Six on Saturday. What’s in flower today.

Enjoy a tour of my garden on a rainy Saturday. The temperature feels mild at 8C. I can hear a woodpecker in the orchard. Our farming neighbour is cutting the field hedge across the lane. We’ll be able to see the cows more clearly in spring. Speaking of spring…I was surprised to find so many flowers today.

Calendula Orange Flash. Grown from seed last summer. Supplied by Mr Fothergills. I’ll be growing these again in the cut flower/ veg patch. They last a week in a vase.

Calendula Fiesta seedling. Mr Fothergills again. Fades from lemon to white. Very pretty. The edges of the petals look like they’ve been cut with pinking shears.

Snowdrops. Earliest they have ever flowered here. Galanthus Elwesii variety. Originally from snowdrop festival sales at Hodsock Priory, Nottingham. It will soon be time to make a visit again. I always take my Mum, and we usually stay over in the converted stables. A little bit of luxury, midwinter. Does you no harm at all.

In my unheated poly tunnel, Chrysanthemum White Stallion is providing a few flowers for jam jar posies. Bought as tiny £2 cuttings from Chrysanthemums Direct at the RHS Malvern Show three years ago. The weather is so mild, the plants are starting to shoot early. I’m taking new cuttings today. Well worth growing. I also recommend Arctic White and Lollipop. They produce masses of blooms. All grow in 10″ pots, John Innes compost. Stand them outdoors all summer. Take in before frosts, to protect flowers. My father in law used to stand the pots in a glass-roofed corridor between the kitchen and the garage. A cold frame would also be suitable.

Alstroemeria from the poly tunnel. Just keeps on flowering. To force them into growth, pull all the flowers and leaves in September. Stop watering for three weeks, then feed and water well. The dormant period seems to encourage them to flower from November to February. Just when we all need something cheerful.

I love growing cut flowers for friends and family. I learned how to grow -for all seasons- on a course at Common Farm Flowers. Never has £100 been so well spent. I learned which varieties to grow and how to get the best out of my poly tunnel and greenhouse. I grow cosmos and sweet peas in the summer in 10 3m by 1.2m beds with little herb-edged paths in between. This year I’m growing love-in-a-mist, chrysanthemums, carnations, ammi majus, cornflowers and poppies.

And finally, I love green flowers and Helleborus foetidus is a favourite. I was just about to pick some flowers, when I spotted these ladybirds. Just shows how mild the weather has been recently. I left them undisturbed.

I’m joining in with Six on Saturday https://thepropagatorblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/six-on-saturday-12-01-2019/ . Thanks to the Propagator for hosting this meme. Please feel free to join us.

Links: Mr Fothergills :https://www.mr-fothergills.co.uk/Flower-Seed/Calendula-Seed/Calendula-Orange-Flash.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAvebhBRD5ARIsAIQUmnkobvUCZdDOJcRxThREuXHo7xlATjyH8EPN4zJt3Fm-AXPc6VBMtHwaAlTREALw_wcB&ccode=F19PGP

Hodsock Priory : http://www.hodsockpriory.com/about-us/the-gardens/snowdrops/

Chrysanthemums Direct : https://www.chrysanthemumsdirect.co.uk/index.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAvebhBRD5ARIsAIQUmnlYKkHBxRADgtBVL5YSxoh474AZ6GUnY_a_Uv6p9PR6-ABniGSnCXUaAvZPEALw_wcB

Common Farm Flowers for courses and wedding flowers/ bouquets :https://www.commonfarmflowers.com/

Alstroemerias from http://www.postalplants.co.uk/ Viv Marsh.

Poly tunnels from : https://www.firsttunnels.co.uk/

My second-hand greenhouse was made by : https://www.altongreenhouses.co.uk/ renovated and painted black with black staging.

Cutting patch seeds also come from http://higgledygarden.com/. Highly recommended. Good value and fresh seed.

28 thoughts on “Six on Saturday. What’s in flower today.

    • Thank you. That’s so true. Those calendulas were little pools of water today. I watched a buff tailed bee settle on the petals and seeming to drink. Luckily there’s lots of winter flowering shrubs in the garden, so plenty of pollen. Common farm courses are magical. You can’t fail to go home walking on air. Georgie makes you feel you can achieve anything, and gives you enough encouragement and information to make success a certainty. Thanks again reading. x

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  1. What a lovely Calendula ! I love your featured picture Karen ..Thanks for the tips about the alstroemerias. Unfortunately mine have no chance to bloom because they aren’t in my greenhouse but actually under fleece. Still have to wait a few weeks to see them poking out !

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    • Thank you Fred. Those calendulas seem to keep on going through all weathers. Amazingly robust little flowers. Good luck with your alstroemerias. I love them because they last for ages in a vase. Thanks again for reading.

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  2. That is a surprise to see so many still in bloom, even if it is only four different types of flowers. We do not have many more, and we are in California, where we are supposed to have something blooming throughout the year.

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    • Hello Anne, I can’t believe how sunny it is here at the moment. We have solar panels, and the readings say we have had record amounts of sunshine for a January so far. Of course, it could be snow tomorrow! There’s a quiet beauty in snow, and a chance to rest and take stock. I’m still tearing around trying to get the garden sorted. I’ll be worn out by spring! x

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    • Thank you Mike. It’s a favourite. I do love those serrated edges which fade to a paler shade of lemon than the centre. Hope you are having s good week. Very sunny here today. What’s happening to the weather! xx

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  3. oh yes to that first Calendula – it’s fabulous. I can hardly believe all that’s going on in your garden already. We have one snow drop so far 🙂 To be fair though we don’t grow many flowers really. Plus we only have half a plot now at the allotments and there really isn’t room for blooms; I shall enjoy them vicariously though blogs such as yours 🙂

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    • Thank you Carrie. You are so welcome. I can’t believe anyone is reading my blog, so it’s lovely to think of you enjoying my flowers vicariously. All the best with your plot.

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    • There’s ladybirds everywhere. I’m so delighted. For years we haven’t had many. Finally, after not using sprays here, we’ve got ground-nesting bumblebees snuggled in the long grass, lacewings in the potting shed, and ladybirds on dried stalks of flowers we’ve left standing. A joy. Thanks so much for reading.

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    • I’m wondering if the strange weather is making any difference. If we went back to normal summer and winter temperatures, would they be behaving like this?However, it’s been 3 years of winter flowering now. So who knows. I found a cornflower in full flower today in the poly tunnel. Picked it and put it alone in one vase, so as to savour its beauty.

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  4. Loved reading about your cut flowers, especially the Alstroemerias (I’ve just purchased some – well they arrived in September). I intend growing them outside because the greenhouse would be far too hot in the summer but I’d love to work out a way to have some through the winter.

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  5. Karen the photos are spectacular. The Orange Calendula Flash is a marvel. The Seedling of the Calendula party with such a beautiful color I like it a lot. Galanthus Elwesii are divine. May this year you and your Mother have a great time in Hodsock Priory seeing the Galanthus and other wonderful Winter flowers that I have been able to see thanks to the link you have placed. Sleeping in the reconditioned stables is a luxury that you and your mother deserve, Karen. I hope it does not rain and it will be a good time for you to enjoy it a lot. The Chysantemum Wite Stallion is very beautiful. Alstroemeria I love the flower you have: thanks for the trick. Karen in that Common Farm Flowers Course you learned a lot, apart from how much you already knew. This year you are growing many things. Thank you for leaving the ladybugs in the flower calm. Thank you very much for all the links you have left. It is wonderful that you can go out into the garden and see so many flowers. Karen for your Mother, memories and love from me. For your family love and health. For you love, health, strength and rest. Take care. Very loving greetings from Margarita.

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    • Thank you Margarita. Your commentary is delightful! I love to see my garden through your eyes. It’s very sunny here today. We woke to birds singing and much sunshine. It feels like s spring day. It’s 8C, the same as Rome. The weather report says 9C tomorrow, so I’m going to get the rest of the tulips planted while it’s so nice. I bought some for the cut flower garden at a bargain price, 100 for £5. I Couldn’t resist. Memories to your parents. Love, strength and happiness for you, from me. xx

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