Yesterday I was out of the house before 4am, went to look at some flowers that I may take for the business order next week (I supply flowers for one business who don't mind if they are not homegrown here, they just seem to want my style and British flowers so I source specificlaly for them from other growers when I haven't got bulk here, it's not a route I was intending to go down but when I was asked it seemed churlish just to say no so I am running with it and trying to make it work for them, it's a different challenge), got home soon after 5 and picked for later today and for the Hay market, just managed to get down there with enough bunches and orders by 8.30am but wasn't very happy with my selection as I just hadn't given it the time it warranted because it was raining yesterday evening when I should have been picking and preparing. Happily I had some good conversations (I have fantastic support locally and it's a shame that when I'm really busy the market customers don't get the best of me) and sold out by 11am to get back here into the gardens. The bright orange Oriental poppies mixed with grey foliage were stunning, and the white ones with black splodges, they are great for the market, for events and weddings but I couldn't send them out. I'm also really keen on deep red Sweet Williams mixed with acid greens, gorgeous! I then picked more for the mail orders going out at 4.30 and for a late birthday bouquet order - I should have picked them earlier as the flowers should stand for at least half a day so I had to be extra careful with my selection. Meg arrived, we had a quick scratch lunch including fresh picked salad that came complete with many creatures (it's quite disconcerting watching a worm crawl up your knife!) then into the gardens. I could only garden with her for an hour or two then it was back to the packing shed making up the mail orders and getting them to the post. Then it was time to tidy up and get into the tunnel to water and check everything, then a bit more scurrying around, but by 6 o'clock I was weary so we stopped in the gardens and did spend half an hour sitting in front of the flower house taking in the early evening view - Beautiful! Then to the computer, dealing with queries for orders and suchlike until 8.30pm. By which time I realised I was officially exhausted. I remembered in the middle of the night that I didn't post some letters that I really should have and failed to make a couple of phone calls that should have been done. There's sometimes rather a lot to think about quite apart from the state of the gardens.
Friday, 22 May 2009
Perpetual rain has stopped so we have had a chance to dive into the gardens. I think there is probably too much to do at the moment to worry too much about trying to keep on top of everything, but my wonderful helper Meg is fabulous, she works incredibly hard and just seems to know what needs doing next. Hay festival has just begun and gets into full swing tomorrow. People keep asking me whether I'm ready for my talk. I reply entirely honestly that I haven't thought about it as I am just too busy, and that's probably the best way otherwise I would be terrified of standing up in front of a tentful of people. It is very generous of the organisers to ask me to talk, I do hope people aren't disappointed, I feel like the commercial break in the middle of all the serious and brilliant speakers. I probably should also be preparing for my workshop on Monday but again, no time, I will just hope that people will be happy just to take what they find and enjoy the day. I am more concerned they won't have anything to eat as the Raybirn has been playing up and the engineer came yesterday to fix it but it hasn't done the trick so it would probably take me about a day and a half to make a single strange cake at this temperature!