May is the hard work month on the flower farm. - In another 4 or so weeks, everything will be in the ground, and there will be "just" tending and picking to do. - But this month i'm running round trying to finish beds, plant or sow into every one of them, weeding like fury, and trying to let everyone know that they need to buy flowers from me.
and there are plenty of flowers coming on now. My months of winter planning is paying off, and last week I sold 26 different varieties of flowers, and 15 foliage and fillers to florists, and the local shop. (details here)- If anyone tells you they can't get a wide enough range in British Flowers, - they just aren't looking in the right places.
I have had help this week. - The Mowtivated team of Tristan and Nathan, shifted lots of manure and compost for me, which meant I had to do my least favourite job of Trailer driving to go and get loads of fabulous quality manure from David at his stables round the corner. This next picture may not be the most scintillating for most, but any flower farmer will know that perfectly prepared beds in the middle of May are just what you need.
These beds will also mean less weeding, as they're all created with our no-dig system, and the wood chip paths won't need mowing or edging. These are my August flowering beds, I'm trying to keep those flowers that'll be in bloom at the same time as close as possible together, so i'll walk less distance when i'm picking. - The August Asters, Sunflowers, Zinnias, Ammi, Ageratum, Daucus, and Amaranthus will all be in this area.
It's allium season at the farm. I'm now growing 10 different varieties, as they were so popular last year. - The Purple sensation and nigrum have come back wonderfully this year. - I had dispared at the grass and weeds in this bed, - but after they died back, we covered with a layer of well rotted manure, and put down black weed membrane. - This breathed and let the water in, - but it killed the weeds, and since taking it off in February the bulbs have grown back perfectly and very strongly.
The fences seem to be working.- and the perennial bed hasn't had any intruders in the last few weeks so it's growing well, and most importantly providing me with great blooms
and the annoying wildlife may be being kept out, - but i'm very please to see lots of insects all over the farm
Here's a bee on my cerinthe this morning
There's no open days in May, because i'm busy planting, - but if you'd like to keep up with what i'm doing, please do follow my instagram or facebook feeds, - lots of photos on there to let you know what i'm up to.