September 18, 2011 · 8:16 am
About this time of year all the summer bedding is slowly shrinking back. I look at my baskets and planters and although I know they’re getting well past it I resist the urge to empty them onto the compost heap on the off chance that they’ll just carry on a bit longer and that I can keep the autumn at bay. It’s no good of course, it has to be done, and once I’ve bitten the bullet and cleared away the old exhausted plants so I can get on with some autumn planting actually it all starts to feel a whole lot better.
If you want to set about it yourself there’s plenty out there in the nurseries and creating a pretty or stylish display isn’t difficult. The violas above are just massed into a small trough and they’ll carry on all winter long…they might come and go a bit if we have snow but they’ll soon spring back up once it clears away and they’ll carry on till the spring.
Variations on a theme here – above are white cyclamen with white heather and ivy in a trough topped with white gravel and below the same combination of plants but using pink cyclamen and pale lilac heather….the flowers on the cyclamen will be knocked down by a frost but they are one of the most stylish looks for this time of year and after flowering can be planted in the borders under hedges to come again another year.
and you can ring the changes by adding ornamental cabbages to your planting. This is a teraccotta trough, just from the local DIY store with 3 ornamental cabbages and more ivy, with some little violas tucked in between.
If you’re thinking they’ll be a nuisance to look after planters at this time of the year don’t need as much attention or watering as in the summer but do still make sure they are damp because the weather can surprise us all and suddenly we have a hot sunny day. Deadheading pansies and violas always helps to keep new flowers coming, and if we do get a frost and you want to keep your flowers for longer you can just chuck a piece of newspaper or horticultural fleece over the planters for the night to break the frost.
I love putting planters together – you can get really creative if you look at what’s available and put together some planting scheme based on colour and shape and over the next couple of weeks there’ll be much revamping of my clients troughs and boxes so they’re smartened up for the winter.
I called this last one the chocolate box because all the planting was chocolate coloured – and if you put it together as a gift it’s good to tuck a couple of wrapped chocolates in amongst the foliage – but make sure it’s clear or they may go unnoticed until it’s too late to eat them.
In this box is a red cordyline, heuchera, dark coloured pansies and black grass(ophiopogon nigrescens) and everything should be readily available now.
All the plants should last the winter very well, the flowers on the pansies will come and go with the weather and the cordyline would appreciate a little shelter, especially from winds but otherwise they should be fine….and next spring you could reuse and revamp the planting because all the plants except the pansies are perennials.
Its a lovely morning this morning so a good day to have a go at a planter and cheer up your doorstep or patio….and if I can help with any questions you can always tweet them to me @MaggyAnne.
September 13, 2011 · 11:11 am
I love weddings and I love that they come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes…..
This one was a real mix of the conventional and the unconventional…there was a vintage car and a beatiful wedding dress…and there was a bouncy castle, games on the lawn and a whole lot of fun.
My brief for the flowers was informal, country. Nothing contrived but pretty.
The bride’s bouquet and the bridesmaids’ posies were made up of two types of roses, a soft grey mint, gypsophillia, erengium, poppy seed heads and clematis seed heads, lisianthus and rosemary giving a lovely soft vintage feel and there were a gorgeous scent as I bound them together with ribbon to match the colour scheme.
For the buttonholes the groom had a rather smart calla lilly and his bestman had a great big red dahlia.
I love delivering the flowers myself to the wedding party. Its always an occasion and everyone I so excited about the day….I catch the excitement myself and am delighted when I see people’s reaction to the flowers.
The venue was the Mustard Pot which lends itself to this kind of modern country look so well. There were assorted jugs of mixed flowers on all the tables with lots of colour continuing the soft country theme. And on the smaller tables I chose filled china cups and saucers. With the fireplaces full of flowers and flowers on the bar and decorating the bay trees beside the front door the place looked lovely.
Congratulations to another happy couple……
September 11, 2011 · 9:01 pm
A few months ago I got a phone call asking me if I’d take part in the flower festival at Ledsham Church….oh yes no problem. The theme’s What a Wonderful World. OK, so my brain cranked into gear and yes I thought, a globe of flowers with a little daisy chain dancing round it in mid air to the people of the world connecting with one another. Shouldn’t be too difficult….. Plenty of time to think about it.
However, I did know what I had to live up to. I’d been to the flower festival last year and what lovely displays. The ladies in the village were no amateurs for sure.So the months went by and I imagined this pole sprayed black with my globe perched on it. So I ordered massive floral foam spheres – one to use and one to practice on and my son made me the the pole. 3 weeks before the event I soaked the globe and tried to sit it on the pole. Ha! the thing was so heavy it was like lifting a medicine ball and there was no way it was going to stay upright… so one clever idea down I had to revert to putting it onto a traditional pedestal…but that was OK…not quite the plan, but OK.
The day arrived and just over a week ago I landed at the church clutching my pedestal and my flowers. The place was full of chatter, flowers and buckets and there was lots of activity, and there were some amazing creations in place already.
I loved Singing in the Rain, it did just look as though the flowers were raining down the umbrella, and the colours in Sunrise…
There really were so many and they were so lovely….but I persevered with my little globe and hoped for the best and every now and again I took a look at some of the others. There was an afternoon tea called My Mother’s Baking, then there flowers showing the joys of family, this year’s royal wedding, sport and cricket, nature’s bounty, gardening.
There was a patriotic red white and blue one, and then there were the lovely trees, beautiful weeping birch trees, put together to form an archway into thechurch. A lovely idea for a wedding, such an entrance for the
bride to come through….Anyway I finished my globe. It wasn’t bad and the colours were good. See what you think. As usual I needed to look at it again. I went home and when I got back on the Sunday I liked it a lot more!
One of my favourites was done for Marie Curie, lovely pink colours in the church doorway.