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Apples and cobwebs

25th August ~ Lessons to learn

20th August ~ I’ve cut bunches and bunches of Atriplex, Straw flowers and Limonium for drying. Each time I cut it means a climb up the ladder to the loft where we have ropes strung across for drying. Tomorrow Eryngium and Pink Pokers.

21st August ~ I cut down the sweet peas in the poly tunnel. They’d stopped flowering a few weeks ago but I wanted to save some seed. I should have taken them down sooner as I think they’ve been shading the tomatoes. Next year plant in a different orientation. They were such tiny, weedy plants when they were planted, I never believe they will grow so tall or last so long.

22nd August ~ feeding the dahlias. I started well planting them with blood, fish and bone plus compost in the hole and then was feeding once a week with seaweed feed. The plants (mostly) look good and healthy but they’ll appreciate it if I keep feeding. I use seaweed or Comfrey concentrate.

23rd August ~ Cobweb in the face day.

24th August ~ Planning ahead for a funeral spray this week. I’ve made a ‘pocket’ out of chicken wire and string to stuff with moss. It will be a cuboid when it’s stuffed and sewn up, similar in shape to to a floral foam block. I never use floral foam and this will work in just the same way after soaking – holding the stems in place and hydrating them.

25th August ~ Day off visiting Ston Easton Park. Gorgeous gardens with enviable vegetables. As well as box edged beds there are huge green houses filled to the brim with tomatoes, cucurbits and chillis. We weren’t allowed entry but it would have been steamy hot inside. We could only peer in the doors in wonderment. Coffee in the beautiful and relaxed hotel overlooking the gardens and river.

Vivid pink Ranunclus

April 2019 – Ranunculus

Ranunculus are the undoubted stars of the April cut flowers. They have been quietly growing away all winter and suddenly burst into bloom showing off their amazing colours.

I was surprised to find that I liked the orange best. It looks fabulous in a vase with the vivid pink.

Pale purple Anemone

March 2019 – Anemones

Anemones are flowering. Finally, after what seems like a long winter, we have flowers again. Plants are in active growth again with new spring flowers popping up every day.

Here, Anemones were among the first flowers in bloom. Their rich jewel colours are a tonic after the grey months of January and February, though we did have a crazy hot spell in February this year.

Pale purple Anemone
Pale purple Anemone. There only seems to be one this colour. I’ll be watching out for more. It’s pale purple streaked with darker shades.
Purple Anemone
Purple Anemone
Pink Anemone in bud
Pink Anemone in bud

These were pre-sprouted in the Autumn and grown on until they had a good root system. Then they were planted out to overwinter in our poly tunnel. The corms rot if they get too wet so this is a good way of preventing that.

Zinnia 'Queen Red Lime'

August 2018 – Zinnias

There is no denying it has been hot and while many plants are struggling some are thriving – Zinnias.

I certainly spend a lot of time watering. It’s time consuming as there is so much to do but it has to be done carefully too. The ground is so dry that water drains away from the plant if you water too quickly. When planting I try to make a shallow depression around a plant so water will drain towards it rather than away. It is best to use a rose on your watering can,  as it sprinkles water gently without disturbing the soil around the roots. I pour on a small amount, let it soak in and then gradually add more. The rule is give what you think is enough and then some more.

August in the poly tunnel – Floral Acre

The poly tunnel is full to bursting just now. There is also a rogue at the centre which grew itself.

An amaranthus getting too big for it’s boots. It will have to come out.

The Zinnias are loving the heat and thriving. I love this little gentle pink one:

Some of the colours are not so gentle:

I’m not sure about that pink…

This one is unusual but the combination is very pretty:

But for me the real star is ‘Queen Red Lime’:

They look great in bouquets and last for ages in water.