A Milk Churn of Delphiniums
Ever since moving to The Lint Mill I have wanted a cutting patch of flowers.
I remember when we first moved, there was barely a plant in the cottage garden. Now, as we are approaching our sixth summer, I know the cottage garden will bloom brilliantly again after all the work and planting we have done. The sheer abundance of our garden flowers led me to creating a few small posies as gifts for friends and neighbours.
Then there have been the experiments in the polytunnel. Over the past few years we have grown more and more sweet peas (for vases in the B&B bedroom) and companion calendulas, (encouraging bees to visit the tunnel to help the pollination of the vegetables). Gradually, I took over a little more room to grow zinnia, dahlias, bells of Ireland, dill and cosmos. I have loved wandering round the flower beds and creating a bunch to hand tie as I go. I read a few books and watched a few videos and have learned some very useful arranging principles. I like to keep my bunches relaxed and informal, a ‘just picked’ look, nothing with the florist’s shop about it. Last year, my hand tied bunches won prizes at our local agricultural show!
So, I’ve bought an amazing array of seeds this year and Colin has sown them all under cover for me. We wait patiently as they germinate and then there will be the inevitable debate over where to site them. I’d like some in the polytunnel and some in the kitchen garden and I’m not averse to trying some varieties out in the cottage garden beds, if I can find room!
Lately, I’ve been dreaming of zinc buckets filled with armfuls of blooms, imagining jam jar posies and cottage garden tied bunches. I’ve been planning scenting my hand-tied bunches with herbs such as dill, mint and golden marjoram. I will have cool, pale bunches of creamy zinnia and white cosmos with love-in-a-mist, and frothy bishop’s flower. I will have hot bunches of scarlet and deep orange marigolds and zinnia, set alight with the acid lime green of dill and tobacco plant. I will add sophistication with ‘Black Magic’ sunflowers and dark, deep crimson cornflowers. I have a mental list of which are the best shrubs and hedgerow plants to add depth and interest to my arrangements. I will arrange blooms in antique jugs, in pretty tins and I’d love a milk churn to fill with the tallest, bluest delphiniums!
I have a straw hat, a beautiful Sussex flower trug, classic flower snips, waxed tissue paper and raffia in an array of delicious shades…so I’m all set…meanwhile I dream of wild and wonderful bunches.