The Cottage Smallholder

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Flowers from our gate side stand: May 2010


Photo: Posy from our gate side stand

Photo: Posy from our gate side stand

I haven’t posted ‘Flowers from the garden’  for ages – mainly because almost everything is sold on the gate side stand. Come high summer our cottage will be filled with flowers from the garden as I have armies of annuals impatiently waiting in the wings for all likelihood of frosts to be over.

At the moment commercialism triumphs over pleasure. We always put out fresh flowers so if a bunch is not snapped up within two days they are mine. A sort of jaded bliss – I’m supposed to be selling them after all.

So I’m changing the post to ‘Flowers from our gate side stand’ so you can see what we are selling or trying to sell each month. This little posy had its first outing today. The white briar rose like flowers are from a very rare yet nameless shrub that my mum saw being pruned about seventeen years ago in Cambridge. She asked for some cuttings and one took. It’s delighted me each year yet I never thought of cutting it to enjoy it indoors.

Everything in this bunch flowers each year from the species tulips to the bauble of white polyanthus. What a wonderful investment.

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  1. Jo @ LittleFfarm Dairy

    Gorgeous. I’d so much rather spontaneously present such a superb floribundance to a loved family member than opt for a pre-packed, standardised ‘hand-tied bouquet’ – if only you lived closer to my darling, adorable, blind Mum; as she would adore your naturally, abundantly-scented blooms.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Cottage garden farmer

    Thanks for that. The posies are fun to make!

    Hi Tricia

    It’s amazing how many things that I find in the garden to make up the posies. Can’t wait to be able to use taller flowers when they grow.

    Hi Paula

    Yes it does look like a clematis but it has woody stems!

    Hello Magic Cochin

    When I looked up your dogwood suggestion it was so similar that I thought you’d got it spot on. Somewhere in the cottage I have the RHS plant encyclopaedia but I just can’t find it!

    Hello Boofer

    No it doesn’t have glossy dark green leaves and peeling bark. Good try though.

    Hi Jane

    I looked up your suggestion and you’ve got it spot on. Thank you so much I’ve always wondered what the shrub was and would never have guessed that.

    Hello Diane

    Thanks for this comment! I’ve finally got totally comfortable about not buying flowers and this year I’m growing so many flowers for the gate side stand that I almost have my own florist’s shop!

    Thought of you when I found my first heart shaped stone in the garden last week.

  3. Magic Cochin

    Oooo yes! looks like Jane’s got it…


  4. Diane

    You have been my inspiration for over a year now – I have not bought shop flowers since I saw your blog – although mine are no where near the standard that yours are – gorgeous. xxxx

  5. Hard to be definite without being able to see the leaves but it looks to me like an ornamental Rubus (raspberry/blackberry family), possibly ‘Benenden’.

  6. Boofer

    Love reading this blog.

    I think the rose like white flowers might be Carpenteria californica. Does your shrub have glossy dark gree leaves and peeling pale brown bark?

  7. Magic Cochin

    Hi Fiona

    I thought Clematis, but them the centre of the flowr looks wrong and the fact you said it’s ashrub that you grew from apruning.

    Could your white flowered shrub be a Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii)? The North American dogwoods often have large white ‘flowers’ which are actually the sepals or bracts behind a cluster of tiny yellow-green flowers in the central boss. However they usually have just 4 bracts, but I think C. nuttallii often has more. The fact that it was easy to grow from a pruning is a clue that it could be a dogwood.

    Pretty Epimediums too.


  8. Paula

    that white flower looks mighty like a clematis…very pretty posy. sell, sell, sell!

  9. patricia ellingford

    Your flower posy creations are lovely and very professional, but with a charm all of their own they are like living oil paintings absolutely delightful.

    Keep up the good work

    Tricia (aka Pattypan)

  10. cottage garden farmer

    The posy looks beautiful,I’m sure you will sell all you can produce. Give me a bunch of real garden flowers rather than sterile florists flowers any day.

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