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Dear Flower Friends,
I do not know what I would do without my Rhino. I’ve already started some of my hardy annuals (wallflowers, hesperis, and stocks) and these have been potted on, although next week they will need moving into bigger plant pots and the cold frame, before being planted out into beds.
Early hardy annual seedlings and newly sown trays in the greenhouse
Today, Sue came to help, and what a godsend. Our first job was to finish peeling some of the Honesty I had grown, as I needed to finish a dried flower arrangement I was putting together. After that, with face masks on and with appropriate social distancing we adjourned to the greenhouse. Pretty much all the remaining hardy annuals were sown and stacked onto the shelving in the greenhouse. It was the perfect job for a very wet day and I am absolutely delighted to have received such wonderful help. I also received some extremely useful direction on de-leafing the tomatoes which desperately needed more light to help them ripen up. I have to admit that the greenhouse was looking quite dark with all the tomato foliage growing and now the light levels have improved hugely. Hopefully the chillies will cheer up too. It was also a rather wonderful morning spent putting the world to rights over a few things, and talking about the recent losses of our much loved canine companions. We are both missing them dreadfully, but I know they were with us there in spirit, in the Rhino, on a very wet August morning, made brighter by our shared memories and a few laughs.
Next week we will be checking for seeds sprouting. There is still lots of light left in the day for getting the hardy annuals started and planted out before autumn/winter sets in and I aim to get as many as possible into the ground.
The dahlias are now getting into their stride. Don’t laugh. Quite a few of us seem to have late flowering dahlias this year and have now suffered severe storm damage. My theory (and I’m sticking to it) is that the hot summer days were too hot and they got heat stress and shut down. I know how they were feeling, believe me. I’m now delighted to be able to pick them pretty much every day at the moment, so I’m very happy. I have grown lots of new varieties and they are all wonderful. I’m just wondering how I can increase the size of the dahlia bed next year without anyone noticing. One of my small victories this year has been the growing of amaranth around the edge of the dahlia bed. Apart from making me smile whenever I see it, and do a little victory dance (in my head), I love using it in bouquets and will definitely be adding ‘hot biscuit’ to the mix next year.
A view of the dahlias and greenhouse
I hope you had a wonderful bank holiday, and spent half an hour getting some of those hardy annuals sown ready for early flowering next spring. You wont regret it.
Late Summer Bouquet
A bucket of flowery loveliness off to a customer - full of dahlias, cosmos and amaranth
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