Posts Tagged ‘cut flowers’

I’ve been madly sowing seeds during Lockdown, but as as well as planning for annual flowers and veg, I do have some gaps in my garden in want of a few lush perennials.

The plant nurseries that I’ve spoken to, having geared up over autumn and winter for spring visitors and the show seasons ahead, now have oodles of stock waiting to be bought. Great Dixter (above) has closed its gardens and nursery to visitors, but is still operating its mail order service, and would welcome and appreciate customers support by placing orders online.

Herbal Haven is such a great online herb nursery, always sending out top quality plants at very reasonable prices. As with all the plant nurseries at the moment, having been slightly overwhelmed with incoming orders, they may be a tad slower getting plants to you, but it’ll be worth the wait.

Beth Chatto Gardens is another of my fave nurseries with really handy sections listing for plants growing in different conditions such as shade, damp areas, dry sunny borders etc. and the choice of nursery-grown plants is amazing. On a visit to Scampston Hall Walled Gardens in York last Spring, I was rather taken with this yellow Uvularia and the electric blue of Corydalis ‘Korn’s Purple’. (above). Travelling by train, it was impossible to buy plants from their own nursery  but as ever, Beth Chatto’s nursery did not disappoint and knowing where I can now source these plants, I love using this frothy Corydalis in designs as it starts flowering in Spring and supplies colour and texture throughout the year. Other quality online nurseries that I value are Claire Austin Plants and Hardy’s Cottage Plants and it’s really worth scouring the internet for these specialist nurseries if there’s a specific plant that you’re after or if you just need some horticultural inspiration.

I must say that I’ve loved having time to wander through the posts of like-minded horticultural types on Instagram and more inspiration can be found in your own garden using the #30stemchallenge , created by Georgie Newbury of @commonfarmflowers (on March 29). The idea is to only use what you have growing in your garden to make a DIY bouquet. Georgie suggests gathering 10 ‘showstoppers- I’ve used daffs for these, mainly Narcissus ‘Yellow Cheerfulness’, which also has the added charm of having a gorgeous scent, then 10 stems with colour-I found the tall blue Vinca difformis Sardoa, a flowering snapdragon in a pot (unbelievably!), some bluebells, forget-me-nots, a purple hellebore & a lone tulip, and finally 10 stems of greenery. This is where I realise I hardly have any shrubs to speak of, so I’ve used a branch of Pittosporum tennuifolium, some self-seeded Euphorbia lathyris (caper spurge), a stem of lovage and a leafy, spiky stem of Rosa rugosa.

Starting off with the foliage, then then stems with colour (as above), the icing on the cake are the ‘showstoppers’. Not bad for my first attempt, and I think this is a jolly good idea to realise what you do actually have growing in the garden at any given time. I think this could become a really useful monthly exercise, with hopefully some edible versions later in the year!

More joy in a vase can be found @RebelRebelE8 , Hackney (E. London) florists supreme (above)! During Lockdown, they are holding weekly competitions for Instagram followers to send in pics of seasonal blooms. Last week the theme was blossom and we’re now moving into the Lilac and Wisteria season. The beauty with this is that you don’t need a garden to enter this floral competition and you can snap flowers during your daily exercise. The winners each week will win a fabulous Rebel Rebel bouquet. And it doesn’t just stop there! Each Friday at 3pm, they’ll be holding marvellous free online tutorials, the next one being how to make a buttonhole. Check on their Instagram account beforehand, and they will let you know what everyday household materials you will need for the tutorial. How good is that!! Looking forward to this Friday already!!

Inner Temple Gardens, right in the heart of London, always offers up a visual feast, and although they’ve had to close their gates for the moment, every Wednesday at 4pm  Sean, the Head Gardener, is inviting you on an Instagram Live Tour @innertemplegarden. My week is starting to get busy!

I’ve also just started posting videos on Instagram @naomi.outofmyshed and here is my first on how to prick out/ pot on tomatoes.  Some other favourites that I always make time to read are:

@alexmitchelleg Alex is a great fruit and veg grower, writing especially about growing in small spaces and I love this video of her planting potatoes that she found in the back of her kitchen cupboard

@rotherramblings is a generous sharer of his great knowledge and his posts always offer fab insights and great planting combinations from the country.

@bryans.ground One of my all time favourite gardens, full of arty, lush planting and peppered with sculptural interest throughout. Posts from artist in residence, Simon Dorrell

@rosieposieirving Fab plants (and other great stuff) with lots of wry observations

@outinthegreen For my urban fix of posts from the Barbican gardens in London EC2

@cut_and_chase_press Hand-pressed (with a 1930’s press) monographs of plants and other limited edition art prints

@nigelgibson33 from Provender nurseries has great plant selections-a horticultural education in itself

@johnmgrimshaw More desirable plants to lust after from Yorkshire

@thestreettree Paul Wood’s witty and informative posts, mostly of London trees

@hellotherelinda Great site for shade-loving perennials for gardens and windowboxes

@nigel.dunnett Creator of the wildflower meadows at the Olympic park and greener upper of cities and urban landscapes

Happy Instagramming, and may you all stay safe and well.

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