It sounds as though I am getting a little ahead of myself here, but believe it or not when I was picking flowers at 8 this morning the ground was crunching underfoot with the first frost (we are quite high up) and an icy wind blowing in, even though the leaves on the trees are still green.
Most of the flowers have gone over now leaving behind skeletons and seeds. I have already cleared many of the beds and re-sown them with green manures of vetch and mustard.
However, I am still able to harvest a couple of buckets of flowers and the dahlias have gone crazy recently. So many perfect flowers and straight stems after all that heavy rain perhaps?
Seed saving is now in full swing..
As I mentioned before; I love calendula seeds, they are so strange looking! amazing how a flower can leave such a strange skeleton.
Nigella too, which are just beginning to self seed everywhere.. is it such a bad thing?
Clover is lush as ever and protecting the soil beautifully. I am amazed how much the soil structure and colour has changed just after one season of growing on it!
How it looks now…
Seeds drying in the polytunnel
So now it’s all about covering up for the winter. The heavy work begins once again; spreading dung, pulling up and heavy wheel barrow loads.
My other job over the past 6 months has been growing veg for a show garden for a seed company. The past 2 days have been the open days and here i the end result.. The first photos are taken in vivid colours hence the acid green grass! The people in the photos are visitors to site.
i had not expected the weather to change this way in September especially after such a late start to the season. This morning it was only 10degrees, windy and rainy and more predicted for tomorrow. It has been great to have some rain at last! We must be the driest part of Somerset from what I have seen. Anyway; growth is really slowing down, flowers getting smaller and wanting to start going to seed and to sleep…
I am still doing plenty of arranging. Jam jars on a Friday as well as bouquets every second day and last week 3 buckets of flowers for a wedding. Although I do spend a little longer picking to seek out the fresher looking flowers and there is a lot more deadheading work too and seed saving, drying flowers..
Above is Friday’s haul. I am using lots more seed heads, grasses and everlasting flowers for an autumnal theme. I am surprised to be still harvesting so many sunflowers and one big lesson I have learned this year about growing flowers is that it is wise to sow/plant sucessionally as you would with vegetable crops.
The final thing I wan’t to say is that I really believe that anyone who wants to and has the ability to sow seeds, weed weeds and enjoy flowers can do what I attempted this year. It really isn’t that difficult and is you have a little passion for it and a bit of a business head or just an eye for beauty then go for it! Also you will learn big lessons the first year and it is a natural process.
A little more from the plot as it rapidly continues its seasonal changes. Above is one of the crysanthemums, at least that’s what I think they are – so different from their supermarket relatives! A little autumn sun.
When it comes to picking zinnias I am like a kid in a sweetshop – there are so many different colours and they are all perfection! They are ‘sprite elegans’ some single and some double bloom. My favourite changes between the white and orange ones.. and maybe the red with blue ring aswell
This is rudbeckia ‘cherry brandy’ another star of the late summer bouquet
Euphorbia oblongata – my main foliage these days; I love the sieve shape that you can just drop the flowers into when arranging, however I am still a little unsure of the white sap which stains the water and makes your hands really sticky. Apparently it is allergenic which I havent found, but NEVER NEVER rub it in your eyes, ouch!
One of the few ‘fussy’ dahlias I have that grew from tubers. This one is ‘karma fushiana’, which I am not in love with, but flowers prolifically
and I will leave you with one last zinnia shot because they have so many different faces. Bonne septembre!
The thing that has been on my to-do list for weeks now next to seed saving in capital letters is ‘FLOWERS FOR DRYING’ and so today it seemed about time to make it a priority..
Here are the helicrysum monstrosum everlasting (or something like that) defoliated and ready to be bunched and hung
The colours vary from deep red to pink to bright yellow and orange. You are supposed to pick them just as the outer buds are opening so maybe I got there a little late, we’ll see..
Above is the first batch I have been drying for the past two months boxed up for the winter now. The larkspur is an amazing dried flower I am really suprised!
I like this photo; it has warmth and autumn-ness. In the bucket is poppy pods, nigella pods and lavender ready for bunching and hanging.
Not a very good photo I am aware, but here is the product of a mornings work and hopefully the b&b can be self sufficient in dried flowers for the winter. Voila
Today for something a little different. I visited the ‘Eden Project’ in Cornwall yesterday with my sister which was really fantastic and made me realise a couple of things; a. I am a complete plant nerd and must have bored her silly and b. how incredible it is that that is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the uk! people going to look at plants! I love it
This was all over the Mediterranean biome, it has bright pink leaves with a tiny white flower inside – beautiful! I remember seeing it in Andalusia in Spain.
I know it’s not that unusual, but I was just really enjoying the terrace of yellow flowers; sunflowers, rudbeckias etc. Really eye catching and cheerful!
I think the dahlias were one of my highlights. Incredible varieties and I have certainly warmed to dahlias over the season and planning which ones to grow next year..
not a big fan of the pom pom double centered ones; these are so good for bees to get into.
Enjoyed the sweet pea collection too. Certainly going to be growing more (varieties) and less (plants) next year. My sister is hiding behind them.
Pitcher plant; the carnivorous flower and sign says ‘please do not put fingers inside the plants’.
Always a joy; the echinacea. I also really loved their ‘bee area’ which big patch of ‘verbena bonderiensis’, and bronze angelica.. lots of ideas now!
On Fridays I begin the day picking buckets of flowers then there is watering, weeding, arranging, more weeding, tidying – a busy flower day always before the weekend rush when people begin arriving for the wedding at the weekend.
The asters are incredible! late to start, but then they really get going! I think they look a bit like clown flowers though and it has taken me a while to warm to them.
Also late to start are the scabious; really sweet ‘pin cushion’ flowers that the bees love, but only a small amount made it through that cold spring.
and here are some jars and bits and pieces;
putting them together
and some of the sweet peas are coming back to health after the aphid attack..