Since our last farm update at the end of March, we’ve had our ranunculus season and boy, did they put on a show for us. They’ve gone down really well with our customers and we just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s bought our field flowers so far, we’re so pleased to see them making their way across the country and in to your homes.
We’ve still got some butterfly ranunculus and we’re now well in to our sweet peas and snapdragons and our clarkia and cynoglossum, or chinese forget-me-not, have just bloomed. The sweet peas are now really tall, almost reaching the top of the polytunnel. They have a shorter vase life than some flowers, which we were expecting, but customer feedback suggests that their incredible scent makes up for it! In May we introduced our Mixed Selection Boxes – a mixed selection of the best stems on the farm – and they have gone down a storm. These are available to buy now and we currently have a bright option, including blue cynoglossum, sweet peas, watermelon-red snapdragons and orange butterfly ranunculus, or a pale option including pink cynoglossum, sweet peas, clarkia and pale snapdragons. Or if you’d rather, you can buy cynoglossum or clarkia as a single stem variety.
All the ranunculus beds have been dug up and we’re trying our hand at saving corms to see how they fare with replanting. We’ve only done this with two of the beds as we have to wait for the foliage to all die down so the goodness goes back in to the corms and we don’t want to waste space leaving them in all of the beds. But we’re waiting to plant chrysanthemums in to those two beds, which don’t arrive until June, so we don’t need to pull up the corms until they need planting in their place.
We’ve planted lots of phlox and rudbekia in the tunnel. A lot of stuff went in the tunnels that was originally going to go outside – we had frosts as late as May 7th so it was still too cold to plant outside but the things in cell trays desperately needed to be planted as they’d taken all the nutrients they could from their cell trays and risked dying if we left them much longer. That means we’ve had to change our planting layout quite a bit.
We also had no rain for 6 weeks so the ground was like concrete which is why we planted outside later than we expected. We’re trying as much as possible not to dig the field too much but in the end we did have to get a rotovator (like a mini plough) in order to loosen the hard ground so it would absorb water and we could plant in to it – you couldn’t even get a trowel in!
We’ve planted out all our delphiniums, annual chrysants, our second planting of snapdragons (outside this time as it’s now warmer), outdoor asters, zinnias, agrostemma, salvias and cosmos. Crows took up all the foxgloves so we need to plant these again – this means we may have to wait until next year for these now.
Our geranium cuttings have also been planted so later in the year we should have some scented foliage. It’s a perennial, so we don’t want to give a whole bed to it in the tunnel as it’ll take up needed space, so we’re trialing one bed inside and one bed outside for this to see if we can grow it outside if possible. Mint and oergano have also been planted. We also did a test for tobacco plant, or ‘nicotiana’, and they’ve all germinated really well so it exceeded our expectations and we’ve now planted that out too.
The verbascum has started blooming outside in one of the beds. We’re going to do a few transport tests with this as we’re not sure it’s going to fare too well travelling overnight – watch this space. We expect to see the larkspur blooming in a few weeks and we’ve done a trial patch of one variety of sunflowers and we’ve just planted the seeds for another two varieties.
We now have two dedicated field workers, the lovely Meg and Em, who cut the field flowers, plant out, weed, destring the sweet peas and anything else that needs to be done to take care of our blooms and get them to you looking fresh and happy.
Check out our current selection of Field Flowers available to buy now.
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