With Chelsea Flower Show less than a month away, mornings such as this (down to zero) are doing nothing to help the progress of viable English roses which are meant to be flowering soon ready to take centre stage on The Real Flower Company’s stand (EA539). Even the tulips in my garden have collapsed under the frost, heads hanging in a listless fashion and fresh rose leaves, so full of promise are flopping helplessly.
However the violets I saw on my run this morning were ignoring the vagaries of the weather and the ducks too, like every other year, are ahead of the game and already on patrol at the Rose paddock with 12 ducklings in a regimented line.
It has to be the weirdest season weather-wise and one of the hardest to know what to do horticulturally. With temperatures ranging from 17 to -1 any fragile seedling doesn’t stand a chance! Gardeners are inherently impatient but we need to err of the side of caution for a while longer and not send out tender plants outside like lambs to the slaughter. However in complete contrast our Chichester based sweet peas are mollycoddled to put it mildly, romping away in glass houses and loving the sun, secure in the knowledge that they will be protected from Mother Nature . We are currently cutting thousands of stems a day to send to The Real Flower Company to turn into spring bouquets.
I admit I have an addiction but its a healthy one I promise and it’s not one I have to give up for Lent! Wherever I am, I am always on a rose hunt. Are there any? If so, where are they growing and how are they being grown? I have seen some incredible specimens and am always amazed at their resilience. These were a case in point:
Rugosas just coming into growth despite sub zero temperatures and the snow having melted around them, being grown in an exposed site but tightly tied to protect them from the elements and looking remarkably healthy despite the climate. You have to hand it to the species – they have a will to survive which is hugely admirable.