The gardens really peak in September and I love all the different materials I can work with. Our ‘Flower Therapy’ Buckets and Bouquets this month have got “particularly outrageously gorgeous’ with multi headed decorative Dahlias, little pom poms, Salvias, buttery seed heads, grasses and richly coloured foliage. We reckon we put together delicious combinations between Cissy and I, but they really are getting better and better as the season develops.
Playing with the bounty in the studio, with Cissy from Wildstems.
We have developed the kitchen garden this year, trialing and growing many more edibles. Vegetables we can’t source ourselves, for colour and unbeatable flavour. We use our harvest in the food served in classes and experiences together with photo shoots and arrangements. The black tomatoes and beetroot leaves have been particularly gorgeous and the squashes and gourds are ripening beautifully.
In the gardens we have enjoyed 1:2:1’s and 1:2:2’s, Flower Arranging and enjoying a couple of evenings dedicated to some Dahlia Lovers, looking at how we grow them and admiring the collection. After the scorching August, then heavy rain and winds, the gardens have settled down with strong second flushes of flowers and dahlias are seemingly producing daily!
It’s this time of year where I really can enjoy all the efforts of the season and get excited for the next one. I think any gardener has lists of what they want to improve on or add for the next season. Alex and I have got some exciting plans for new planting under the Dry Shade of the Cherry Trees and structure for the Long Border.
The cooler autumn temperature and gentle rains have come about 10 days earlier than it has done in our area for at least 8 years that I remember. This means we can start lifting and moving plants and barrow mulches of soil conditioner and compost about. We are spotting self sown Hardy Annuals like Cornflowers and Chinese Forget-Me-Nots to relocate together with moving foxgloves and planting other perennials to spend the winter developing strong roots to flower earlier and more vigorously than those planted in the early spring.
In the Greenhouse we have sown a lot of Snapdragons for next June and other hardy annuals to quietly grow over the winter undercover. It pays to cover all bases – sow some undercover and protect, sow directly some into the borders and sow again in the Spring. This way one will still have something whatever the weather throws!
It’s a really exciting time for us, and why I feel it is the beginning of the growing year. We can’t wait to welcome our Grow Your Own Class back on to the plots early next month to explore all these skills and share experience of this growing season. The plots look very different from the last session.
That continual change, propagating plants, harvesting flowers and produce means there is always something new to spot and check on every week, whatever the season.