I seem to have been too busy to get to the computer and add to the blog. It’s been all go – in a good way. In the garden roses have been magnificent but many are resting now before a second major showing, though all my newer cutting roses are happily keeping flowering away – deadheading is a major preoccupation every day.
It was fun doing flowers for a wedding two weekends ago at River Cottage and a beautiful local church, there are squillions of flowers at the moment thanks to the weather though they’re blooming and finishing faster than we can keep up with the deadheading! Cornflowers are particularly massed this year, and ammi is just loving the weather and blooms are floating everywhere in the main cutting patch and in the beds. The big yellow heads of dill are also rather magnificent in massed splendour. As it’s a newly planted garden it’s interesting to see what is doing best where, this year anything with a bit of shade is very happy, but if it had been a year like last they probably would scarcely have shown their faces. Paper tissue headed little multi layered poppies are glorious, I know they are ephemeral but they are so beautiful they sometimes almost make me weep. And they are lovely for a few days picked, just such a delicate contrast to anything else. Maybe best of everything is that they are alive with bees, hoverflies, all manner of happy little buzzing insects. There's quite a cacophony!
I provided some large partly edible arrangements in churns for the River Cottage barn relaunch last week, flowering rocket with dill, daylilies, lots of annuals, gorgeous scabious in dark reds, pinks, purples, blues…… Perhaps my favourite this week are the nigella hispanica, their blues so intense and their stamens so pronounced and curious.
And this weekend there was a wedding in Somerset at a rather wonderful venue, Maunsell House. Peacocks and fading splendour and a wonderful garden. The roads were so busy that I turned off the main drag on the way back and drove slowly through the Somerset levels which was just heavenly on a hot summer’s day – attractive hamlets and villages, houses covered in roses, gardeners out enjoying it all with hats and wheelbarrows much in evidence, church towers peering through a gentle heat haze in the middle of a view that goes on for miles and miles without interruption. It was a real treat to be meandering through it all rather than my usual rush. I felt very fortunate.
Then back to an increasingly crisping garden, I am uneasy about watering much but sometimes it just has to be done. Even the phlox have been burning off but on the plus side the agapanthus are overjoyed by their prolonged exposure to the sun. I’m fretting slightly about the new trees in the field as they are exposed and sunburnt but I hope they’ll be Ok, I’m giving them all a couple of buckets of water once or twice a week and hope they’ll survive and eventually flourish.
I have had some lovely communications from satisfied customers over the past few weeks, it is so thoughtful when people get in touch just to say how they have loved a bouquet they have received. On the less positive side I have been getting a bit frustrated with lack of progress towards the sale of the house and gardens near Hay but it finally looks as though we're nearly there. I am certainly very positive about the lack of necessity for shopping at this time of year – it is the right way round when there is little in the fridge but loads in the garden!