Flower Farmer's Blog: Autumn on the Horizon

Flower Farmer's Blog: Autumn on the Horizon

The autumn equinox has passed. We start preparing for colder weather and the next year. Sowing hardy annuals and drying flowers for arrangements in the cold seasons.

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In The Cutting Garden Now

After an amazing couple of weeks in September, we have now passed the autumn equinox. We will notice a real seasonal shift as daylight growing hours reduce and the garden declines in the run up to winter.

In the meantime though, I hope your Dahlias are still pumping out their blooms along with a few other flowers. I will still be producing bouquets and flower jars for my lovely customers but will probably stop at the end of October, depending on the weather. Then the wreath season will take over with lots of foraged material and dried flowers. I am already taking orders for wreaths and workshops are being organised for October, November and December.

The La-Di Dardy Dahlia Bed 2020
The La-Di Dardy Dahlia Bed 2020

Alongside this, dried flowers are very popular. They are a lovely way to bring the garden indoors over the winter months and almost any flower can be dried.

Conversations with friends have revealed their frustrations with plants growing out of control in their gardens. So, in true flower-farmer-florist spirit I have encouraged them to cut flowers for the kitchen table and therefore control the height of their flowering plants. Controlling height helps to promote the growth of side shoots which means the plants will fill their spaces with more flowering shoots at better heights. Cutting stems from the garden for a weekly bunch of flowers is a healthy thing to do as it encourages your plants to keep flowering with lovely fresh blooms. There is still plenty to cut.

Preparing for Next Season in the Cutting Garden - Over Wintering Hardy Varieties

Life in the Rhino is very busy. Tomatoes, chillies and squashes are ripening in the sun and the racks are filling up with trays full of hardy annual seeds. Sue has continued to visit each week which means we’ve been pricking out the seedlings into modules and then into 4” pots when they get bigger. You wouldn’t believe the speed of the root growth. These plants are desperate to grow and its really worth putting the effort in now to get them going. I’ve also managed to sneak in a few half hardy annuals in anticipation of keeping the greenhouse frost free. I suspect that most of these plants will stay in the greenhouse now over the winter. The biennials are in the cold frame and looking like decent sized plants that should be planted out, as soon as space is available, for spring blooming.

If you want to get some hardy annuals going, you will need to get your skates on. The shorter days will make a difference to growth, but it’s not too late. I still have sweet peas to sow as well as some more orlaya.

Next year will see me focusing on succession growing. I would like to get another crop out of my annuals. One winter sowing really isn’t enough for me now. Very soon, the anenomes and ranunculus will be arriving and they will be planted into newly created beds which I need to make. If necessary I will start them off in crates in the greenhouse so that they can be lifted out and moved into location.

Pick of the Crop for 2020 - Doyenne du Comice with a Jar of Dahlias and Old Man's Beard
Pick of the Crop for 2020 - Doyenne du Comice with a Jar of Dahlias and Old Man's Beard

How are your autumn flowers looking and are you picking a bunch each week? Foliage is looking amazing now and you can get some great colours and shapes into a vase. Don’t be afraid to mix things up. I managed to cut some crab apples from my father’s garden at the weekend to go with some rose hips. Make the most of what you have and ‘bring the outside in.


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