The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Flowers from the garden: February 2010


Photo: Late witer flowers

Photo: Late witer flowers

It’s been just over three years since I gave up buying flowers for the cottage. In January 2007  I decided to save a cool £500 a year and not buy those tempting bunches from the supermarket. The first year was quite tough as I didn’t grow many flowers in the garden and I like to have vases of flowers dotted about the cottage. Gradually I’ve overhauled the herbaceous borders and planted more flowering perenials. This year I’m even growing flowers from seed to sell at the garden gate in the summer.

Over the years I’ve come to prefer flowers from the garden to shop bought ones. Homegrown have a softness and delicacy that is rarely found in commercially grown blooms. And of course no air miles or chemicals are involved.

The recent weeks of snow and freezing temperatures have held growth back in the garden. The snowdrops and aconites are finally flowering and the scent of Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox)  wafts across to greet us when we open the front door. If we have a stretch of warmer weather the winter flowering honeysuckle (Lonicera × purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’)  that grows beside the front door should start flowering again. This is a shrub with a glorious lemony scent that thrives against a south or south west facing wall.

The little glass holds snowdrops, aconites and Wintersweet. Incidentally I’ve discovered that the flowers from Wintersweet can be dried and added to homemade pot-pourri. So that’s the dehydrator’s  task worked out for today. And when the honeysuckle starts flowering I’m going to dry some of the flowers too. I’m excited by the prospect of making homemade pot-pourri – the start of a whole new adventure.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Joanna

    Needs must. I’m trying to work out what I enjoy doing most and then whether I can get a streams of
    income from them.

    I’m having fun!

    Hi Petoskystone

    I’ve only dried lavender before so this is experimental for me. I’ll make notes on my mixes and publish them on the blog.

    Hi Wendy

    Thanks for dropping by.

    Sadly Mrs Sqeaky Clean died last summer.

    Hi Mandi

    Another inspirational idea. Thank You!

    Hi Toffeeapple

    I love the garden gate stand – it’s a whole new adventure.

    Hi Liz

    Bulbs are a great investment as they come up year after year.

    Hello Judy

    What a brilliant idea. Thank you.

  2. And if you place your small vase with snowdrops on a mirror it will double your please. Also nice to see the reflected inside of the dangling flowers.

    Judy in New jersey where the snowdrops (if any) are still deeply buried in snow

  3. Thanks so much for the lovely piccies of the flowers from your garden – They are such a comfort. Also, I’m inspired! My flower habit comes from fortnightly visits to my Nan, bunch of supermarket flowers in hand…
    Today I’ll allow myself a birthday treat of some of the tempting bulbs in the garden centre, with the excuse of growing them for cut flowers!

  4. Toffeeapple

    I’m glad the ideas are still coming for the garden gate.

  5. oo another spark… for the summer if you can get or have pressed flower heads small daisies etc things that keep good colour pressed flat, coloured card..and a laminator….. flower book marks script writing a moto or wise saying in nice swirly black ink maybe a ribbon or tassle, lay all out on the card and laminate with flower head encased marks… byeeeee

  6. Keeping my fingers crossed it works in the dehydrator fiona, will smile as I go past the flower skip in the morning now 🙂

  7. I love seeing your flower arrangements as you know. This one is very pretty and delicate.
    By the way is Mrs.Squeaky-Clean still with you, I always loved the sound of her!

  8. petoskystone

    i like grown flowers, esp. roses, as the factory-bred have the scent bred out of them! homemade potpurri is what i must have as factory-made scent makes it difficult to breathe. interested in hearing what scents you use!

  9. You seem to be brimming with ideas Fiona 🙂

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