The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Flowers from the garden: March 2009

Posted in Flowers | 10 comments

Flowers from the garden: March 2009

I suddenly realised that I hadn’t posted “Flowers from the Garden” since Christmas. I have been picking flowers. Mini bunches of bulbs and Wintersweet in January. Hellebores and winter flowering honeysuckle in February. And now the garden is bursting into song with a background of flowers and unfurling leaves. Even though I don’t buy flowers anymore, I’m often tempted. This evening there were early scented white sweet peas, knocked down to 79p in Waitrose. My bargain hunting antennae whirled with pleasure until I remembered that...

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Ranunculus

Posted in Discoveries, Flowers | 22 comments

Ranunculus

This afternoon I fell in love. I was in Waitrose with my mother. Standing beside the flower stand. I don’t buy flowers for the cottage anymore but my mum often buys me flowers when we go shopping. “Why, these are beautiful.” She picked up some soft yet elegant flowers that we’d never seen before. We examined the label – Ranunculus. Such a clumsy name for an exquisite flower. Apparently it comes from the Latin and means little frog. As both the amphibian and plant enjoy a little damp. I’ve spent the evening getting acquainted with...

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Flowers from the garden : March 2008

Posted in Flowers | 6 comments

Flowers from the garden : March 2008

About fifteen years ago I found a wayside stand selling large bags of daffodil bulbs for next to nothing. Each spring I had enjoyed the sea of daffodils that bloomed outside the scatter of cottages. I snapped up several bags to plant in the front of the cottage. These are the paler daffodils in the vase. I used my grandmother’s trick for planting bulbs. To give a natural look to her planting schemes she gently threw the bulbs on to the ground and planted them where they fell. A few years later I spotted more daffodil bulbs for sale on...

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Hyacinths in the garden

Posted in Flowers | 1 comment

Hyacinths in the garden

I always plan to plant my hyacinths in the garden immediately after flowering indoors. They are put outside the back door and often forgotten. About fifty percent survive there. Sometimes I discover a forgotten pot the next year, bravely flowering, The stems pinched and weak, the bulbs nibbled by mice and slugs. If I’m galvanised, the indoor hyacinths are quickly transferred from their pots to the borders when the flowers fade. This year I cut off the dead flowers of my indoor hyacinths and put the pots in the greenhouse. I can’t...

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