to plant for the year ahead.

We have a busy year in front of us, as well as growing flowers for our own enjoyment (and our neighbour’s) we will be growing pink Sweet Peas and pink Sweet Williams in time for an anniversary in June for a breast cancer charity that is very dear to us and we will also be growing the flowers for another wedding!

Trying to work out a timeline from planting seeds to flowering is incredibly difficult, not knowing if the weather is going to be kind to us or cruel. Last year we lost all our Delphiniums and Lupins in June in a terrible storm just when they were at their best. Despite having staked them well (or so we thought) the strong gale force winds just tore them to shreds and left us with a pile of wrecked stems. We will have to do better this year.

June 2017 The beautiful Delphiniums before the storm

June 2017 The beautiful Delphiniums before the storm

A trail of complete devastation in our once beautiful cutting patch

A trail of complete devastation in our once beautiful cutting patch

The Sweet Williams had self-seeded last year and we have hundreds of little seedlings overwintering in the cutting patch and I feel quite confident that we will have lots of flowers by June. We have started to grow some pink Sweet Peas ‘perfume duet’ and ‘painted lady’ for the charity event, having planted the seeds in November. We will plant some more seeds in January.

On Friday 5th January we started preparing some more Sweet Pea seeds, ‘Old Fashioned Mixed’ a mixture of grandiflora types dating back to the 1900’s with a strong heady fragrance and ‘Incense’ which is a heavily scented floriferous climber.   We soaked the seeds in tepid water overnight to soften them prior to planting them out the next day.  The seeds turned from black to a dark nutty brown colour which we then dried on a piece of kitchen towel and planted them one and a half centimetres deep in seed compost in small plastic pots, three in each pot and watered them in. We have placed them on a window sill where the temperature will not drop below around 15 degrees centigrade to get good germination.

Planting Sweet Pea seeds into small pots

Planting Sweet Pea seeds into small pots

For the wedding which is going to have a blue and white/cream colour scheme we will be growing four different Sweet Pea varieties but will not be planting them for some time yet.  These are ‘Swan Lake’, a large pure white lightly scented flower on long stems; ‘Singing the Blues’, a scented climber in shades of blue; ‘Twilight’ in shades of blue and purple and ‘Skylark Mixed’ a mixture of white and blue.

The Sweet Pea seeds that we planted on the 5th of January were already germinating nine days later on the 14th January and by the 19th January (two weeks from planting) they are several inches tall and starting to produce their first leaf.

September 2017

September 2017

Moving into September, after the most amazing weather for our late August bank holiday weekend, there is much to do in our cutting patch. Having collected lots of seed from the annuals patch this has now been cleared and weeded and is ready for composting. Last year we planted hardy annuals in this patch but very few survived the winter. This year after composting we will leave it for the worms to play with and probably plant vegetables there next year. Since my cutting patch was originally part of the veggie patch it seems only fair to give it back from time to time!

The Delphiniums and Lupins which were so badly damaged in June and were then cut right back are now having a second flowering. The flowers are nowhere near as strong as they were first time around but still add a welcome touch of colour. The plan is to move them all in the spring to a more sheltered location in the hope of protecting them from the terrible winds that we get down here in the West Country.

The Cosmos 'Gazebo Red' are looking particularly colourful

The Cosmos ‘Gazebo Red’ are looking particularly colourful

The Cosmos suffered terribly from wind rock and wind burn last month in August but we have some survivors, the ‘Gazebo Red’ are looking particularly colourful and the Rudbeckia are also still really beautiful. The Nasturtiums planted against the north facing wall are now climbing up the wall and have nearly reached the top!

The Nasturtiums have nearly reached the top of the wall!

The Nasturtiums have nearly reached the top of the wall!

We have planted out our biennials, wall flowers and sweet rocket seedlings, which we grew from seed but in smaller quantities. This time we have planted them in the garden not in the cutting garden, last year we grew the Sweet Williams as a crop to have enough for our neighbours wedding, this year we are growing them for the garden.

It is really important to keep on top of the weeding at this time of the year and get rid of the weeds before they shed their seeds into the ground after which time you then have an even bigger task getting rid of them.

My Blog will return again in the new year.  I am having to take a break to have some repair work done to my back!  Meanwhile happy gardening to you all!

August 2017

August 2017

August is a time of change in our cutting patch. The Cornflowers, Calendulas, Nigella and Ammi Majus and most of the Poppies are all now over. The wonderful Californian poppies are still flowering and the Scabiosa have just started to flower. We also still have lots of Larkspur and Nasturtiums as well as Sunflowers and Sweet Peas so still lots of colour.

The Sunflowers are still adding lots of colour to our cutting patch

The Sunflowers are still adding lots of colour to our cutting patch

The Rudbeckia also add lots of colour at this time of the year. This is a good time to start collecting seed from the Cornflowers and Calendula and the seed pods from the Poppies and Nigella so that you have lots of seed ready for next year’s planting.

Our pots of flowers are still looking wonderful and fill our patio with colour. If you don’t have a garden or only have a small garden then pots of flowers are a good solution.

Our pots of flowers are still looking wonderful

Our pots of flowers are still looking wonderful

Ninety percent of cut flowers purchased in this country are imported from abroad which is understandable in the winter months but it seems a shame in the summer months to buy imported cut flowers. Flowers for cutting are so easy to grow and you can grow such a variety of different flowers which are never available to buy from a shop.

From next February I am going to go into much more detail, week by week, documenting how we grow our flowers for our cutting patch from start to finish.

For the here and now, it is seed collecting time and time to clear away the old annuals. It is also time to pot on the biennial seedlings planted from seed at the end of June. They have now been potted on from the cell trays into larger pots and in September they will be ready to be planted out into the cutting patch or garden. This year we have grown Wall Flowers as always as they give such a wonderful splash of colour from March right through to June. We have also grown Sweet Williams as we always do as they flower from May through to July and are such good strong stemmed flowers and great for flower arranging. This year we have also grown some Foxgloves, not for cutting but just for planting in the borders.

Time to pot on the biennial seedlings

Time to pot on the biennial seedlings

 

July 2017

July 2017 

The first week of July 2017 has been a glorious one. The first day of July was our next door neighbour’s wedding day and the day dawned with not a cloud in the clear deep blue sky. After a year of planning, planting and growing the flowers for this eventful day it was finally here. On the Wednesday and Thursday prior to the big day we had half a month’s rainfall in two days. The Sweet Williams and Alchemilla Mollis were flattened and my husband worked tirelessly all week to stake up all the flowers that were being battered by the relentless rain, sometimes falling lightly but at other times it was torrential. The previous weeks had been baking hot and he had been watering the plants continuously to keep them from dying of thirst! Despite the trials and tribulations of the good old English weather we managed to have enough flowers for their wedding day.

The table centers were a mix of garden flowers, Alchemilla Mollis, Gypsophila, Sweet Williams, Calendula, Cornflowers, Nigella seed pods and Sweet Peas in glass jars placed inside old vintage tins.

The table centers were a mix of garden flowers

The table centers were a mix of garden flowers

The archway into the garden was a mix of Ammi Majus, Roses, Sweet William, Alchemilla Mollis and Sweet Peas with long ivy trails. The roses in the arch were bought.  Two tubs of lemon yellow Cosmos were on either side of the arch.

 

The archway into the garden

The archway into the garden

There were little glass bottles of mixed flowers on the picnic tables in the garden and two big displays at the entrance to the marquee.  Due to the devastation of our Delphiniums in the storms in June we had to buy in some of the flowers for the two big displays.   The brides and the bridesmaid’s bouquets were a mix of Sweet Peas, Cornflowers, Nigella seed pods and Bupleurum.  The roses in the bouquet, the same as the roses in the arch were bought. The bride looked beautiful and it was a wonderful day.

The bride's and bridesmaid's bouquets

The bride’s and bridesmaid’s bouquets

One of the big displays

One of the big displays

It was great fun growing the flowers for such a special occasion and we did have quite a few moments of trepidation with the weather.  Now a week later we can enjoy the rest of our beautiful cutting patch and garden for ourselves and I have spent a very happy day playing in the garden. The sweet peas are quite spectacular and their wonderful sweet scent fills the rooms of our home.

The Sweet Peas are quite spectacular

The Sweet Peas are quite spectacular

A happy day spent playing in the garden

A happy day spent playing in the garden

We still have an abundance of cornflowers and calendula and also the very pretty and delicate pink Gypsophila. Our sunflowers are just starting to flower and also the Lysimachia and Phlox. There are still lots to look forward to.

Sunflowers are looking beautiful

Sunflowers are looking beautiful

We are now nearing the end of July and despite the weather it has been a wonderful and memorable month.  The Sweet Peas in particular have been outstanding, we have had such a bounty of beautiful blooms from them and they are still going strong.

Picking the Sweet Peas ahead of the thunder storms

Picking the Sweet Peas ahead of the thunder storms

The Poppies have also been really lovely and we have grown some that we have never seen before, from the really delicate Bridal Silk to the multi coloured Peony Poppies, all have been stunning in their own particular way.

The multi coloured Peony Poppies

The multi coloured Peony Poppies

The Lysimachia are now in flower, grown from seed which we started last year in February.  It has been a long journey but well worth the wait, they are really gorgeous.

The Lysimachia are now in flower

The Lysimachia are now in flower

 

June 2017

JUNE 2017

June is the month when all that hard work starts to pay off. The poppies in particular are popping open every day and the bees are just having a feast!

The bees are having a feast on the fresh new poppies

The bees are having a feast on the fresh new poppies

This is the first time that we have grown Eschscholzia Californica ‘Golden West’ or Californian Poppies and they are a real delight. They were so easy to grow from seed in cells in seed compost and then potted on into individual small plastic pots in a mix of soil and compost until they were strong enough to be planted out. From then on they just took off and grew really quickly. They close up at night into tight little minarets and open again the next morning and so last longer than other poppies many of which last no more than a day or two.

Eschscholzia Californica 'Golden West

Eschscholzia Californica ‘Golden West

Poppy 'Bridal Silk'

Poppy ‘Bridal Silk’

Nigella - Love in a Mist

Nigella – Love in a Mist

The Delphiniums, Lupins and the Roses are a blast of colour and the Sweet Williams are starting to flower. We have Cornflowers, Nigella and Calendula all staring to flower and lots more still so come. As of yesterday we also have our first Sweet Pea! Apart from weeding and watering it is now sit back and enjoy time.

Poppies are better than ever this year

Poppies are better than ever this year

7th June. What has happened to our summer?  On what was supposed to be the first week of the (meteorological) summer we have had torrential rain, hail storms, thunder and lightning and winds gusting up to 40 mph.  The storms from Sunday and Monday and the constant battering from the wind and rain over the last three days has left a trail of complete devastation in our cutting patch. All the Lupins are broken and at least half the Delphiniums are also gone despite being supported with stakes earlier last month. It would seem that I spoke too soon when I said it was sit back and enjoy time!

A trail of complete devastation in our once beautiful cutting patch

A trail of complete devastation in our once beautiful cutting patch

On a slightly more positive note the sweet peas have survived and we have picked the first bunch of sweet peas today!  All sweet peas are beautiful but the frilly, striped sweet pea ‘Pandemonium’ and also ‘Sir Henry Cecil’ are particularly lovely.  Many of the poppies and cornflowers have been flattened as well but we have a few remaining in more sheltered spots.

The first bunch of Sweet Peas

The first bunch of Sweet Peas

Some poppies survived the storms in sheltered spots

Some poppies survived the storms in sheltered spots

I have totally fallen in love with these stunningly beautiful golden Californian poppies.  They curl up and go to sleep at night even earlier than I do!

Survivors of last week's storms!

Survivors of last week’s storms!

After the dreadful weather at the beginning of the month which destroyed all the Lupins and most of the Delphiniums we then had scorching hot weather, up to 32 degrees Celsius in the shade on Wednesday 21st June and the hottest June day for 40 years!  Even after the weather cooled off there was still very little rain and we have had to water every day.

We have a really good crop of Sweet William and the Cornflowers, Gypsophila, Ammi Majus and Calendula are all growing really well.

We have a really good crop of Sweet Williams

We have a really good crop of Sweet Williams