Tuesday, 30 August 2011

divine dahlias

OK there was a time when we all hated dahlias. How wrong we were! I do like the pinks, but the yellow and gold are also wonderful, and the yellows and oranges...

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Bright or pale?

Bit of a dilemma at this time of year, shall we go bright, shall we go pale? Happily I seem to have customers wanting both, but my mind definitely changes from day to day.  When my seed sown dahlias first came up I wondered what on earth I had sown as they looked a bit dodgy, but now I'm rather in love with them, especially the oranges with quill like petals.... but on the other hand I love the beautiful pink dahlias too, or the almost black ones with black stems, or the white ones with black foliage, or the luminous reds, and the purple and white cactus types, and the sulphur yellows, even the little tomato lookalikes have a certain appeal. But now I'm not sure about the zinnias. They just could be a bit in the face for me - they're fab for buttonholes but I don't think I really need hundreds of plants just for a few buttonholes.

So if any one needs extra zinnias, mine is the place to get them! (actually that goes for dahlias at the moment too, and I've probably got a bit of a surplus of amazing solidago, and deep pink asters, and larkspur and yellow/green centred rudbeckia and bronze rudbeckia and annual shaggy headed mixed asters and gypsophila.......)

At my mother's house again today, looking at her Saturday paper's magazine cover and wondering how Barbara Streisand now looks like Jennifer Aniston who must be a good twenty-five years younger than her? Curious.  (But when I look in the mirror I just wonder how I got to look like my mother who is thirty years older than me!)

Monday, 22 August 2011

Autumnal feeling

Distinct feeling of autumn in the air this morning, soon it will be time for those rolling mists that swirl above the rive Wye below the field so the world is divided in two, hills above the clouds and field below. Lots of autumnal mustard colours in the field, lots of cobwebs in the hedges.

But the bees are still working hard, and yesterday they found me just that bit too irritating. There are so many in the field, buzzing about every flowerhead, that I sometimes feel guilty as I pick their current larder and force them elsewhere. Yesterday I was deadheading some poppies and deadheaded a bee as well. My hand was temporarily deservedly sore.

Top of my wish list for next year is to build a much much larger more efficient flower studio!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Surely some mistake

Among the slew of unwanted approaches came this one from a PR firm. Would you want these people to publicise your business?

Hi there,

Would you like to generate more press coverage for Real Cut Clower Garden?

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Monday, 15 August 2011

Goodbye to my dear companion

Sunday August 14th. Not a good day. Today my dear dear delightful kind and slightly eccentric beautiful old dog Maya went to her final resting place below the mint and hydrangeas. She has been with me almost every day for the past almost 13 years and she has been so very much loved. I shall miss her. Her daughter Mouse already misses her as they have never ben apart for more than a few hours. The house and gardens will feel very empty. Thank you Maya, you have been wonderful.

Saturday, 13 August 2011


Once in a while the timing works out just about right. We sowed the seed for this wedding on an organic farm nearby on April 23rd, which I thought would work out about right for a wedding today. And thank heavens, it did. OK some more sunflowers still to come but I think that's because one of the helpers sowed them so close on one side they haven't had much of a chance, but really that's a tiny little quibble. But I don't know if I would do it for people I didn't know, just in case it didn't work so well!

The hanging globe looks disappointingly tiny but is actually a good 2.5metres across, it's quite a big dome tent! Otherwise I went for a good mixture of everything as Clare wanted bright not pastel and a total mix. It was rather a joy to do. I'm looking forward to proper pix and of the church which we did out good and proper....

 The groom really wanted sweet peas, so they just went on the top table. Otherwise there were lots of dahlias of all sorts and colours, plus many zinnias and other little hot treasures in the very wide mix and we must have used about 500 stems of dill and ammi in the church and elsewhere and about the same of achillea in the archway as I wanted to use dark pinkish reds as the base to contrast with the yellows of the wildflowers.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

daisy daisy

Well if you're called Daisy and you get married in a church in the middle of the mountains, then daisies do seem a bit appropriate.

Monday, 8 August 2011


I think the lovely Lottie and Jake's wedding could be fairly described as "vintage" - marquee in a glorious garden by Hampstead heath where Lottie's grandmother has lived for 52 years, it felt like heaven, the glorious feeling of a well-loved and well-lived in home where several generations have been married. I majored on jugs, and was thrilled to be able to include my all time favourite summer flowers, white corncockles which are just so delicate and rather ephemeral, five creamy white petals with the centres flecked with gold. That's one of the lovely things about growing my own, I grow things that I love, and if I don't get the chance to use them because of the weather or whatever then that's sort of fine because I love them, but if I get the chance to spread them around, so much the better!

Back in the gardens I'm also rather in love with nicotianas, pick them and the house if full ever evening with a wonderful vanilla scent.  And dahlias are coming into their own, I have some that are frankly hideous, but I won't show you those as they will probably be destined for the compost heap and I'll never grow them again, but some are just lovely.