Tag Archives: autumn

A dirty word… Christmas!

Ok, so it’s only September 1st… yesterday was still August for pete’s sake, but I find myself writing about flowers for Christmas. For some, this is just rude to talk about when we haven’t even packed away our summer skirts and thought about getting out the thermals yet. However, it is now that I find myself collecting up bits and pieces for use at Christmas. What better gift to give at Christmas than a home grown, home made Christmas decoration. All that’s involved is a little pre planning. There is heaps that can be picked, dried, collected and stored for use at Christmas.

Christmas-Wreath-Crafts-8

Almost all plant material can be dried, everything from flowers, foliage, seedheads, grasses, nuts and cones. Natures larder really is bursting right now. There really is no limit to what you can harvest, and if in doubt, what have you got to loose? if you try to dry it and it is a spectacular failure, so what?! Just be sure you always take much more than you anticipate needing as you will have failure to some extent.

Use your imagination when collecting, I like to include feathers( pheasant is a favourite….sometimes my cockerel drops the odd feather too!). Lichens can be stunning as can barks of different textures and colours, as the autumnal leaves change their colours collect them too. Seed heads are the obvious ones. I could write a list as long as my arm of all the ones I use, teasel, allium, poppy, nigella, cardoon, eryngium, echinops to name a few. There are plenty of flowers that dry very well, amaranth, cockscomb, celosia, helichrysum, statice, hydrangea. My daughter takes great pleasure in finding all sorts of treasures, especially cones and acorns, i’m sure she was a squirrel in a past life!

dried hydrangea wreath

What ever you are harvesting for your Christmas extravaganza, make sure to collect it when it is dry, avoid recent rain or morning dew. Always use a sharp blade and choose specimens of good quality. Some plant material is naturally dry like seed pods, grasses ect and will take little effort to preserve them. Air drying is the easiest way to preserve plant material. Simply tie together in a loose bunch and hang upside down in a dark, warm, dry place for 1-3 weeks.

All you need do then is get out the glue perhaps some ribbon a little glitz and let the creative juices flow!!

Ok, so it’s only September 1st… yesterday was still August for pete’s sake, but I find myself writing about flowers for Christmas. For some, this is just rude to talk about when we haven’t even packed away our summer skirts and thought about getting out the thermals yet. However, it is now that I find myself collecting up bits and pieces for use at Christmas. What better gift to give at Christmas than a home grown, home made Christmas decoration. All that’s involved is a little pre planning. There is heaps that can be picked, dried, collected and stored for use at Christmas.

Christmas-Wreath-Crafts-8

Almost all plant material can be dried, everything from flowers, foliage, seedheads, grasses, nuts and cones. Natures larder really is bursting right now. There really is no limit to what you can harvest, and if in doubt, what have you got to loose? if you try to dry it and it is a spectacular failure, so what?! Just be sure you always take much more than you anticipate needing as you will have failure to some extent.

Use your imagination when collecting, I like to include feathers( pheasant is a favourite….sometimes my cockerel drops the odd feather too!). Lichens can be stunning as can barks of different textures and colours, as the autumnal leaves change their colours collect them too. Seed heads are the obvious ones. I could write a list as long as my arm of all the ones I use, teasel, allium, poppy, nigella, cardoon, eryngium, echinops to name a few. There are plenty of flowers that dry very well, amaranth, cockscomb, celosia, helichrysum, statice, hydrangea. My daughter takes great pleasure in finding all sorts of treasures, especially cones and acorns, i’m sure she was a squirrel in a past life!

dried hydrangea wreath

What ever you are harvesting for your Christmas extravaganza, make sure to collect it when it is dry, avoid recent rain or morning dew. Always use a sharp blade and choose specimens of good quality. Some plant material is naturally dry like seed pods, grasses ect and will take little effort to preserve them. Air drying is the easiest way to preserve plant material. Simply tie together in a loose bunch and hang upside down in a dark, warm, dry place for 1-3 weeks.

All you need do then is get out the glue perhaps some ribbon a little glitz and let the creative juices flow!!

Zany Zinnia Sept 1st

I can’t quite believe it’s September already, with the lovely summer we have had it seems quite impossible that we are now into Autumn, and with it the downward turn in the season. Nevertheless, there is still plenty a blooming. A flower I have always grown predominantly for flowering later in the season is the zany Zinnia. An annual flower ridiculously easily grown from seed, starts to flower just as all other high summer annuals are becoming rather tired.

Zinnias fell out of favour for a while with home gardeners, but they are now back in fashion with a vengeance.

ZinniaI grow a variety called Tetra Flowered “State Fair” which is a lovely old series of giant dahlia-flowered zinnias from the 70’s. A time tested winner that performs well in the garden and in the vase, and is great for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden.

The semi-double blooms are large and long-lasting. The blooms grow to around 10 to 15 cm (4 to 5in) wide and come a full range of bright uniform colours including scarlet, pale rose, orange, bright pink and dark pink.

State Fair is a tall and sturdy plant and an excellent choice for garden colour when all else starts to look drab. They have greater tolerance to diseases than other cut flower zinnias. The thick stems are less likely to bend when being cut and the blooms have a longer vase life.

Zinnias are the perfect flower for beginners, they are extremely easy to grow from seed and provide colour from mid-summer to first frosts, keep cutting and they keep reappearing, an absolute ‘must have’ flower in the garden is the old fashioned Zinnia.

I can’t quite believe it’s September already, with the lovely summer we have had it seems quite impossible that we are now into Autumn, and with it the downward turn in the season. Nevertheless, there is still plenty a blooming. A flower I have always grown predominantly for flowering later in the season is the zany Zinnia. An annual flower ridiculously easily grown from seed, starts to flower just as all other high summer annuals are becoming rather tired.

Zinnias fell out of favour for a while with home gardeners, but they are now back in fashion with a vengeance.

ZinniaI grow a variety called Tetra Flowered “State Fair” which is a lovely old series of giant dahlia-flowered zinnias from the 70’s. A time tested winner that performs well in the garden and in the vase, and is great for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden.

The semi-double blooms are large and long-lasting. The blooms grow to around 10 to 15 cm (4 to 5in) wide and come a full range of bright uniform colours including scarlet, pale rose, orange, bright pink and dark pink.

State Fair is a tall and sturdy plant and an excellent choice for garden colour when all else starts to look drab. They have greater tolerance to diseases than other cut flower zinnias. The thick stems are less likely to bend when being cut and the blooms have a longer vase life.

Zinnias are the perfect flower for beginners, they are extremely easy to grow from seed and provide colour from mid-summer to first frosts, keep cutting and they keep reappearing, an absolute ‘must have’ flower in the garden is the old fashioned Zinnia.