The Cottage Smallholder

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Flowers from the garden: December 2008

Photo: Holly and rosehips

Photo: Holly and rosehips

It’s been two years since I decided to stop buying cut flowers for the cottage. I love flowers so the first year was difficult. It seemed as if there were flowers for sale everywhere. I was tempted at every turn.

This year the challenge has reaped dividends. I’ve overhauled the herbaceous borders over the past two years and now grow far more flowers than I used to. I treasure these flowers, whether they are growing in situ or picked to take indoors.

Searching for flowers, especially during the winter months, means examining the garden with a fine-tooth comb. I discovered this morning that primroses are already flowering in the frosty soil. These have happily self seeded all over the garden and will bloom on and off until Easter.

Today’s posy combines the young leaves of a small holly tree with the tiny hips of our prolific rose Rambling Rector. The holly tree was a present from the birds four years ago.

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  1. Pauline

    Your display is beautiful. You may also want to think about growing Daphne Bohlua in the garden, the scent from this is fabulous and you only need to cut one or two stems. another scented shrub which is fantastic for scenting the house is Sarcococca (also known as christmas box). They self seed all over so they can be potted up and grown on. I keep some small ones in pots to bring indoors and the scent lasts for around a week. when they get too big for that I either give them as gifts to friends and relatives or plant them in the ground. After the scent has faded put it back outside into a frost free greenhouse to get it used to the cold again. 3 or 4 of these scent the house for ages. you can also grow bulbs indoors in glass vases to provide more flowers for your house. Dig up a clump of grape hyacinth and they look so pretty in a vase, plus if its big enough they dont go too limp with all the central heating

  2. Lovely. It’s nice to grow your own flowers and witness nature in action.

  3. Happy New Year Danny and Fiona! Don’t think we are going to make it to midnight here! The best thing about only having flowers from your own garden is that your display changes constantly throughout the year and you have treats to look forward to when favourite flowers come around again. When I used to buy flowers I frequently bought the same ones whatever time of year.

  4. Happy New Year!

  5. Toffeeapple

    What a beautiful image you’ve posted there. Have a wonderful New Year.

  6. I love both things. The cheerful floral display you have achieved and the beautiful MinPin portrait. At the moment we have some flowers which were a gift and I have dog portraits too – so am nearly matching you.
    Happy New Year to you both x

  7. What a beautiful display. I have to rely on skimmia berries for my colour but they do go beautifully with the holly. One of the joys of your own flowers is you know they’re not releasing any nasty chemicals into your home. Your display is so simple but looks really professional.

  8. Allotment blogger

    My primroses haven’t come up this year. I have two snowdrops though and I notice a neighbour has fantastic displays of mahonia.

  9. Looks beautiful. I adore flowers, cant wait for spring for all our bulbs to come through.

  10. kate (uk)

    My primroses are blooming too, frozen, but blooming! Rosehips were eaten by a squirrel- I had some lovely fat round ones on one of my climbing roses, just the thing for Christmas flower arranging, I thought,naively.Next year I shall pick them early and keep them somewhere cool in water until I’m ready to use them.I had about two berries on the holly this year, but dogwood stems liven up a bunch of holly no end.

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