The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Pink

Posted in Cottage tales, Flowers | 32 comments

Pink

A few years ago, when I was a decorator, I’d often receive a particular phone call. It was generally the same request on those occaisions. “I have a little girl and it will be her 5th (6th, 7th) birthday soon. She loves the colour pink. That’s Sindy Pink, do you know the colour? Would you be able to paint her bedroom on such a such a date so that when she comes home from school it will be the colour that she loves?” I managed it every time that there was a request. Even knew the colour number by heart. Going up the house, paint pots in...

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Flowers from the garden July 2012. One day late

Posted in Flowers | 5 comments

Flowers from the garden July 2012. One day late

About 18 months ago John (in the village shop) and I made a plan. I would order 100 carnation plant plugs, grow them on and supply the village shop with flowers. Carnations last very well as cut flowers, no chance of them wilting after just a few days. Perfect. When I was a struggling wooden toymaker I always bought carnations every week. These are the one flower that can go on and on if you change the water often and deadhead in the vase. Eventually the smaller buds on the stems flower and you can have a mini flower arrangement beside your...

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Grow feverfew – great as a moth repellent!

Posted in Flowers | 12 comments

Grow feverfew – great as a moth repellent!

Our garden grows feverfew like a weed. I rather like the small daisy like flowers. I used to keep just a few plants dotted around the garden but now I cherish them and harvest armfuls of plants in July. The flowers are a good remedy for treating headaches but when I was researching potpourri I discovered they are an extremely good moth repellent. Clearly moths don’t suffer from headaches as they steer clear. Moths can be a problem at the cottage. Not the beautiful specimens that fly through the open windows at night. Rather the clothes...

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Cut flower seeds to sow yourself in June or July for harvesting next year

Posted in Flowers | 4 comments

Cut flower seeds to sow yourself in June or July for harvesting next year

Izzy Bee stopped by the blog today and asked if I could give information on the flowers in my monthly bouquets as she is interested in growing her own flowers for cutting. I will update my June flowers from the garden post over the next few days. Growing your own flowers at home is a very eco friendly thing to do – no air miles, no chemicals to keep the flowers blooming for longer. Home grown flowers have a softness and charm that a florist can rarely replicate. Growing your own flowers also saves loads of money, compare the price of a...

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Flowers from the garden June 2012

Posted in Flowers | 18 comments

Flowers from the garden June 2012

Unless you have been reading this blog for a very long time you wouldn’t know that I used to spend £10 a week on flowers. Flowers have a transient beauty and this somehow makes them even more precious. A home without flowers always seemed rather a bleak place to me. This Chinese proverb explains the need for beauty in our lives. “When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.” Food for the body and food for the soul. Back in January 1997 I decided to give up buying flowers from...

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Check out this great Sungold seed offer and much, much more

Posted in Flowers, Vegetables | 16 comments

Check out this great Sungold seed offer and much, much more

I felt a bit of a pig last spring. Danny adores Sungold tomatoes but I suddenly couldn’t find my wallet when I saw the price on the pack – £2.99 for just ten F1 seeds. Feeling a bit guilty I bought one plant in a sale in late June. Perhaps this plant hadn’t had the coddling that one would usually give a tomato plant of this calibre, as it didn’t produce a great harvest. Just three trusses that were largely green by the end of September. We grew Sungold tomatoes years ago with great results so I decided that this year I’d invest...

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How to grow the best wallflowers

Posted in Flowers | 4 comments

How to grow the best wallflowers

When my mother married my step father she asked him if there was anything that he particularly wanted to see in our new garden. “Camellias and biannual wallflowers.” Was his instant response. My mother was a very keen gardener but she had never grown these plants. She mentioned years later that she hadn’t been happy with the wallflower request at the time. “They seemed to me such an ordinary and dull little plant. But when I smelt the heady scent, all was forgiven.” The trick with wallflowers is to plant them in large drifts rather...

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Tulips

Posted in Flowers | 4 comments

Tulips

I love flowers that open in the day when they are touched with sun and close when in shade. Somehow it seems as if they are even more alive. I was unaware that tulips do this as, until this year, they were just an occasional visitor in the garden. Last autumn I splashed out on tulips. I bought some rather pricey Thompson and Morgan collections. I know that tulip aficionados are a bit sniffy about ‘collections’ but I wanted a good show of early, mid season and late tulips. Basically I just needed to ‘Look and Learn’. If you don’t...

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