The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Flowers from the garden: March into April

self seeded flowers and weedsDanny used to say that he didn’t buy me flowers because I would think that he was having an affair. Despite assurances and numerous gentle hints, his trotters were in. So I always bought my own flowers until January 2007. Then I decided to try and not buy any for a whole year. I am noticing and enjoying the flowers in the garden much more as a consequence and picking these for the house.

We have been so busy lately that I missed the boat on the March Flowers From The Garden post. I picked daffodils (we have early and late) from the garden and mixed them with forsythia and cerise japonica flowers. This gave me a much more substantial bunch than the tiny posies for January and February.

I don’t know whether Danny is having an affair but he has helped during the real cold turkey times when I have to be blindfolded and led past the flower displays in the supermarket. He has bought me two lovely bunches of flowers.

As the late daffs are fading, tulips have opened. Tiny scilla are scattered in a bed near the back door and in the shady areas of the garden the bluebells are just about to flower.

But it’s this little patch that has given me the most pleasure over the past ten days. Entirely self seeded and right beside the front door to welcome us home.

You may be wondering why I have not weeded out the dandelion head. We make a good dandelion wine so they are allowed to flourish for the next few weeks. We pick a bucketful and then its war. And the daisies? I love them until they start to take over the lawn and then they are dug up and polietly asked to leave.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Yes, Dahlias are definitely worth considering. Thanks for the tip

    I used to think that dahlias were grown by grumpy old men that did not return your balls when they whizzed over the fence and hit them on the nose. We don’t grow them but now we will this year. We have no flowers in the house today, but tomorrow there will be a vase of bluebells (we also have pinkbells and whitebells).

    Sarah Raven’s site is always tempting. She has a penchant for finding the best of everything.

    Why did you give up buying flowers?

  2. Hi … I’m just the same about flowers, only one year ahead of you, and STILL sometimes suffer from cold turkey. Do you grow dahlias? They are THE most rewarding flower to cut, and so many are so beautiful (see Sarah Raven’s website for ideas), not at all the kind of allotment thing you might be expecting. The more you pick the more you get, and they’ll carry on until the first frosts. So lots of flowers for your house and to give to all your friends. This year, I’m intending to see if I can keep a couple going under cover until Christmas …


  3. Fiona Nevile

    Thanks, Freya.

    You don™t need a lot of space to keep bees. There are loads of beekeepers in cities. I’ve seen large hives in a pocket handkerchief garden. Bees in a small space need careful husbandry to avoid the risk of swarming and annoying near neighbours.

    Our garden table is about nine feet from our hives. We don’t really notice the bees when we are eating there in the summer.

  4. Fascinating blog! I love the article about the beekeeping in particular, something that I have long felt I would like to do when I have the garden space. The champ looks pretty delicious too!

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