Monthly Archives: November 2015

Higgledy Garden Flower School. Year 2016. #1

The Higgledy Flower School Is Run As A Tight Ship.
The Higgledy Flower School Is Run As  A Tight Ship.

UPDATE! Please scroll to the bottom for links to all the lessons that have been published thus far.

The Higgledy Flower School 2016 will rather confusingly start in 2015…tomorrow in fact…I had intended to start my warblings in the new year as I normally do but I’m itching to get started. Seed sales are low at this time of year so I’ve got some time on my paws to get stuck into some writing.

The premise of the flower school is not  a series of modules and tests (shudder) but instead a it will take the form of a collection of articles that will appear daily from Monday to Friday from December until April.

UPDATE: Link to hub pages with all the lessons to date.

These articles will be made up of ‘How to’ tutorials and also of flower profiles. I stock a selection of close to 100 varieties of cut flower seeds and we shall be taking a look at all these varieties…how best to grow them and to show them.

From April we will get stuck into the practical side of the flower growing caper. This year saw the online Higgledy community grow…and it was nothing short of a joy to see so many folk sharing their photos on Twitter and Facebook. I would like to push this a little more next year and encourage some more guest posts too…I’m not demanding of great prose from anyone or even great spelling for that matter…and grammar is something that I have always felt should be a free style event. Guest posts from domestic growers on their first cut flower patch adventures tend to have a wealth information in them and a wonderful resource for other newbies. Many of the Higgledy community have been growing for decades and know far more on the subject than myself, (being that I am only a slip of a lad and never been kissed)…posts from this end of the knowledge pool will be most helpful too of course.

Noble Furface wearing his combat harness, ever vigilant for Russian horticulturalists.
Noble Furface (Teaching Assistant)

I will be giving regular updates from my allotment (and my bucket garden) of successes and failures. If new growers wish to be taken by the hand through the flower patch year then I would be delighted to be of assistance.

The 2016 Flower School will have more of an emphasis on floristry skills than previous years when I have devoted perhaps too much time to the growing side of things and not enough to the craft of arranging and hand bouquets and hair crowns and all that shizzle. To be honest…I am rubbish at that side of things and so will be begging the likes of Garden Gate Flowers, Common Farm Flowers and the good people of Organic Blooms to share their skills with us.

Once the mad spring rush to get everyone’s seeds shipped out has finished….and my own allotment has been set straight on its trajectory of excellence, it will be time for some travels. I shall be interviewing the good and the great and will be visiting a host of flower farmers and domestic growers down here in the South West in the spring and summer.

Sweet William 'Auricula Eyed' amongst other beauties...these grown by Celia Hart...thx Celia.
Sweet William ‘Auricula Eyed’ amongst other beauties…these grown by Celia Hart…thx Celia.

It will be delightful to have you along for the year as part of the community…Higgledy Flower School is completely free…you don’t have to sign up to anything or give me your email address….just simply tune into the website when you have time and if you have anything to contribute then please post up onto the Higgledy pages on either Twitter or Facebook.

I will of course be doing my best to gently nudge you into buying my flower seeds rather than those from the major seed houses but it is not a prerequisite.

So…sharpen you pencils and polish your shoes…first day of school tomorrow….we shall be looking at the design and preparation of your cut flower beds…don’t be late otherwise there will be detention.

I will aim to have the posts up and live by teatime each day.

If the Higgledy Flower School may be of interest to your chums would you please share by clicking one of the boxes below. Many thanks.

Kindest regards

Benjamin Higgledy.

*Utilising Seedling Tunnels. #33

*Experiment. Early Vs Late Sowing #32

*Scabiosa stellata ‘Ping Pong’ #31

*Craspedia #30

*How to grow an edible flower patch #29

*Corncockle #28

*Cleome #27

*Nasturtium #26

*Malope trifida ‘Vulcan’ #25

*When to sow annual flower seeds #24

*Cerinthe #23

*Sowing flower seeds in January #22

*Ammi visnaga #21

*Cut flower patch in containers? #20

*Aster #19

*Cosmos #18

*Cornflowers #17

*Briza #16

*Nigella #15

*Didiscus #14

*Mina lobata #13

*Ammi majus #12

*Tithonia rotundifolia #11

*Hesperis matronalis #10

*Calendula officinalis #9

*Larkspur #8

*Perennial Flowers #7

*Biennial Flowers #6

*Half Hardy Annual Flowers #5

*Hardy Annual Flowers #4

*What Flowers To Grow In The Cutting Garden #3

*Preparing Cut Flower Beds #2

 

 

 

Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers. Georgie Newbery.

 

Common FarmGeorgie from Common Farm Flowers has been at it again…author of ‘The Flower Farmer’s Year’ has returned with another belter…this time aimed at those poor, lost souls intent on getting wed. The average cost for wedding flowers runs at between £1500 and £2000. Georgie’s book encourages folk to bring a more personal element to their ‘special day’ (shudder) by growing their own wedding flowers….whilst saving a few bob at the same time.

common Farm 2

Right…first off the bat…this book isn’t aimed at me. I am terrified of brides and point blank refuse to produce flowers for weddings. I’ll do funeral flowers until they’re coming out of my ears…I LOVE a good funeral but weddings…no…not for me thanks. This of course means Georgie’s book comes as a Godsend as I can now simply send wedding punters in its direction via my seedy emporium.

Inside, readers will find information on:

 

  • Planning, growing, cutting and conditioning your flowers
  • Spring, summer, autumn and winter weddings
  • Flower craft for special occasions, including buttonholes, bouquets, centrepieces, garlands and flower crowns.

Common Farm 3

Georgie’s previous book ‘The Flower Farmer’s Year’, certainly has more information on how to go about the business of growing flowers for cutting. Whereas ‘Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers’ has a good deal carefully set aside to demonstrate how to go about the floristry aspect of the caper.

I have heard on the flowery grapevine that Common Farm Flowers do fifty weddings a year…yes fifty…so I expect she knows what she’s on about. It certainly seems so…and the book is written in Georgie’s clear, concise and witty style which is as informative as it is entertaining.

common Farm 4

Interestingly there is a forward written by a lady called Sarah Raven…I’m sure that you, much like myself aren’t familiar with this name….so…to get you up to speed I did some Googling and discovered that Mrs Raven grows some flowers behind the old closed down Pound Shop on the Littlehampton ringroad.

Should you buy this book? Well of course you should. There are only a handful of books worth buying on the subject of growing and cutting flowers  and this is one of them…AND I get a mention in at as being  the best flower seed provider in the whole wide world…(perhaps not word for word.)

‘Grow Your Own Wedding Flowers’ is out today…you can get yourself a slice of the floral action by clicking over to ‘Green Books’.

Georgie Newbery is a very approachable lady…you can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Kindest regards

Higgers.

 

 

‘Seeds To Sow In Early Spring.’ Collection.

 

I wanted to make a simple collection of seeds that are straight forward to grow by direct sowing in early spring. By early spring I mean the beginning of April in the far south west, mid April for most of the UK and the end of April for those north of the border. Wait until you can see your native weeds start to germinate, this is the best indicator that the soil is warming up.

View ‘Seeds To Sow In Early Spring’ in the seed shop.

If you haven’t sown up a cutting patch before its best to keep things simple. I sow in three straight lines a foot apart. Learn more: Top 10 Tips When Starting A Cutting Patch.

All of the seeds in this collection should be visible in two or three weeks…a month tops, if its a chilly start to the year.

blue

*Salvia ‘Blue Monday’

calendula-flowers1 (1)

*Calendula ‘Art Shades’

Cornflowers-Blue-Boy

*Cornflower ‘Blue Ball’

phacelia-tanacetifolia-heritage-farm (1)

*Phacelia

ivory-1024x694
‘Ivory Castle & Orange King’

*California Poppy ‘Ivory Castle’

Dill-seeds

*Dill ‘Mammoth’

borage-bee

*Borage Officinalis

Corncockles are super easy to grow and are very handsome indeed.

*Corncockle

Candytuft 'Crown'

*Candytuft ‘Crown’

briza seeds

*Briza Maxima (This is an ornamental grass that is wonderful for cutting.)

If you have any questions about this collection or just want some flowery banter…then please come and say hello on either Facebook or Twitter.

View ‘Seeds To Sow In Early Spring’ in the seed shop.

Kind regards

Benjamin Higgledy