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Journal - End May

I sit surrounded by wedding flowers patiently waiting for 'today's Bride's' Cousin to come and collect their 'Kit and Caboodle'. A lovely end to the wee it's been mostly teaching and talking which is my favourite kind.

Photo - The tunnel with vegetable and flower seedlings waiting to be planted.

I hosted a 1:2:1 on Monday. We'd planned to cover cutting and conditioning flowers ready for arranging (this makes all the difference to the quality and longevity of vase life) together with successional sowing but ended, as a lot of these go, focusing on what, how and who those flowers were for.

This is what my client sent me a couple of days later,

"Just to say thanks so much for the wonderful time I had with you on Monday.

I feel I learned a massive amount, and it’s always fascinating to see someone else’s growing area!

I came home enthused and full of ideas and improvements, which of course is exactly what I came to you for!

Also, that was the most delicious cake I’ve had for a long time..."

(well sustenance keeps our brains sharp doesn't it?). I came away as enthused too and knowing there are more flowers confidently grown.

Then on Tuesday it was the final session of the Grow Your Own Course, 'Early Summer'. The culmination of all our efforts over the year and where all the dots are joined and the full cycle of flower growing across the year is completed. The participants by now are more confident, asking questions based on their own experience growing at home, on the allotement et al. What will they do with the plants they have grown next year and onwards. This class we went through spring bulbs, lifting ranunculus, sowing biennials, staking, planting dahlias, and a lot more.

Photos from 1:2:1 & Grow Your Own Course - Cool beginingins mean refreshments in the tunnel together before the tour. Resources laid out for planning. Netting Cornflowers. Saved Seeds to sow. Homemade potting compost. Main Course Lunch. 'Royal Wedding Day' Poppy about to pop. Seared wrapped flowers. End of the day.

Wednesday was a studio day. Reflecting, writing, planning, phone calls and considering the next 'Grow' Course and improvements. A day class is intensive, I learn as much sharing and responding to questions as I hope the class does, so it is a good time to consolidate that. My days, weeks, months and years follow a rhythm like this, responding to the seasons, booked work and classes. Like nature there are hibernating and blooming months, I aim to reflect this in my schedule and days balancing time, attention and energy. It is all to easy to burnout with gardening and farming coupled with family life. What I say no to is as important to what I say ''hell yes" to!

Visiting Chelsea Flower Show was a 'Hell yes' this week! I have no photos to show you, but I can tell you it was wonderful to be immersed in the gardening and floral circus that is the show again! I haven't been for some time after running trade stands as a Garden & Natural Swimming Pool Designer. It hasn't changed much! Still a lot of purple this year, less alliums and more 'weeds'! There were a couple of incredible show gardens, but what I found interesting were the spaces where environmental statements we're beautifully made. Thought provoking were spaces that presented gardening poor soil on brownfield sites, planting that can cope with shorter seasons, rewilding and the melting ice. The most arresting to me was a the comparison of a forest fire on the land with it's eventual natural regeneration to that of mental illness, breakdown and rejuvenation from a single plant in a barren landscape through to abundant tapestry of planting and health. There was an awful lot to look at, very little on seasonal planting with much still imported and unsuitable to thrive in our conditions or able to be truly achieved. The creeping buttercup in many show gardens should have a health warning as it will eventually prevent anything else from growing around it. And it concerns me that new gardeners are sometimes shown an M.C. Escher impossible garden but either way, this is a week of utter magic and excitement around our gardens and if that inspires us to be closer to our own then that's great.

Finally, as ever on Thursday and Friday's I cut and conditioned flowers, selling the final rancunulus. I'm thrilled to be lifting this crop that frankly has been less than brilliant this year. This week I'll fill the beds with the plants bursting out of their pots waiting to be planted in their place for the rest of the Summer.

Ah, I can see people coming up the paddock so the wedding flowers are off for their hurrah to celebrate a union*. Utterly wonderful weather for a wedding and I hope the flowers do their thing.

Photos - Local Peacocks blessed me with a visit, starters for Grow Lunch, last of the ranunculus, dahlias to be planted out, the greenhouse with tender perennials waiting their turn to be planted, Hesperis in the evening sunset.

*I've just been told these gardens are paradise! I am planning an open gate soon, come and join me!


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