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1st July 2020 – Lavender and larkspur

Finally the plot is in full bloom, with larkspur, nigella, ammi and many others bursting into flower, bringing colour and movement to the field. There are new flowers appearing every day, it’s such an exciting time of the year. The first few dahlias have started flowering and I have realised that my daughter may have played a game which involved mixing up the labels! Oops, oh well, I will enjoy reuniting them with their correct label once I figure them out! I’ve had plenty of surprises, self-seeders from last year that have come back strong and plants I’d forgotten I had sown suddenly popping into flower. Some of my self seeded Nigella damascena have produced the most beautiful blue and purple hybrids. I’m being careful to mark plants I want to propagate for collecting seeds or taking cuttings later in the year.

Strangely, even though the fresh flowers are in abundance at this time of the year, my thoughts are increasingly turning to dried flowers. To begin with this was because I was worried about forgetting to dry something but now I can see how things are looking once dried I’m started to get excited about autumn projects. I’ve had several requests in already for dried flowers, so it seems its not just me. I also received Bex Partridge’s book ‘Everlastings’ recently which is full of beautiful images and inspiration. So far, I have dried larkspur, nigella, alliums, cornflowers, Limonium, lavender, honesty, centaura, strawflowers and lots of grasses. I will be selling these by the stem or in arrangements later in the year so please get in touch if you are interested.

Our friday flowers and gift bouquets continue to showcase our seasonal flowers and I have had some wedding enquiries and bookings for next year as people start to tentatively make plans again. I hope you are all staying well and enjoying your gardens (between showers!). I’ve also delivered some flower arranger’s buckets – don’t forget these are available if you would like to get creative! See below for a list of flowers that can be included.

Flowers available in July will include:

- Larkspur – mixed colours – purples, pinks, white

- Phacelia tanacetifolia

- Cornflowers – mixed colours

- Sweet peas – including ‘Duchy of Cambridge’ (pink/purple fading to blue), ‘Flora Norton’ (pale blue), ‘Spanish Dancer’ (pale pink/purple), ‘Matecuna’ (dark pink/purple), ‘Mollie Rilstone’ (pale pink/white).

- Mixed grasses – Briza maxima, Phalaeris canariensis, Panicum ‘frosted explosion’

- Limonium ‘Apricot delight’, Limonium suworowii

- Feverfew

- Calendula ‘Shebert fizz’ and bright orange

- Bupleurum

- Borage

- Nasturtium

- Linaria – purple and peach

- Strawflowers – bright rose, silvery rose, salmon

- Echium vulgare – blue and white

- Colibri poppies

- Achillea – pinks and whites, also larger flowered Achillea ptarmica ‘The pearl’

- Ammi majus

- Nigella damascena ‘African Bride’ and ‘Delft Blue’

- Phlomis italica

- Ageratum

- Chinese forget-me-not, Cynoglossum

- Clary sage (pink, white, blue)

- Gypsophilia kermensina (small amount)

- Poppy ‘Amazing Grey’

- Carthamus tinctorius (safflower)

- Oregano

Some of my favourite flower/garden related books:

  • Floret Farm's A Year in Flowers by Erin Benzakein. Stunning photographs and arrangements from the leading US flower farm.

  • The New Kitchen Garden: How to Grow Some of What You Eat No Matter Where You Live by Mark Diacono. In fact any book by Mark for his wonderful writing and inventive recipes!

  • Brilliant and Wild: A Garden from Scratch in a Year by Lucy Bellamy. A great and inspiring book full of planting plans and combinations.

  • Vintage Roses: Beautiful Varieties for Home and Garden by Jane Eastoe. Be warned you may want to buy them all after reading this!

  • Root, Stem, Leaf, Flower: How to Cook with Vegetables and Other Plants by Gill Meller. I’ve just received this so yet to try the recipes but they all look delicious.

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