Seasonal scent and colour for a much loved mum
Our partners at Young Blooms are flat out this weekend preparing lots of beautiful bouquets for the mothers of Bath and West Wiltshire. Meanwhile the garden is enjoying a spot of spring sunshine after the snow (yes snow!) last night. Not that it lasted long in our part of the world. A wander around the lanes nearby reveals clumps of snowdrops, hanging on, wild daffodils and primroses coming into their own. Meanwhile, in the churches nearby, groups of volunteers are busily making up small posies of spring flowers and foliage for the children to give to their mums in the Mothering Sunday service tomorrow.
Traditionally, on Mothering Sunday, three weeks before Easter Sunday, sons and daughters who were in service and required to work at Easter were given the day off to return home to their families and ‘mother church’ carrying a simnel cake, which they had baked and stopping to gather posies of wild spring flowers from the hedgerows. It was a welcome break and celebration in the middle of the
We are happy to keep up the tradition and endorse this combination of spring flowers, cake and getting together with family and friends by holding two spring workshops in the garden in March. Bring a friend, learn a new skill and take home something lovely for Easter. Details here.
Can’t wait to see our plants flower
The cold weather recently and the continued rain may bring on a case of the winter blues. We’ve dosed ourselves up with thoughts of spring in the form of bunches of ravishing ranunculus in multiple shades. We planted ours in pots undercover in the autumn but the combination of a mild autumn and winter and a large root system means we’ve had to plant them out just when the temperatures dipped. Hence the appearance of cloches around the Not so Secret Garden to protect them until they get used to their new home.
Our new cloche in place
all tucked up
Originally from central Asia ranunculus grows in the wild in swampy areas. This may be something to do with the origins of its name – ranunculus means frog in Latin. However, in the garden they are happier in a sunny spot in well-drained soil. A raised bed is ideal. They don’t do well in warm, wet conditions. Ideally plant them in the cool of autumn, with the tuber’s claw pointed side down and apply a mulch. Treat them as annuals, rather than perennials. Pull them out and compost them after cutting or leavethe tubers in the soil to rot in the moist warm summer soils.
Stunning orange ranunculas
As cut flowers they last in the vase for about a week after cutting. Cut them when flowers first show colour, in the early morning after they have had the night to recharge themselves with moisture
Delicate colours are gorgeous
In the language of flowers the ranunculus symbolises charm. Many a Victorian lady would have been happy to receive a bunch telling her that she had many charms and they are still guaranteed to make people.
We’ll see how ours cope with a midwinter transplanting and, in the longer term, with the warmer, wetter weather. Growing cut flowers has its share of experimentation and risk taking. It’s been a voyage of discovery. Seeing spring bulbs and roses flowering at the same time has been astonishing.