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1st June 2020, Sweet peas and roses

Another month on lockdown has flown past in a blur of gardening, flowers and family time here. My 2-year-old daughter has become quite the little gardener, weeding, potting on and planting out. We had a very late frost here in the middle of the month but luckily, I was a little behind (as usual!) so we didn’t lose anything tender. We’ve also had some very strong winds, but luckily our hedges and windbreaks helped protect the plants. Other than that, it has continued to be a very dry, sunny and warm spring – beautiful for playing in the garden but it has necessitated watering most days. Today, I finished planting the latest batch of hardened off plants and most of the beds are full. Anything not pulling its weight in a week or so will have to make way for the last plantings (I’ve got my eye on you, wallflowers!). I do find pulling out still alive plants difficult – as well as self-sown seedlings which are popping up everywhere! I usually try and rescue and rehome them or just plant around them when I can.

This month the roses have really started and have been beautiful. Most of my plants are quite young and just getting established but I’ve been amazed at how many flowers they have produced already. I’ve enjoyed seeing them in the ombre rose bed I designed and as the stems are still quite short I’ve let them flower and used the petals to dry for confetti – the house smells heavenly while they are drying. The colibri poppies have been beautiful and are still going strong. As are the sweet peas which I am just about keeping up with picking! Other plants have flowered and gone over very quickly this year – nigella, alliums, foxgloves, bearded iris and peonies. The dahlias are all out and going well. I’ve got sixty plants this year in dedicated new beds and have upgraded the supports too.

Flowers available in June will include:

· Sweet peas

· Icelandic/colibri poppies

· Larkspur

· Cerinthe

· Roses

· Stocks

· Love-in-a-mist

· Foxgloves

· Californian poppies

· Limonium

· Thalictrum

· Achillea

· Ammi majus

I have been continuing to deliver locally and have also started selling from The Chocolate Tart in Congresbury at weekends. My flowers have made their way to friends, relatives, hen parties, birthdays and funerals amongst others. I’ve enjoyed tailoring the flowers according to different tastes and also the responses and chats with the recipients on delivery.

Things I have enjoyed this month:

· The Newt delivery – a beautifully wrapped box of presents for my loved ones, this felt like a real treat. Free and fast delivery and even a free gift in our parcel!

· Early morning running with a podcast – I’ve been listening to Girl Flower podcasts and I’m up to 4 miles every other day!

· Everlastings by Bex Partridge – released this month this comprehensive book describes how to dry plants and flowers and ways in which to use them.

· Anna Jones’ ‘Goodness when we need it the most’ newsletters. Anna is one of my favourite cookery writers and as well as following her weekly column in the Guardian I have enjoyed her weekly newsletter full of inspiration and positivity.

· Upcycling and repurposing furniture. Its amazing what you can do with a lick of paint and some fresh fabrics. We recovered an ottoman to make a toybox for Monty and have built Coco a bookcase out of some pallets!

· Surprise plant discoveries on my deliveries. I think when we aren’t quite as used to rushing about we can become more observant to the world around us – I’ve been surprised to discover amongst others a forest of echium flowers and some giant tree peony specimens. It reminds me that we are a nation of gardeners and we are lucky to have the climate we do!

· Elmsley Nursery – beautifully grown and great value plants, my number one choice for garden plants.

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