Friday, 28 September 2012

Oh dear I have not been a good blogger. I have been so busy in the garden that I rarely seem to get a moment of calm to sit and blog.

The beginning and end of the growing season in the country garden are such busy times. Up until last week I was still attending the farmers markets with cut flowers, but a couple of frosts combined with the wind and rain of the last couple of days have really put an end to the outdoor annuals. I did manage a last harvest for drying so hope to make some lovely dried flower wreaths.The main 'busyness' though is starting to prepare for next season. I have decide to use some of my goat/hen paddock for growing bulbs and shrubs so we have been clearing it and a huge roll of mypex has arrived so I need to up the pace and get it all planted up before the weather gets any worse. I have added a picture as it is now. Lets hope it looks a bit different shortly!!

In looking back I try to assess the best and worst flowers of the season so that I can decide what to grow next year, but is is also good to try something new and I have high hopes for these lovely anemones. I hope that they will be wonderful from April onwards and imagine them in beautiful posies or with scented narcissus.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Wow! a sunny day

What a treat - a full day of sun with no rain and no wind! This must be one of the only decent days of the summer so far in sunny Scotland. So, of course, I couldn't wait to get out in the garden.

I have made good progress with the new perennial beds that should give fantastic cut flowers next season. This bed has been plagued with mares tail!. When we first bought the property I noticed this weed and, as the garden was completely overgrown, and I wasn't intending to get to that bit for at least a year I covered it with old carpets and left it covered for over 18 months. I eventually uncovered it last spring. It was beautifully clear and ready to plant.....2 weeks later- covered in mares tail! I tried everything that I could think of including (don't try this!) spraying it with diesel and setting it on fire. 1 week later back good as ever. I have finally found out that it will respond to glyphosate if the plant is hand crushed first. It is a painfully slow process but I am almost there I hope.

So I have planted up plenty of astrantia, delphinium, monarda and plenty of other favourites.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Cutting willow

I thought that I had better go down to the river meadows on Sunday to see how the coppiced willows and dogwoods are coming along. They are doing very well and loving all this rain. I cut plenty and need to sit down to start some weaving as soon as I can. BUT I picked up more than I had bargained for. When I got back I realised that I was covered in bites. Not sure which particular biter got me but I have dozens of itchy bites. I have been taking anti-histamines and piriton to sleep but the itch is still getting through. Next time I am going down in my bee suit!

I did get this lovely pictures of the forget-me-nots that are growing all over the meadows.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Good day at Cupar Farmers Market

We had a good day at Cupar Farmers market on Saturday. It is the first time we have done one of the Fife farmers markets and hope to do plenty more! Our next one is Kirkcaldy next saturday (28th July). The cutting garden is starting to fill up but we are still relying on the tunnel for a lot of flowers. I am really hoping that even a little sun will bring a whole lot more flowers into bloom.

While at the market I always try to remember that I am selling not buying but I just couldn't resist some of the fantastic products on sale......we came home with two lovely creamy flowered scabious plants, 3 pots from Trotters independent condiments including their really delicious mojito marmalade, a selection of supernatures' herb infused rapeseed oils and a delicious almond tart for my tea.

The picture is of the sweet peas and cornflowers waiting in their buckets before going to the market.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Country Garden Company has been in 'proper' business for 6 months now and things have not gone quite the way I planned! The year started with the storms in January that completely destroyed our greenhouses and all the over-wintering plants in them.

After some thought we replaced the glass houses with a poly-tunnel in a rather more sheltered position and began re-seeding all the lost varieties. It has been a hard slog both in the garden and doing the more 'businessy' side of things but I think we have finally caught up to where we should have been.....

So here are some of the lovely varieties that are doing really well in the tunnel and in the cutting garden. The top is some very fragrant garden pinks - I love that clove smell, and the bottom photo; some of the blue boy cornflowers - there really is no blue like a cornflower. Both look great in mixed bouquets.