Another long gap filled with good intentions including getting on to this blog more regularly, but intentions have gone to the dogs as ever
It's going to be an exciting year for the RCFG I think. Last year there was just so much going on with moving, resettling, trying to sell, selling, running up and down between Herefordshire and Dorset, trying to get ground cultivated, planted, sorted and flowers in as well as keeping flowers going out.... If there had been time to think it would have been spent trying to work out the best ways forward, ways to change the business and the growing to suit the new space and so on. There wasn't much time to think but nonetheless things are proceeding apace even if in a rather crabwise fashion.
Here it is all about the garden. I am not again going to cultivate several intensive acres of flowers, or put up another large tunnel, but realise I can grow the same range in quite a different way. I am trying to continue developing the garden to become a fairly self sustaining perennial cutting garden where everything pays its way and maintenance isn't crippling. It's all a way off but there is a vague plan and some aspects are progressing. I will grow all the things I want to, not in huge quantities but enough for almost everything I need and when I need more bulk of a few things I am going to get them from two other established British Flower sources, but only using things that I also grow so I can merely bulk things up if desperate. And I am aiming for more special varieties and cultivars, interesting and unusual specimens, possibly plants that people don't usually cut. Alongside all the usual subjects that I love growing.
And I of course can't resist cultivating a bit of field, but am trying to keep this to a minimum as it is just such hard work endlessly hand weeding perennial beds and I am not friends with chemicals. I have planted a load of lovely scented old fashioned roses through mypex out there, but the recent storms have done their damndest to make that all rather a m ess, and I'm waiting for the weather to subside to sort it out - the ground got so wet that no stays stayed and wind got under the covers and thrashed the mypex to stringy nastiness, which then has wrapped around everything in its path. Not pleasant. And not sortable until there is some quiet dry weather.
I'm excited about hellebores for winter and early spring. They are beginning to flower now, singles doubles whites pinks yellows and speckles. I should have plenty for bouquets for 2 weddings the week after next, along with paperwhites and scrummy foliages and flowering shrubs.
And I am very excited about starting a new schedule of courses. I will be running some at the gardens, on the perennial cutting garden, but we are also starting a new British Flower School at a wonderful garden nearby, where we will run all sorts of courses on different aspects of putting flowers together, from hedgerow arrangements to botanical couture, involving various different gardeners, florists and artists. Nothing is finalised yet, but we are getting down to planning this month and expect to be launching the BFS in May. More information will follow as and when!
Happy new Year!