When the nights are drawing in, the days are cold and wet and the best of the flowers are over, there’s no better way to get your garden mojo going than by looking back over the lusciousness of our pickings over the last few months.
Feast your eyes on these beauties…..
A perfect table arrangement of dahlia all grown by us.
All British grown wedding flowers
Of course work never stops in the Not So Secret Garden. We’ve been completing our overhaul of the perennials, planting bulbs and planning for next year’s harvests as well as preparing to run some wreath making workshops in December. Details here. It’s especially exciting that Young Blooms brides will be able to choose The Not So Secret Garden package next year if they wish. No flower miles, beautiful seasonal blooms grown to order right here on the farm. We love that.
A stunning dried wreath
Love these bright Zinnia
September’s new beginnings are all around. It’s back to school week with all that entails – new stationery, new uniform, new friends, the start of a new journey. It’s not so different in the garden as we begin to plan for next year by taking a critical look at how the flower patch has performed this summer, clearing space, chopping back, digging up, remodelling, extending and trying new things.
We’re planting out biennial seedlings now to overwinter. It’s the first time we’ve tried it and we’re starting in a modest way with Sweet Williams to fill the late-Spring gap when the bulbs are coming to an end and before the hardy annuals have got going. Christine has been bringing on some seedlings over the summer in her greenhouse. Now they’re ready to plant out. Sweet Williams have been around in British gardens since the sixteenth century and have seen a bit of a revival recently, even making an appearance in supermarket buckets in the ‘British grown’ section. Their clove- like scent and generally long vase life (two weeks) make them a favourite with cut flower enthusiasts. Young Blooms have bought them in from elsewhere for arrangements but we can’t wait for a corner of our own patch at Hartley Farmto be filled with gorgeous blooms. Ranging from pure white through varying shades of crimson to deep burgundy, we hope you’ll love them as much as us when you visit us next Spring.
Elsewhere we’ve decided that the red hollyhocks don’t earn their place in our cutting garden and would be better off flowering their socks off in the gardens of Bradford on Avon and Winsley. We’re digging them up and sharing the flower love by making them available to customers who’d like to plant them in their own gardens. Pop up and pick up a bargain at the garden gate stall. They really are lovely but we need the space for more flowers that we can cut and use in bouquets. Sometimes tough decisions have to be made. This is a working flower patch not just a lovely garden. We’re still cutting buckets full of sweet peas, dahlias and zinnias and, at last, our David Austen roses are giving us a second flush of gorgeousness. We’ll certainly be planting more in the Autumn for next year’s bouquets. The bank of perennials is also having a bit of an overhaul and we even have some delightfully quirky ornamental gourds about to burst forth, destined to take centre stage in some super seasonal table decorations. I love September.
Dahlia still going strong
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.
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.
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.
The dahlia patch is exploding into colour.
We’re looking forward to spotting you among the zinnias and dahlias.