Sunday, 27 July 2014

Three thunderstorms and a heatwave

The hot weather has encouraged a lot of flowers to whoosh ahead and open quickly. But the first thunderstorm was a bit of a shock - I don't ever remember a storm being so loud and going on for such a long time. I certainly was not one of the people who went outside to catch a photo of the lightning! Despite the lashing rain and hailstones (hailstones in a heatwave - how does that work?!), my flowers survived.

There were lots of new flowers to enjoy - I started to cut the borage, and before long there was cleome, cosmos and ammi. I used some this weekend - but I'll save that for another post. I planted out some cleome and panicum - they look great together. Both are such explosive, unusual textures.

It's a much better year for my flowers than 2013, when I certainly didn't have enough for orders or gifts, except the occasional small posy. This year, when I cut from the garden, I usually fill several buckets - it's wonderful. Stems have been much longer this year too, which means I can used them for handtieds and big arrangements, not just small posies and short-stemmed funeral work. The phlox and 'Penny Lane' dahlias are a metre tall, the verbena a metre and a half, and the zinnias and cosmos are 85cm!

The spring-sown 'Polka Dot' cornflowers are quite short and soft-stemmed, but that's ok - I know to nurture my autumn-sown ones better in future! And anyway, they still look beautiful.

I've done a few handtieds similar to this one.

It uses borage, Nicotiana 'Lime Green', Panicum 'Frosted Explosion', Zinnia 'Early Wonder', Salvia 'Hot Lips', sweet peas ('Harlequin Mixed', 'Leominster Boy' and 'Dot Com'), hebe, hydrangea, verbena bonariensis, Scabious 'Pink Mist', and a 'Penny Lane' dahlia. That's one of the great things about using a garden or flower farm - you can have fewer stems each of a wider range of flowers and foliage, rather than wraps and boxes of the same species and variety.

I was asked to do casual, colourful flowers for a family gathering - so I did this grouping in Portmeirion Botanic Garden vases and bowls, a Dartington Little Gems vase, a La Mortuacienne bottle, and a tiny green bud vase. I took these photos in a hurry as I heard thunder rumbling in the distance! I quickly took everything indoors and photographed the Portmeirion pieces together.

The roses are back! I used a few to make this red, white and peach posy, and I cut a few 'Jude the Obscure' David Austin roses for their incredible scent. Mixed with flowering Moroccan mint, salvia, phlox and nicotiana, these were two sweet-smelling additions to the group.

No comments:

Post a Comment