The Higgledy Garden ‘Bee Friendly‘ seed collection (£10 for 10 packets inc free shipping) has been selling like the proverbial warm buns this Christmas. I have decided not to charge for my wrapping service…it IS Christmas after all. However, perhaps just offering one wrapped collection is a little…well…limited…so I am including two others at different price points:
The ‘Complete Cut Flower Patch 2014‘ has 20 packets of seeds for £19.50 and includes free shipping. This collection is Christmas wrapped in two separate parcels…naturally this will make the giver look twice as generous and the receiver will be blown away with love, admiration and eternal devotion. After all…what is Christmas all about if not to do your best to make people like you more.
The ‘Edible Flower Collection‘ has been super popular this year…this has six of the best flowers for your food…and they also double as cut flowers should you want them in the vase rather than the table…how cool is THAT! This collection come in at just £6.00…in order to have free delivery you will need to spend another four sobs as £10 and over is my ‘Free shipping’ threshold…or buy two edible collections and get two different people adoring the very ground you walk on.
I hope you are all having a mighty fine weekend.
I have been a busy boy and have been wrapping up my ‘Bee Friendly’ seed collections and making natty little labels that exude all that is good about hand made stuff. This burst of festive activity has made me come over all schmolzty and so I have decided to drop my wrapping charges and instead send the wrapped collections straight to your door for just £10.
To find out about the collection and to order…please click ‘Bee Friendly Seed Collection‘. …and yes…this is the very same collection that the lovely people in The Guardian Magazine said nice things about.
Happy December one and all!
The Higgledy Elf
Now…you could be forgiven for thinking that growing ‘Higgledy Herbs’ is probably an arrestable offence that involves special lights and a lock up garage in Mile End…but no. These herbs of which I speak are for the purpose of wiggling themselves around the flowers in your vases. Sure, they have other purposes in fact our ancestors thought many of these herbs had magical powers…and they held these thoughts for many more centuries than we have dropped the idea. Do I think they’re magical? Well of course I do…but then again I also believe my dog Harry has travelled from back from the future and is in fact a canine assassin on a mission to advert global disaster……but not until after a few naps and a couple of biscuits.
Using herbs with the flowers that you harvest from your cut flower patch will take the whole craft up a level. The herbs not only add a wonderful range of textures and shades of green but also have delightful flowers in their own right…and of course have their unique scents.
Choosing the herbs to sell in the Higgledy Shop has been tricky…my experience of growing many of them is limited and I have relied heavily on my digital pals on Twitter and I have had plenty of advice from dozens of them. May I take this opportunity to thank them. But now the dust has settled I have come up with a final list of ten herbs…
These will be sold in individual packets and also as a collection. All ten varieties for £10.
*Calendula Officinalis (Natural Form)
Over the next week I shall be writing growing guides for these splendid critters and adding them to the shop as I go along. Next season (not far off now!) I shall of course be growing them all and writing up progress…can’t wait…2014 is going to be GREAT! …well it will be…if Harry wakes up and saves the day…
I am a huge fan of having mixed beds in the Higgledy Garden. I always (nearly always) prepare beds with three rows each a foot apart. However I don’t necessarily keep one variety per row as is usual in production flower growing. Mixed beds not only look more natural but they help stop the spread of disease.
(Please excuse the quality of these pics…I have just found them hiding on my mobile phone…but they give a good idea of how I have the garden.)
I find that harvesting flowers in mixed beds is a much more pleasurable experience…just tootle along cutting anything that takes your fancy…remember that for the most part with annuals, if you cut above a leaf node you will get more flowers blooming in a couple of weeks.
Right…what have we got in the above photo…Cleome in the foreground…some lovely light blue Larkspur ‘Imperials’….Zinnia….Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’….and some Cosmos ‘Purity’. These beds were a little late starting to flower because of the freezing start to the year…but from early July right through until earlier this month they were super productive…I had FAR more than I could use.
All my beds are a little over a metre wide, this means I can easily reach the middle from either side without treading on the beds…training Harry the hound not to tread on the beds is proving a losing battle. Most of these beds are direct sown…ie I have sown the seeds straight into the soil rather than starting them in pots. The beds are 20 metres long…I often sow VERY thinly but over sow with different varieties…then a few weeks later thin out the seedlings…but then I am a trained professional and rock n roll flower maverick…
Furface with some glorious Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’…these Rudbeckia aren’t as productive as ‘Marmalade’ but they still provide heaps of amazing blooms with beautiful green eyes…proper Celtic totty…
This was my first year growing Coreopsis ‘Mardi Gras’ and it is a keeper…the colours are really rich and creamy and each plant produces thousands of flowers. The seeds aren’t in the shop yet but I will have some by the spring. To the left we have Cosmos ‘Purity’…
When you sow direct you will find you have gaps…especially if you sow thinly…these gaps are perfect for half hardy annuals that you have started off under cover…just wait until the frosts have scuttled off back to the pole.
Naturally you can sow a single variety per row…or even per bed…the choice is yours but to my mind a mixed bed is a thing of great beauty…and being surrounded by great beauty is not such a bad thing.
PS The Higgledy Garden ‘Complete Cut Flower Patch 2014‘ will see you straight if you want beds like these…and would easily fill two of these twenty metre beds as I shall be proving (without the aid of a safety net) from April of next year.
This year’s season was nothing less than most excellent, I had my first year growing flowers in the might county of Cornwall on a lovely patch of land offered up by Mark of @The10minutegardener fame. Unless Mark throws me off I shall be growing there for the 2014 season…in fact I have my Autumn sown seedlings romping away there already.
BUT there will be some changes…oh yes indeed. I will outline a brief plan…however please bear in mind I will probably change my mind…or forget…or marry an exiled Swedish princess and go and live on a roundabout in Bromley.
The first big change will be that I will separate my main 20 x 1.5 metre beds into:
*The ‘Autumn Sown Extravaganza of Dreams’. (if you build it they will come)
All the hardy greats are in this one…mainly my ‘seeds to sow in Autumn Collection‘ but also some others like Ammi Visnaga, Candytuft ‘Crown’, Phacelia and Lupin ‘Sunrise’ amongst others. This bed is VERY unusual for the Higgledy Garden in as much as it has been sown by broadcasting the seed and not sowing them in straight drills. It will be a nightmare trying to keep it weed free…but I will keep you updated and feel free to laugh out loud. When it flowers however…you will see my masterpiece come alive…I am hoping it will be flowering its knickers off in May and all will be well with the world.
*The Perennial Patch of Perfection. (if you build it they will come…and go…and then come back again)
The carefully chosen Higgledy Perennials are all in this one…I only stock about ten varieties…I should make a ‘perennial collection’ of seeds for the shop thinking about it. I am a little soft on growing annuals…I just love love love ‘em…and this love has blinded me to the wonders of the perennial flower kingdom. So I have been working on a dedicated perennial bed, it is half way planted up and I will finish it next year. Flowers include Echinacea, Achillea, Echinops, Chrysanthemum, Knautia and Craspedia. This bed will make an excellent and reliable cut flower patch, year in year out.
This most wonderful of beds will be a mixture of my favourite hardy and half hardy annual flowers from my ‘Complete Cut Flower Patch Collection’. I will divide the bed in two, as one half of the collection is also my ‘Bee Friendly’ Collection which can be bought separately.)
This will be a 1/2 size 10 metre bed…yes…still pretty big. I aim to have this bed as a super productive bed with the most flowers per square metre of any other bed in the whole of Christendom and beyond. This bed will be flowering in June and will go right through until this time next year.
The edible flower patch will take up the other 10 metres that the ‘flowers for a small cutting patch’ took up. This delightful little number will provide super groovy gems for salads, fishfinger sandwiches and pasties.
Yes Yes Yes…these June sown babes will be flouncing about the Higgledy Garden in early spring and making feel all smug about having flowers to cut so early…the bed is in the semi shade thrown about by a gum tree.
*The rest of the beds will be used for any remaining varieties that I sell in the Higgledy Shop but aren’t included in the aforementioned beds.
I shall as usual be warbling on about flower growing all through the season here on the blog.
Please let me know if you think there is a variety that I should be growing and selling in the shop.