Posts tagged #flowers

Tell me why we don't like (blue) Mondays?

When I have a bad day, I dream about opening up a gelato stand on the streets of Sydney. Doesn’t everyone have a random escape fantasy?
— Nancy Lublin

Blue Monday: the day (allegedly) that we are supposed to feel at our lowest in the year. Lack of pay check, grim weather, festive adrenaline died out, diets and resolutions boring, the list goes on. But if this is the worst day then let's get it out of the way and enjoy the rest of the year!

Nancy Lublin says that her dream was the ice cream booth in Australia. Mine was that I always wanted to be that sho sho florist in the south of France. Painted in shabby chic Farrow and Ball colours with vintage pails full of frothy flowers in the never ending sunshine. Chic people buying armfuls of flowers and putting them in their wicker bike baskets as they pedal away. A pipe dream? Or an aspiration?

Okay so there may not be wall to wall sunshine (especially today) or fancy paint effects. The pails are black plastic and not all my customers are necessarily 'chic' but I'm still living the dream. Maybe the parameters just needed to be moved a little. 

There is nothing wrong in dreaming big, many a time in a soulless office I would daydream where I would rather be and how I would tell my boss exactly what I thought of them. It helps you get through the bad days and then other days would be 'wow' days. Everyone has bad days, some more than others, but if we can dream our way through them then all the better. 

Now this pipe dream of mine is not all a bed of roses (excuse the pun). There have been plenty of compromises and sacrifices along the way. January is not a good month for a flower grower or florist. My to do list is all about admin and accounts. Income is minimal. Motivation is scarce. But I know in the coming months the flowers will start to grow, the weddings will continue to build. There will be sunshine. And maybe I could paint the door of my very shabby but not necessary chic workshop a hue of Farrow and Ball. 

So what will you aspire to this 'Blue Monday' ?

oh and some lovely pictures of 'blue' flowers to lift the mood...... 

blue monday.jpeg

The Friday Photograph - the Good Friday

I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that.
— Gillian Anderson

So today is Good Friday, the day we gorge on hot cross buns knowing there is only another 48 hours until lent is over and we can go back to chocolate, gin, crisps - and all those other things that make us happy! It represents new beginnings and awakenings.  

Without getting too religious on you I did do a quick Google to find out why it was called 'Good' Friday when it's actual biblical roots are rather sorrowful. One school of thought is that it was actually a typo! Previously called 'Gods Friday' (Godos Fruday) a couple of letters got switched and howzat - Good Friday it was! Following this same school of thought maybe in several thousand years Church Park Flowers will become 'Chalk Perch Furrows' or 'Sprawl Chock Fuhrer'! (Visit wordsmith.org for an hilarious anagram generator)

But today is a very Good Friday for me for one key exciting reason. Church Park Flowers are now available to buy at Johns of Instow and Appledore! Two amazing, award winning delis who face each other across the Torridge estuary are now stocking posies and bouquets of locally grown British flowers. This week's selections are true Easter and Springtime tidings of scented narcissi, tulips, ranunculus and sprigs of contorted willow and birch. And as the seasons change then so will the selection of flowers. 

I'm pursuing the opportunity of a new beginning. Get yourself to a Johns deli, buy some flowers and join me in a Good Friday, Great Saturday, Amazing Sunday, Fab Monday........

Apes Therapy! 

(or Happy Easter!)

...........autumn sowings

Every sucessful person I have heard of has done the best he could with the conditions as he found them, and not waited until next year for better
— E W Howe

E W Howe is apparently an American Author – no I don’t know what they wrote, nor have I managed to look it up. Feel free to educate me in the comments below if you want!

You would have seen by now that I love a quote to set the scene of a situation. It’s quite interesting to look them up and find one that is relevant to my musings at the time. As I am about to talk about autumn sowings then I felt the above was pretty apt as you do have to take advantage of what the weather is doing at the time and not worry too much if it the right thing to do. Yes, we may get severe frosts this year, we may get a cold wet spring but also the weather is set good at the moment so hopefully my new seeds will get off to a good start.

So as my previous blog outlined, this year’s annuals have all but gone. But actually this is not strictly true, I still have a good row of daucus (My little favourite!) Some cleome (Nasty thorns – but actually I will save seed! – give it a chance). Sunflowers still to flower (fingers crossed) and cosmos taking over the polytunnel! Considering its October in a couple of days I am still impressed with the return from a few annual seeds. 

Of course I want the flower patch to work even harder next year so I am kicking off my autumn sowings. By direct sowing half hardy annuals you can hope to get seeds germinating and putting down a good root system ahead of the winter. This will pull them through the hard months and mean they are a bit stronger and ahead of the game come next spring. The result: earlier, stronger blooms available from April and May.

                                               Seeds from the fabulous  Higgledy Garden

                                               Seeds from the fabulous Higgledy Garden

These last couple of weeks have rewarded us with beautiful weather for late September (thank you!) so have managed to clear, dig and rake over the beds all dedicated for autumn sowing and of course spring bulbs. But what I hadn't realised at the time – so therefore not planned that way – was the current moon phrases. Do you know about lunar gardening? Well Google it as I'm not going into the nitty gritty here but basically Ute York, in her book "Living by the Moon" says

“The old-time gardeners say, "With the waxing of the moon, the earth exhales.” When the sap in the plants rise, the force first goes into the growth above ground. Thus, you should do all activities with plants that bear fruit above ground during a waxing moon. With the waning of the moon, the earth inhales. Then, the sap primarily goes down toward the roots. Thus, the waning moon is a good time for pruning, multiplying, fertilizing, watering, harvesting, and controlling parasites and weeds” 

These same forces affect the water content of the soil, creating more moisture in the soil at the time of the new and full moon. This increased moisture encourages the seeds to sprout and grow. So hopefully I was spot on in my sowing last weekend.

This weekend I also managed to make good headway in the planting of 250 bulbs I had ordered! As the ‘Synodic period of the full moon’ (!) is a good time to sow bulbs (The gravitational pull drives the sap and goodness down through the bulbs) I am very hopeful of an impressive display of anemones du Caen, muscari and paperwhites come next spring.

But in the words of Margaret Mitchell, another American author…..

“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect”
— Margaret Mitchell

 


Posted on September 29, 2015 and filed under Flower Farm.

Weeding, Watering and Worrying - the www in www.churchparkflowers.co.uk!

So this is the key sowing and growing season for my annual flowers crop. The greenhouse has been chock a block with trays and trays of seeds all waiting their time for germination. It's not a place for the impatient because whilst some little babies seem to pop up over night (corn cockle) others can take up to 100 days (lace flower) before they show any sign of life. So you sow the seeds, keep them moist then make sure they don't get too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry and then keep peering at the blank compost willing for some signs of life! Eureka moments always seem to happen when you turn you back for a couple of days so I've decided most of them are just shy!

Before long the seedlings get their 'true leaves' and it time for them to leave the greenhouse kindergarten and settle into their cutting beds in the polytunnel. (Frost still a risk to use the outside beds yet) so more 'www' takes place but now there are different perils lurking. Blinking* rabbits got in a couple of nights ago and munched their way through my crop of antirrhinum and China Aster - heartbroken. Not to mention a particular 2year old munchkin who was 'helping' and managed to rake straight through the direct sown cornflowers and nigella. Only time will tell if they survived that little game!

Space is already tight in the polytunnel and the outside beds look a little on the small side with all the trays still full in the greenhouse and a plant sale to attend this weekend! Methinks a smile at Mr E for more cutting beds may be in order..... 

Posted on May 18, 2015 .