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News from My Flower Patch

Here you will find news of what we are doing at My Flower Patch. We might tell you what we are growing, planting or picking at the moment. We will tell you about any exciting events we might be attending, or maybe just feature a favourite flower. There will often be lots of pretty photographs, that's for sure! Click "Subscribe Now' to make sure you don't miss any posts.


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Christmas Wreath Workshops

Apologies for mentioning Christmas in September - but we have already announced our wreath workshop dates for this year to our newsletter subscribers and we have sold over a third of the places already. 

So here are our Christmas Wreath Workshops dates for 2018, so that you still have time to take advantage of our early bird discount. 
 
Daytime Workshops £40 or early bird price of £35
Sunday 25th November 10am - 1pm
Monday 26th November 10am - 1pm
Saturday 1st December 10am - 1pm - SOLD OUT
Monday 3rd December 10am - 1pm
Tuesday 4th December 10am - 1pm
Wednesday 5th December 10am - 1pm
Saturday 8th December 10am - 1pm
Sunday 9th December 10am - 1pm

Evening Workshops £45 or early bird price of £40
Friday 30th November 6.30 - 9.30pm
Friday 7th December 6.30 - 9.30pm

These workshops are all being held at 

Upavon Village Hall
9 Andover Road
Upavon
SN9 6EB


 

All workshops will last around three hours. The cost for your workshop includes refreshments and all the materials you need to create a festive foliage wreath, decorated with a ribbon of your choice and pinecones.


We will have a pick and mix of optional extras for you to purchase on the day, if you wish, to further personalise your wreath, so don't forget your purse - just in case.

We will provide aprons and all the tools and equipment needed to create your festive wreath.

For each attendee we will donate £5.00 to The Finlay Foundation 

Your workshop place can only be held once full payment is received. 

The Early Bird price will be valid for all bookings paid for before Monday 1st October. 

If you have any questions or you would like to book your place please get in touch by emailing Sara on sara@myflowerpatch.co.uk 



Bye for now

Sara

 

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Photo by Chelsea Fuss, Frolic Blog

Christmas Wreath Workshops. Our dates for 2017 have been released and are booking up fast. We are so happy to be running our workshops again, and looking forward to welcoming returning and new attendees. Do you want to join us? Check out the dates and send me an email to check availability and book your place.

Daytime Workshops £40 per person

Saturday 25th November 10am - 1pm
Friday 1st December 10am - 1pm
Thursday 7th December 9.20am -12.30pm
Friday 8th December 10am - 1pm
Saturday 9th December 10am - 1pm

Evening Workshops £45 per person

Friday 8th December 6.30 - 9.30pm

These workshops are all being held at
Upavon Village Hall
9 Andover Road
Upavon
SN9 6EB


We will also be hosting a wreath workshop at 10am on Wednesday 6th December at
The Stones Hotel
Highpost
Wiltshire
SP4 6AT
This will cost £40 per person.

If you would like to arrange to have a yummy lunch at The Stones Hotel after the workshop please contact them separately on 01722 782020. There will be a 10% or military discount on your lunch, available to you as a workshop attendee. 



All workshops will last around three hours. The cost for your workshop includes refreshments and all the materials you need to create a festive foliage wreath, decorated with a ribbon of your choice and pinecones.


We will have a pick and mix of optional extras for you to purchase on the day, if you wish, to further personalise your wreath, so don't forget your purse - just in case.

We will provide aprons and all the tools and equipment needed to create your festive wreath.

For each attendee we will donate £5.00 to The Finlay Foundation

Your workshop place can only be held once full payment is received.

If you have any questions or you would like to book your place please get in touch by email to sara@myflowerpatch.co.uk

 

Photo by Chelsea Fuss, Frolic Blog

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Those who know me know that poo is a subject I get quite excited about! So when I was asked to take a look at a book about soil and poo I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed.

 

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It's not often a book about such a 'mucky' subject has such stunning photographs! I would happily display Good Soil on my coffee table, if it wasn't for the fact that its more likely to be found in my grubby mitts whilst I'm at My Flower Patch checking the particulars about cow poo versus chook poop.

It has been a fascinating read, and I have learned lots whilst devouring the information contained in Good Soil. I have already altered my planting out practices, and have more confidence about my choices of soil amendments, when to use them, how to use them, and which ones to choose.

Possibly most startling is just how good urine is for plants. I have always encouraged the other half to relieve himself onto the compost heap to "help break it all down a bit", but from now on I will be encouraging him to pee into the watering can every now and again - my nearly six year old son will find this great fun too! As watered down urine is one of the best plant food boosts according to the author. The author goes as far as to call it "the uncrowned queen of the fertiliser family".

There are sections about the various types of manures, information about what nutrients are contained in what proportions in which animal dung, and how fast acting they are which in turn has implications for how quickly they are depleted. So I will take this information into account and use a mixture of different manures when I can access them.

Useful information is displayed in a visually stunning way such as this table, which shows what your weeds are telling you about your soil health and structure.

 

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Or this page, which talks about PH, levels in your soil. The book then explains how to counteract any issues you might face.

 

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I have always looked to naturally sourced soil additions to feed my plants. It has just felt right. But now I know that by using these natural sources I am providing much more than just N, P and K (Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium). I am providing the plants with the trace elements and micronutrients that are vital to plant health that are not necessarily found in synthetic fertilisers. This book explains the role these play in plant health and also discusses what symptoms to look for if there is a deficiency or even an excess of these nutrients.

Good soil covers veg growing, but pleasingly to me there is also lots of information about other plants, including annual and perennial flowers and specific information for Roses, Peonies and Clematis. In fact I could hear the advice ringing in my ears when I planted out my newly acquired roses earlier this month. They just need a pinch of wood ash in a week or so.

The only thing I found slightly surprising about this book was that throughout it talks about the good health of the soil, and increasing the humus of the soil, but it seems to be very strongly in favour of digging. I am trying to move to 'no dig' or 'low till' gardening. Interestingly this book seems to suggest that unless the manure is well dug in it will provide little benefit in terms of nutrients. That many nutrients will be leached away or lost to the air. I'm hoping that a combination of the information gleaned from this book, with my own take on no-dig gardening will work successfully to boost flower productivity and quality whilst hopefully continuing the reduce the weed burden if at all possible. However a good weeding session does boost my physical and mental health – so I doubt I will ever become entirely no-dig. There is something inherently satisfying about tracing a nettle along its bright yellow roots, or following couch grass along it’s pearly white strands.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in finding out more about what plants need to not just survive but to thrive, in fact I have already recommended it to several people.

The grass clippings will now be utilised as a Nitrogen boosting mulch, rather than just popping them into the compost bin, the duck egg shells will be crushed and applied to the roses, and I will take another look at using green manure crops on any bare beds (not that I often have bare beds!) But I have to say I don't think I will go as far as to look into human faeces as a manure, I draw the line at that ;-)

 

Good Soil, Manure, Compost and Nourishment for your Garden, is written by Tina Råman. It is published by Frances Lincoln and is available now. Go and get it! 

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Photobombing bee!

So British Flowers Week started today and I made my first video clip of the week. I thought I would share it here with you. 

I have just finished co-hosting #britishflowers on Twitter. Tonight we were chatting about #britishflowersweek and how we would all be celebrating it, spreading the word about British Flowers, and generally just oohing and aaahing over the sumptuous photos that the Twitter folk were posting. In amongst the tweets I spotted a link from a wonderful lady called Fiona who runs Firenza Flowers. She has written a journal post about why she uses British Flowers as often as possible. Take a look at it here. She sums up how I as a grower feel about my "babies" that I have nurtured to the perfect point for cutting. I hope you enjoy her post as much as I did. 

I love the way our customers enjoy our flowers. They love the natural style of the flowers, and the fact that they are a lot different to a supermarket bunch. The sight or scent of them often trigger memories of loved ones no longer here, or happy times they spent as a child. They evoke nostalgia. Sweet William and Sweet Peas especially seem to have this effect.

So whatever you do this week to celebrate British Flowers Week, take time to stop and smell the roses, or the sweet peas, or whatever flowers you may have in your home or garden. Take time to smell them, look at them and really enjoy them. And if they are grown by an artisan flower grower know that they will have been grown with passion, love and commitment to bring you great joy. What more could you ask of a humble bloom. 

 

 

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British Flowers Week starts on Monday the 19th June. It is a week long celebration of British grown flowers organised by New Covent Garden Flower Market,  you can find out more details here.

In the run up to this I was honoured to be mentioned in an article in the Telegraph Gardening section. You can read the "Ladies Who Bunch" article online here. I was even more chuffed that they used my photo both as the lead photo and on the cover of the gardening section. I guess it helps that I had wonderful photos taken by the fabulous Katie Spicer. 

During the week I am aiming to upload a new You Tube clip each day. You can find my YouTube channel here. Wish me luck! Hopefully the sun will shine and I won't have to do too many takes for each video!

Then on Saturday Ann and I will be attending a wonderful workshop organised by Grace Alexander Flowers held at Forde Abbey, Dorset.

In the meantime, we have been busy planting out this years flower plants, harvesting the flowers that are blooming, and getting the ground ready for more planting. Oh and a bit of weeding, rotavating, strimming and path laying! We had a warm Winter and a cold Spring which tricked a lot of plants so the flowers I would have expected have been a bit jumbled in their flowering order, but beautiful none the less. 

If you would like a bouquet or posy of beautiful British flowers in your home for British Flowers Week or beyond, do get in touch. We like to have at least 24 hours notice as your flowers are picked to order. 

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If you are a Wiltshire or Hampshire florist who would like to use more British Flowers in your wedding or event work then also get in touch. We are supplying a few freelance Wiltshire florists with wholesale British grown flowers already but definitely have capacity to supply more. Drop me an email and I will let you have our wholesale British Flowers price list and we can arrange a patch visit. 

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