We are definitely not home and dry yet as there are still many early spring days left and plenty time for a good storm. But so far this April the weather has been kind. It has not been warm enough to plant anything out yet, but it has been dry during the day so that I can get the beds prepared and ready to go. We have enjoyed some lovely walks, runs and bike rides in the beautiful countryside round about. If only it was this sunny all the time!
During term time I feel like I am on a rollercoaster travelling at high speed with no time to stop and think. We go from one activity to the next and Cloudberry Flowers gets fitted in around a hectic family life. Last week was different the girls have gone to their grannies for a couple of days and I just gardened not stop! To have that solid uninteruupted time was really precious and I got so much done! The beds are weeded in the flower patch ready for planting, the sweet pea supports are in, hardy plants are planted, the much neglected rockery is weeded, the last dahlias are potted up, seedlings watered, seed sowing is more up to date and I have found time to write my blog!
At this time of year there are just so many daily jobs to do that it feels nice to be on top of things, if even for a sort while! So what else has been happening these last few weeks at Cloudberry Flowers?
Erin helped me with the potting up of the dahlia ‘sausages’ and I was amazed she stuck at it until the compost ran out and we had 46 done! I think she was amazed that such strange looking things could produce flowers! I got the rest potted up this week once the compost supply got replenished. They are amazing as a couple of days was all it took for new shoots to be sprouting.
The daffodils have been in full bloom and my new favourites this year are the double whites, just gorgeous! Something has been nibbling the narcissus though and I think it might be pigeons. I wish I could have got a picture of our latest garden rabbit who has been sitting on the other side of the fence from the daffodils just staring in on a couple of different mornings. Thank goodness for fencing, even if it is just temporary netting and a few canes.
I have started sowing the half hardy annuals now with cosmos germinating quickly on the heated propagator bed. The conservatory is stuffed to the gunnels with seedlings and I am looking forward to the weather warming up at night so I can harden them off and get them planted outside.
I have planted lots of new roses and created a new bed for them in an unused bit of ground in the flower patch. I can’t wait to see these new varieties flower and mature over the next couple of years.
Its time to start hardening off some plants for going to their permanent homes outside in the next few weeks, such as ammi majus and sweet peas. Last year the weather wasn’t good and the sweet peas sulked for a good while and never recovered. I know they are supposed to tolerate colder weather but I am just holding off that wee bit longer this year to see if it makes a difference. In the meantime I have got the sweet pea supports in place and I will bring up some barrow loads of compost in the next day or two to add to their planting site.
I was excited for Carol from Carols Creations when her pop up shop opened on the Northgate recently. She is stocking some of my pressed flower cards and petal confetti alongside lots of other fantastic products made by local people and her own range of fantastic candles and flowers. Pop in and have a look if you are passing.
This week I am putting my sempervivum plants on the stall for the first time. I found some tiny ones hiding in our rockery and wondered what they were. Since then I have found a new passion in the garden and started growing these over the winter. They are really easy to care for plants with amazing texture and leaves that have the ability to change their colour in the sunshine. The parent plant produces offsets which you can separate and grow on as individual new plants.
I have been making more pressed flower cards using the flowers in the garden that are coming into bloom. These are for sale on Etsy, on the stall and in Carol’s shop. I love experimenting with the new flowers and seeing which press well and which don’t.
I have enjoyed being in touch with my brides for this coming year and making plans for the flowers for their weddings. It is always an exciting time thinking of what special flowers to grow for them and what combinations would look good with each other and fit in with their colour schemes.
The stall is back up and running every Friday to Sunday and I can now take orders for bouquets too. It has been lovely after a long winter to see the flowerings blooming and get creative again. I am enjoying the perk too of any unsold flowers in the house which smell amazing!
This weekend I tried out my strimmer on the flower patch paths for the first time. I think I need lessons! It’s quite difficult to strim only thre grass and not the flowers! After decapitating some alliums I thought I had better stop before I cut all the flowers! I will try again when I have less of an audience as Anna thought it was great fun watching mum wielding a strimmer.
Kirsten was also excited this weekend as it was the first time her legs had been long enough to work the pedals on the sit on lawn mower on her own. You should have seen her motoring round the garden with a big grin on her face paying no attention to Robert who is jumping up and down at the sidelines hoping for the best and trying to get her to go in a straight line and slow down enough to make the corners!
Now that I have got on top of the garden I need to be patient and not plant out too soon. It is still far too cold in the mornings and I think they would get too much of a shock if I did. I am going to keep myself occupied with more seed sowing and watering, some family Easter time and I am looking forward to the Flowers from the Farm Scottish Growers meet up in a couple of weeks time. I’ll leave you with some pictures of the lovely Easter flowers there will be on the stall which have just come into bloom in the garden.
Happy Easter and enjoy the nice dry weather for getting in your own gardens.