Wednesday 20 April 2016

Narcissi Katie Heath

It's my first year growing narcissi 'Katie Heath' in my ever expanding interest in narcissi with apricot tones. She was planted on 14th October last year and has now been flowering beautifully for two weeks. She is shorter than most narcissi I grow for cutting, reaching apporoximately 20cm in height with creamy white perianths gently reflexing around a frilly apricot cup. She produces some double heads with the added delight and surprise of one cup being apricot and the other pale yellow which is a real treat and perhaps hints back to her hybrid nature? Her scent is sweet and quite strong with a 'jasminey' tone to my nose. When the flower is cut the cup gradually fades to almost white giving that wonderful bit of visual dynamics in the vase over a period of a week. 

Here are a few photos to share of her first welcome year in the foragefor cutting garden.

Growing in the spring sunshine.

Her gradual fade after a week in the vase.

Sunday 14 February 2016

Edible Flower Valentine's Day Ideas

Happy Valentine's Day!

The most romantic day of the year but in the truly seasonal English flower garden you will not see any red roses but so much more is available at this time of year to woo the 'object' of your affection. The heart collage below gives you a sample of what is growing today in our walled garden.

Seasonal Edible Flowers

Some of the blooms growing in our cutting garden at the moment are also edible. So to stimulate the seasonal floral tastebuds, here are a few edible goodies we have made in the past.

Primrose and raspberry jammy dodgers.

Chocolate viola, primrose and violet souffle cake.

Primrose shot glasses

Chocolate violet leaves.

Violet cosmopolitan.

Have a fantastic floral St Valentine's Day!

Friday 17 July 2015

Apricot Foxgloves

I have just picked the last of my apricot foxgloves for 2015 and, as always, they have been a much awaited lush and  dreamy bloom. I will miss them, but that’s the joy of immersing oneself in true seasonality - anticipation, abundance, then absence which mirrors life's lessons beautifully, with patience, joy and sometimes loss. For me, there is nothing more romantic, nostalgic and iconic in the flower garden than a foxglove. I have grown them every year that I have run my small flower business and I am always thrilled by them, as are the bees. Spotting foxgloves out in the wild holds an equal pleasure to growing my own.  They are wonderful biennials. I sow mine in trays in June/July, planting outside in early autumn in their final position in the garden. During the winter months they look a little ragged but the foliage will always perk up in spring. They start to flower their little hearts out the following year at the end of May until about mid July.  If you can resist not picking them all (always a difficulty with these beauties) they will self sow which is always a bonus in any cutting garden.

So to celebrate the beautiful apricot foxglove, here are a few photos of this year's harvest to share.

The flower heads just starting to surge skyward during the first week of May this year.

Showing colour.

Moving in closer to those beautiful bell shaped flowers.

Definitely worthy of the display cabinet.

And for filling a wooden crate.

And for large gatherings preparing for a wedding.

Choosing ribbon for a 'foxglove bride'.

I love anything to do with the anatomy of flowers: the language, beautiful words like, scrophulariaeace, didynamous, nectary and the anatomical drawings that I could look at for hours, like looking into a hidden world of details.

In certain lights you can see right through the foxglove like an xray.

Some individual plants decide to do their own thing and stray from the norm but are equally enchanting. This plant had stems like a wide strap of leather, the flowers slightly distorted and a truer pink than apricot.

Time to sit and stare.

A decision to move in.

So from seeds like specks of dust, to the overwintering green rosette of leaves, to flower spikes of lush saucy apricot that reach two metres high, to individual dry flowers, apricot foxgloves are a must every year and you're not too late to sow!