I started the season late this year, growing flowers up north being notoriously tricky. My only excuse was an on-going concern with what looked like an even larger gastropod population than last year!
What did work well for snail and slug defence were copper rings and a thin layer of finely milled egg shells (a trick from my dad) The eggshell is especially useful for those tiny soil slugs that seem to wreak so much damage. I thought they would struggle the more coarse the shell but in actual fact, it is fine eggshell powder that deters the most. I also watered with nematodes for the first time ever this year – it seemed to help but the cost my dears readers. Still, my mistlethrushes were happy.
Happy Halloween did very well for me providing its bright orange blooms right through till the darkest days of Autumn.
I pick my dahlias first thing in the morning or in the cool of the evening (not a problem with the weather this year), strip the leaves and plunge into tepid water with a cleanly snipped stem. They are really easy to add into arrangements, with the heads of larger varieties sitting really well as a focal in the centre or at the bottom edge of a hand tie where their huge splendour can be seen to its best advantage. They easily last a week or longer.
I pick my dahlias first thing in the morning or in the cool of the evening.
In my floral design work this year, I could not get enough of the really gorgeous dark blooms for a pop of colour. Sam Hopkins (purchased from Sarah Raven) has become a favourite, with its rich dark maroon petals creating the perfect foil for a sophisticated tonal colour palette. I have added it with antique carnations and cut from my garden pale pink Japanese anemones, pink scented geranium foliage and flowering mint to great effect.
I have my eye on a few other varieties for next year although there is the minor detail of needing to dig another bed (I haven’t mentioned this to the other half yet my darlings). Cafe au lait is my desire du jour with its large beautiful powder pale heads, not to mention it is in virtually every bouquet I love on Pinterest. I plan on adding a few more darks like Rip City, Karma Choc, La Recoleta and Chat Noir. I also have my eye on a lovely green/white one called Blanc Y Verde and a pink ball of loveliness called Wizard of Oz. Wish me luck.
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