Tag Archives: Hartley Farm

Catching up with Helen

chilly weather and the end of the dahlias in the Not so Secret Garden

chilly weather and the end of the dahlias in the Not so Secret Garden

The weather has certainly turned in the last week; we’ve had some proper frost and anyone mooching around Hartley Farm will have seen Helen and Christine hard at work, chopping down the frost-blackened dahlias and barrowing them over to the compost heap. It’s Helen’s turn in the spotlight this month so we’ve given her the opportunity to reflect on what makes her garden bloom and what puts a smile on her face in the Not so Secret Garden.

Helen and Christine moving the roses to their new bed

Helen and Christine moving the roses to their new bed

What’s your favourite cut flower – The bronze sunflower from the Not so Secret Garden. We’ve had so many blooms from the plants and they look stunning with amaranthus and the orange tones of dahlias and chrysanthemums.

And your favourite time of year? – It has to be the Spring with the promise of new, fresh growth and the vibrant greens and yellows of the first spring flowers. Wonderful.

Tell us where is the best place on earth? –  It’s hard to pick just one. Looking over Longleat  Estate from Heaven’s Point, the lake at Stourhead, walking a coastal path and being in the garden….

What’s your top tip for flower growing? – I’m a bit obsessed with dead-heading. Not only does it keep a plant producing more flowers  but it also creates strong, bushy plants.

Is there a gardening task you’d be most likely to get someone else to do? – Yes. It has to be weeding. The weeds in the Not so Secret Garden can be enormous and the stinging nettles grow as soon as you turn your back. (Of course, this means the soil is hale and hearty -Editor)

What is the most important thing you’ve learnt from being in the garden? – Beware of the tops of garden canes. They are great for staking tall plants but can also catch and scratch your arms and face.

What’s the best thing about working in the Not So Secret Garden? – Working outside, especially when the sun shines; noticing the plants grow and flourish; meeting lovely people. I’m always happiest in the garden knowing I’m contributing to bringing happiness to others.

The flowers in the garden are still going strong. What would you put in the perfect Autumn bouquet? – Lots of bronze foliage and copper beech, bronze sunflowers, peach and orange dahlias, berries, rust-coloured chrysanths and dark sedum.

If you had half an hour in the garden, what would be the perfect way to spend it? – Wandering around the garden noticing what’s grown and flowering since I last gardened. Listening to the birds, watching the robins peck around the freshly-dug soil and enjoying the sunset after a day’s work.

What is your earliest garden memory? –  Helping my dad in the garden, pulling up plants I thought were weeds; going with mum to the botanical gardens in Bath in Springtime when the cherry blossom was in bloom.

From whom do you get your gardening inspiration? -My father who was a very knowledgeable gardener with an eye for structure and colour. Like me, he loved the garden and regularly visited gardens for inspiration and enjoyment. I also like this piece of inspiration, taken from my calendar last month

” Flowers always make people happier…..They are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.” Luther Burbank 1849-1926.

Don’t forget that although the best of the garden blooms are over for a while, you can still enjoy the season with Young Blooms florists, learning to craft a beautiful and unique festive wreath that will be the envy of all your friends and neighbours!

Fresh Wreath Workshop, 9th December 11am-1.30pm

Dry Wreath Workshop, 13th Dec 11am-1.30pm

Tickets are available in the farm shop, or call 01225 864 948 to book your place.

 

 

Partying in the garden

A party isn’t a party without flowers and we’ve had plenty to celebrate recently in the garden. Weddings, christenings, birthdays and our very own mini music festival, the Party in the Paddock have all benefited from our locally grown beautiful blooms.

Last weekend we held a very special celebration, throwing open the gates of the Not so Secret Garden to all Grace’s nearest and dearest for her mum’s seventieth birthday celebration.

British flowers

Gathered in the Not So Secret Garden for the Birthday photo

Following on from that, the Party in the Paddock , Hartley Farm’s  very own mini-festival, with food demos, live music, delicious grub and much more was a great  success, despite the Glastonburyesque weather.  It was a foody’s ideal day out  and a real celebration of local produce, both food and flowers. We love doing our bit to promote the cause of British flowers and reduce flower miles for our customers. It’s always a delight to show brides and others what’s blooming just a few yards from our shop and a thrill to pop out in the morning to cut from our very own patch. And it’s abundant right now. Come and see it.

Hartley farm,  British flowers

Our favourite zinnia

There’s plenty of opportunity to wander around the Not so Secret Garden to enjoy what’s blooming well, see what we’ve been up to recently and hear our plans for next year. Despite the dreary bank holiday weather, the rest of the week looks set fair. Celebrate the end of the summer holidays by popping in and taking home a bouquet of fabulously fragrant, gorgeous locally grown flowers from Young Blooms.

Wiltshire, British flowers

The dahlia patch is exploding into colour.

We’re looking forward to spotting you among the zinnias and dahlias.