In the dark dull depths of January, there is a slow beautiful stillness if you just stop a moment to observe it.
Every New Year there’s the opportunity for a new start. Every New Year there’s a moment to ask yourself if you are choosing to do with your time what you want. We are well into January as I write this but I am sure you’ll forgive the reflective delay.
The recent death of the poet Mary Oliver has me reflecting on one of her most famously quoted lines:
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?Mary Oliver (1935-2019)
Of course, I have not been very still recently with creating flower beds, barrowing manure and planting. There is purpose for me in creating that raised bed in my cutting garden. And yes, even now, there are things that can be planted.
And lists. I have written the odd list! I have great plans for my canalside cutting garden for 2019.
The shortest day may be well behind us, but it’s still feels like the dark is winning. By the time we’re back in the house it is totally dark. You never realise how dark it is getting as your eyes continue to acclimatise. The robins have been chirping to each other all day swooping down to pick up the worms that I am unearthing one wheelbarrow load after another. Obviously I’d prefer the worms to work on my soil but who would ever deny a worm to a robin when they give you such company.
This is what I have chosen and what I am choosing to do with my time.
A new bed is being made too with the now familiar “No Dig” method of Charles Dowding which I discussed in a previous blog post. No dig, not no effort mind you as I found out last year. It’s another good days work putting a good thick layer of manure onto the cardboard. Luckily, we have a very generous neighbour whose farm tractor tips buckets of their finest manure into our paddock. Although you may consider it a strange gift, I considered it the essence of kindness for there could have been no finer Christmas present. It was exactly what I wanted!
I have been thinking about 2018, not for any sentimental reasons but just to fix it in my mind. It seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. Not that I’d wish it back mind you. I’ve come to the view it as the best of times, and the worst of times to quote Charles Dickens from his Tale of Two Cities.
From that incredible freezing cold winter when you thought that spring would never come. Goodness only knows how the dahlia tubers survived, and to be honest some of them didn’t. Then, the hottest summer in a generation beat down relentlessly and I thought that we would never stop watering. Had I known that, I would perhaps have delayed expanding my cutting garden quite so much. Last years canal breach meant stagnant water next to our wharf and literally clouds of mosquito’s hung around for months. You can image my joy at the sight of the boats again when it was reopened just before Christmas.
It’s going to be an interesting year for british flowers. not the least of which will be influenced by the current political climate. British flowers continue to be included in many wedding trend forecasts for 2019. I confess a bias but having already spoken with a number of brides this year, they describe to me their interest in seasonality and british flowers. They tell me that they care that their flowers are kind to the environment. Of course they are speaking with a kindred spirit and I am delighted they share my views.
The season for growing British flowers is largely driven by the nature of the weather, even if you do cover and cosset them a bit. My greenhouse gets my seedlings going but then my flowers are out in the elements, grown in our paddock next to the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. Left to the weathers devices, and hopefully with not too many bunnies hopping along, I can pick flowers when they choose to bloom.
There is meaning in that seasonal connection for me, and as it turns out, there are an increasing number of wedding couples who feel the same way.
If you are interested, you can review some of my wild garden style wedding flowers ideas.
I hope my wild garden style floristry ethos resonates with you. If you want to embrace your wild romantic side and would like to discuss your forthcoming wedding or event then I'd be delighted to hear from you.
A 19th century historic wharf and Cheshire canalside cutting garden is the inspiration for our wild garden style ethos. I root my floral design in every precious fleeting seasonal moment, growing and creating only ever with local seasonal scented British flowers.
If sustainability matters to you, if you care that floral creations are as kind to the environment as they are beautiful, then I am a kindred spirit.
We share our artisan florals in our live online virtual flower classes, and with our flowers, create bouquets and undertake a few intimate Cheshire weddings a year.