Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bellis, bella, bellum


I normally like to grow all my own plants but getting the larger space at the Country Living Fair, Scotland was a last minute thing really so I have had to buy them in.

Yesterday I headed for Perthshire to collect my order from the Dutch van man. They have done me proud, really good quality plants - these are the bellis daisies. I also have muscari, narcissi, primula and cyclamen.

Tomorrow they will have all their flowers cut off to let the new stems get ready for blooming their socks off next week. It seems a bit mean, and I am very anxious about the planting bit - I have never tried to time plants flowering like this before and I hope that they will be happy in the heat of the SECC.

I hate the waste of shows - the first one I went to threw out 50 perfectly good jasmine plants (which I rescued of course) and hundreds of narcissi at the end of the 3 days.

My mother is worse - I did the flowers for the CL pavilion when the show was in Edinburgh. With the dryness of the hall it was a tough gig for flowers, particularly the spring flowers I was using and by the Sunday night there wasn't much lifespan left in most of the flowers - 2-3 days at the most I would say. My Mum came to help me dismantle and pack up but actually spent her time dismantling and giving away bunches of the slightly droopy flowers rather than put them in the bin.

6 comments:

Primrose Hill said...

I'm heading over there on Monday, they are a good bunch and very helpful. I dare say if I have room in the car (which hopefully I will have as I'll have sold everything!) I could take some off your hands if need be come Sunday night. I'm planning on spending the next few weeks in the garden as it's looking very much in need of some serious TLC!
I'm sure your plans will all come together, you're very brave taking it on at such short notice - I hope the CL team appreciate it!
L x

Alice said...

I have just bought some Bellis to try out in a window box - I have started to experiment with a wider variety of bedding plants and perennials - especially for Winter/Spring boxes. My find this spring is Ipheion uniflorum bulbs - beautiful blue star shaped flowers which seem to last for ages.
Good luck with the show - I will be keeping my fingers crossed for you. I hope that your plants behave and that you meet some lovely, friendly and appreciative people. Don't panic about all the things that need to be done - deadlines focus the mind wonderfully!
Alice

Jane said...

Yep - I can't wait to get back into the garden either - it has been completely neglected since October.

The plants will all go to Drymen Primary School after the show. They are re-doing their playground, making raised beds that actually have soil in them and creating a kind of spring meadow on a hummock at the back of the school. I am on their eco-board as a parent/local business/pta representative. Children love planting rather than digging or weeding (surprise)so I hope that while the rest of the parents get sweaty sawing up wood for the raised beds, I shall be carrying round trays of bulbs for children to plant.
Alice, those Ipheion uniflorus sound lovely - I must try to get hold of some
J
x

Alice said...

Jane - what a worthwhile thing to do. I grew up in Cornwall and in those days there was an inspired gardener in charge of the many and beautiful public gardens in Falmouth. Every year he brought trays of geranium cuttings to the primary schools and each child was given one to take home and grow on. It was brought back later and used in a bedding scheme. I am sure that is where my love of gardening started.
Alice

weirdbunny said...

What a childs dream though, to have all those discarded flowerheads and petals to add to water to make perfume. I can just imagine all the jam jars full of the perfume lined up !

Jane said...

Jam jars of perfume - sound like my eldest daughter's bedroom.
In season I send excess flowers - things picked but not sold on a Friday - to 2 local nursery schools. Both are very Montessori-ish so the children get to arrange the flowers themselves. They get on very well.
It isn't all altruistic of course - I'm getting future flower buyers early!
J
x