Outside-in charts my attempts to bring the garden into the house with haphazard English Freestyle flower arranging.
My favourite cutting flower this month has been the gaillardia. Not because of their sunny little faces – pretty as they are. It is their scent. For me, it is the true smell of a proper cut flower.
It takes me back 30-odd years to when I helped dad delivering veg to the wholesale market. We’d drive there in the mini pickup and find a spot to unload boxes of lettuce, crates of cabbage or whatever we had to sell that day. If we were lucky, The Broom Man (so christened by my sister and I because he was always sweeping the floor) would pilfer a couple of plums or a handful of cherries for us. One side-hall was always packed wall-to-wall with buckets and buckets of chrysanthemums. Their fresh smell filled the whole place, mingling with the earthier odours of spuds and cabbages.
When Steve grew the gaillardia I had no idea they would be so nostalgia-inducing. They have become another firm friend of the garden, and we will be growing more next year.
OK, so they aren’t flowers, but since they are adorning the kitchen walls at the moment, I thought the onions deserved a mention. I think I am happier with my onions than with any other veg we grew this year. I really neglected them, planted them too late, rarely watered them, let them get smothered by the rampant squash plants, but still they grew. This was a tri-colour set mix from Pennard Plants (everything I have grown from there this year has done brilliantly).
They looked so pretty that I couldn’t bear to put them away in a cupboard. I found some tips on plaiting onions on the Organic Gardening website, and decided to have a go. Considering my habitual clumsiness I was actually quite pleased with the result. They could be tidier, but they’ve been hanging for a few weeks now and haven’t unraveled. The trouble is, I like looking at them so much that I don’t want to eat them.
Cosmos, rudbeckia and verbena bonariensis are still prolific and providing us with plenty of plonk-and-go country bunches. I think we may get another month out of them.
Other than that, I’m not quite sure what we’ll be bringing into the house over the next few months before the spring bulbs make a start. Hopefully something I’ve forgotten about will come into flower soon.