July. I know it was busy, but seeing as time in 2020 is punctuated with far fewer events than usual, my memory of it seems to have blurred at the edges, swimming in and out of focus on buckets of flowers, seedlings to tend to, and overnight couriers to sort.
My favourite joy this month has been walking amongst the flowers once the morning’s bouquets have gone out, and before the tasks for the afternoon begin- to put dream colour collections together for a couple of seed bundles from the garden later in the year. I can’t wait to show you. I love stationary and seeds almost as much as flowers- so I’ve designed the packets to be utterly lovely for you- to keep and grow your own bouquet, or give as a loving gift of beauty, hope, and potential to your loved ones. It’s been a month of thinking ahead, of significant head-scratching on how to keep pivoting around this uncertainty- how can I keep this going and get to grow flowers well into the future. I’m feeling a little burnt out. It’s been a 7 day week since March, and there’s no one else to delegate to. The flowers do make it easier. When I’m stuck inside on an admin day, they’re always there to keep me company.
I’ve been playing with movement and layers in my designs this month, trying to get the flowers to float and dance, like a crazed conductor, and seeing as we still can’t go to concerts or the theatre – this is entertainment enough.
I have a lousy touch with poppies, but got a handful of ‘Amazing Grey’ to grow for me, so delicate, so beautiful- like pencil marks rubbed out in an instant, their petals fall mere moments after working with them.
Nicotiana, that gently self-seeds, starting so small that I didn’t notice the seedlings to weed them out, then whoosh, overnight they’re already giant plants, towering above the rest. If I’d spotted them earlier, I probably wouldn’t have weeded them out anyway. I love a self-seeder; I end up with growing combinations I may never have tried. The flowers, lovely trumpets tooting sweet scents come dusk. They’ve turned up with smoky apricot colours this year, dusky pinks and purple veins. Saving the seed, that’s for sure.
I’ve been able to grow a broader range of colours this year- more brights, a palette of primary-coloured punches. When the lockdown hit and the weddings and events were on hold for the foreseeable, I sowed more full saturation flowers in reaction to all the uncertainty, than the whites and ivories I usually get asked to grow. I’m glad for it now; the garden is full of cheer.
July also saw the return of wedding flower proposals- hot afternoons were spent inside, dreaming up plans for some special days this year and next. A few small gatherings are planned for the next two months (government guidelines dependant), and there’s one in diary taking us right into winter. The plans are loose- and I’m trying to hold gently onto them, knowing all could be flipped and reversed again in a matter of days.
It’s been an excellent year for the larkspur. The blue is especially vivid. It’s the colour that’s most widely asked to be avoided in the nationwide bouquet deliveries, but it’s my absolute favourite to grow- the way it vibrates in the dusky hours is pure magic.
Bouquets are still going out, making their way to you and your loved ones. Buckets and vases locally now too. I like the evening routine of dinner, then harvest. It’s a quiet and beautiful way to end the day.