April and May are the most dramatic two months of the year, the transformations we see are astounding, you can more or less see the changes by the minute.
Each night when we arrive home from work, just a quick glance around the garden will show us that. The flower buds are beginning to form on the early summer perennials, the early Spring ones are now fading and the bounty of late Spring is now upon us. Branches of pink blossom are now abundant among the trees, the Tulips are replacing the Narcissus and the Bluebells are beginning to bloom. The Nightingale has arrived and is singing relentlessly, the Swallows have arrived and Cuckoo is beginning to call, all the signs that the beautiful English Summer is just around the corner.
It always seems such a rush at this time of year everything is in a hurry to have it’s showtime, some so fast you blink and miss them. It is time now to take a moment gather that snapshot in time, as for week by week it alters, and the beauty that is around us will be lost for another year unless we do something to appreciate it more. The combinations of flowers that can be cut and enjoyed indoors at this time of year is nearly overwhelming. Our minds buzz with how many of them we can achieve but at this time of year it is definitely about the trees, they are fleeting and their blossoms so varied in their forms, the Cherry with all its exuberance, the Maple and Viburnum with their dainty floret clusters down to the Willow and Birch trees and their catkins.
Use them simply, cut a few stems and place them without fuss into a vessel, combine with a few other blooms of the season and enjoy….
As we work outside today, the wind still bites. There is definitely not just a nip in the air here!! Everything is still behind, when we compare what we were picking this time last year but hey, we were probably spoilt with the weather we all enjoyed in March 2014.
The leaves on most of the trees, except the Ash, are beginning to emerge. Does this mean by the old saying ‘Oak before Ash, we’re in for a splash’, Ash before Oak we’re in for a soak’ is going to ring true?? If so it will mean lots of watering for us this summer!! To be honest we could do with a bit of rain now to settle in the seedlings.
It’s great, that at long last, the whole landscape is beginning to look 3 Dimensional again, after what seems like ages of barren branches and twigs. The buds on the trees have started to give us that illumination of Spring Green, the Blackthorn is flowering like mad and gives, an almost ghostly white appearance in the hedgerows. Spring, although taking its time in arriving, as we thought it would, is happening in a hurry this year. It won’t be long until our road verges are filled with frothing Cow Parsley, wafting aimlessly as we drive past.
In the greenhouse the seedlings are growing fast, our days are spent transplanting them into plug trays and transferring them to the polytunnel to grow on. In the garden the Tulips are coming into their own, we’ve been picking them and arranging for others all week . This evening it has been great to pick some, along with the beautiful Wallflowers and Euphorbia palustris, and just enjoy them for ourselves.
The wedding season is well and truly underway. All of those meetings earlier on in the year with prospective couples have started to come to fruition. The reality of transforming all of their ideas for their special day, brings the whole of what we are about to life. The exhilaration of cutting our own flowers combining them together, with others if we need them, to create their dream and then finally the apprehension. The apprehension of hoping you have got it all spot on when the Bride views her venue and receives her bouquet. There is nothing more scary than thinking we may have it ‘not quite right’ but absolute elation when we see the the results of our toil were everything that was wanted.
Sometimes to create, all that is needed is observation. For us it is all about watching nature, looking at how things grow, their natural forms, how they combine together, this is not just flower arranging it’s about a whole garden, the season, and the plant combinations that we know work well. Colours, textures, forms and using them to their best.
Nicola and Stephen’s wedding yesterday was all about that, seasonal, natural and beautiful
Some days it’s all about digging, planting and preparation but as Spring arrives and the blossom begins to appear in the hedgerows, it’s a sure indication to us that those in our garden will not be far behind. The Narcissus, Anemone and Ranunculus have already been flowering for a week or two now, the intricate flowers of the Hellebores have been blooming since early February and will probably see us through for a little while yet, with their subtle tones, until they turn to green forever.
This last week has seen picking start in earnest. Buckets of Anemone,Prunus blossom, tissue paper like petals of the Ranunculus and the parchment like bud cases of the Narcissus before the flowers break though.
The welcome addition of the lime green umbels that are beginning to appear from the Alexanders together with the cymes of the beautiful Euphorbia that have lent themselves brilliantly to providing that all important contrast to the other early Spring blooms. Just looking forward to these now spanning the gap between the early Spring bulbs and the wonderous Tulips and Bluebells that follow.
From now on it will be full steam ahead, the flowers will keep on coming. More planting, seed sowing and cultivating will prevail but it has been fantastic this week to grasp what has come into its own and combine them together into bunches and more, for our customers to enjoy……