the cutting garden
I am now concentrating on developing an organic cutting garden. Although I am surrounded by trees and shrubs, there was no 'flower' garden as such here, since my grandmother's day. This is very much in its infancy, but you have to start somewhere and over the past few years we have been slowly reclaiming the old walled garden (or at least the outside wall and environs of the original walled garden). For as long as anyone could remember it had been a muddy, rutted, neglected boggy mess, with old timber and bits and pieces of miscellaneous rusting machinery littering the area. The old apple trees were choked with ivy as thick as your arm, and brambles, nettles and ragwort ruled supreme….not any more!!
We have built a small greenhouse, cleared all the ivy along the brick wall, and un-strangled the old apple trees, and we now have a bed of good rich soil running the full length of the wall. With parallel wires attached I have at last been able to plant some of my favourite climbing roses including 'A Shropshire Lad' 'Gertrude Jeykell' and 'Paul's Himalayan Musk' with clematis to extend the season.
We have planted various flowering shrubs such as Philadelphus, Viburnum and Deutzia for use by Florestina, as well as perennials, and bulbs. Work in progress at the moment is to build a number of raised beds for annuals such as cornflowers, ammi majus, larkspur, cosmos, nigella and nasturtiums.
For an industry that revolves around plant and flower material, floral design is suprisingly ungreen and in my own small way I want to produce my own flowers and foliage and cut down on the unnecessary waste created by the cut flower industry. Homegrown flowers will be seasonal, fresher, stronger and more characterful than any which have been grown under laboratory conditions, dipped in fungicide, flown half way around the world, and swathed in plastic.
an arrangement with home grown cosmos 'purity', sweetpea and salvia 'blue monday'
love-in-a-mist & nigella damascena
lillium regale growing in a pot & rose eufermia