Bouquet 78 and what I’ve learned so far

Tomorrow’s bouquet is pretty much prepared… I’m going to tinker with and photograph this properly tomorrow morning, but it’s mostly ready and resting overnight.The twilight doesn’t flatter the bouquet, but the first thing I’ve learned about preparing and attempting to sell a bouquet of flowers from the garden each day is that it takes a bit of time to get it done. FromeBlooms.com will be updated tomorrow morning with a lovely picture of these blooms in the morning light.

Here’s 78 things I’ve learned,while making 78 bouquets.

  1. It’s best to prepare the flowers for each day’s bouquet the evening before.
  2. Use long handled loppers to get the best blooms from the top of the plant, they’re usually up at the top.
  3. But don’t overstretch
  4. And Do accept that you’ll never quite reach the very best blooms!
  5. Cut all the lower foliage, stems and thorns from each flower stem.
  6. Put the flowers in water with a little vodka and honey to feed and condition them. The booze will kill bacteria and the honey will feed the plants.img_7401
  7. Ensure to include foliage for structure and support. Willow is ideal!
  8. Always include scented flowers.
  9. Arrange the flowers in loose triangles, building the stems in a teepee formation.
  10. Aim for balance, not symmetry.img_4602
  11. Poppies and passion flowers are lovely but don’t last in a vase.
  12. Roses travel well and have a long vase life.
  13. Roses are easily smothered by bindweed.
  14. Bindweed can be removed more easily when snipped and untwisted in sections…
  15. But bindweed can regenerate from snippets
  16. However, bindweed can’t regenerate from bone-dry snippets which have been sun-baked for a few days.
  17. Bindweed also can’t regrow from snippets when soaked in a bucket for a few days.
  18. Bindweed soaked in a bucket for a few days smells disgusting.
  19. A lot of what I’ve learned is about bindweed.Bindweed
  20. Tidy as you go, but leave a bit of mess for the wildlife.
  21. Bundles of sticks made great bug hotels.
  22. Dogwood sticks make excellent plant supports.
  23. Living willow sticks make great plant supports, but will compete with the plants they support.
  24. If you clear out an overgrown plant, and plant things in the cleared space, it should not surprise you that the overgrown plant will reclaim its territory more quickly than the new plant can get established.
  25. But every garden failure is a contribution to the compost, and every garden needs a fukkit bucket for the things that didn’t work out.img_7344
  26. Seedlings are fun to grow, but delicate little things.
  27. Approximately half of what I’ve planted hasn’t gone quite to plan!
  28. Every garden has surprises, and often they’re better than what the gardener envisaged.
  29. There’s a wonderful variety of flowers available cheaply and within walking distance of my home in Frome.
  30. Minty’s nursery, the Frome Country Market, and the Wednesday / Saturday garden stalls have provided some wonderful additions to the garden. Geum Mai-Tai is a particular highlight.CountryMarketSummerFlowers
  31. It’s useful to grow new plants on in pots for a few weeks before planting out. Small plants tend to get crowded out.
  32. Most plants are quite resilient and can cope with a pot that’s a bit small, or a corner that’s a bit too dark.
  33. Most plants will really suffer without water. Sedums, succulents and cacti aside, the most important thing to do for gardening success is to ensure your plants have enough water.
  34. Squirting a hose for a few seconds at a dry pot is NOT ENOUGH WATER!
  35. Dry pots need to soak in a bucket for a while to properly take up water.
  36. Ceramic pots tend to dry out very quickly – I tend to avoid them or put them in metal bowls.
  37. Dahlia’s are wonderful plants, quite easy to grow, and just keep on flowering for months.8ecb8236-5edf-4c2f-81b2-b357cd1ae780
  38. Crocosmias are wonderful plants, very easy to grow, and just keep flowering for weeks.
  39. Sweetpeas are wonderful plants, quite easy to grow, and have the most sublime scent.
  40. Frome Blooms customers have commented about the aroma of my bouquets more than anything else.
  41. Since bouquet #55 I’ve tried to include scent in all of the bouquets.
  42. Making 78 bouquets has been brilliant fun.
  43. There’s always something new in the garden to put in the bouquet.
  44. The highlight in March probably quince blossom, (and daffodils, of course).img_3652-1
  45. April’s best bloom was the hellebore,
  46. May’s highlight was roses,
  47. June’s best bloom is hard to choose – probably sweetpeas, but maybe honeysuckle?
  48. July’s gladioli are marvellous, but the rose called ‘Keep Smiling’ is probably my favourite bloom this month.img_7965
  49. There’s a particular magic to making bouquets from homegrown flowers.
  50. The first Keep Smiling rose went off to Edinburgh in a birthday bouquet.
  51. It’s amazing to me that the seeds, roots and bulbs I planted a few months ago are now actual flowers, in actual bouquets, that I’m actually sending to people!
  52. I know it’s horticulture, not magic.
  53. I don’t have enough flowers in the garden yet to make enough bouquets to make a living.
  54. I don’t sell enough bouquets to use up all the flowers I do have at the moment!
  55. So I need to grow more flowers, and sell more bouquets.
  56. With the right plants in the right place, and a well fed and watered garden, there could be an awful lot more flowers here.
  57. There’s been about 3000 visits to the FromeBlooms website so far, with a conversion rate of 0.37%
  58. That’s a reasonable conversion rate compared to some websites I’ve worked on!
  59. I need to get more traffic and more reviews to start to build a business.
  60. But it’s fun to carry on slowly and see what happens, rather than go all out and burn out of cash and energy…
  61. Organic, agile gardening is my style. See what works well, and do more of that!
  62. Compost is free miracle grow, and there’s room for plenty of compost.
  63. Plenty of compost makes happy plants..
  64. …happy plants are healthy plants
  65. …healthy plants make beautiful blooms!
  66. Cutting flowers before they can set seed increases the number of flowers .
  67. Cutting flowers is a form of pruning, and new shoots usually grow from the leaves below the cut.
  68. Cutting flowers is not ‘deflowering’ the garden (that’s a Dad Joke), it’s just a pre-emptive form of dead-heading.
  69. The plants I bought from our old place at No. 69 were well worth the cost of the extra van required to shift them all.
  70. The rose I got from Woolworths in the early 2000s and brought from London to Frome, is still going strong, but remains an unidentified variety.img_6450
  71. Most of what’s growing in this garden is unidentified, which makes labelling bouquets a bit difficult.
  72. I have a lot to learn about flowers!
  73. There’s a language of flowers called ‘floriography’ which was used by Victorian’s to communicate affection and rejection.
  74. If someone sends you yellow carnations, it might mean they’re disappointed. Or they might not be fluent in floriography.
  75. I don’t do yellow carnations, just in case!
  76. Each bouquet at FromeBlooms has a number and name, but thinking of a name each day is kind of tricky.
  77. As this is a self-imposed challenge, I guess I can drop the idea of naming each bouquet if I want to!
  78. Tomorrow’s bouquet is called Number 78!

3 thoughts on “Bouquet 78 and what I’ve learned so far

  1. Ok Carolee! Actually, I did find a name for yesterday’s bouquet, I called it ‘Sugar babe’ after the pink gladioli. I guess that as I’ve started naming them, it’s best to carry on doing so! Thanks for your comment ūüĎćūüėä

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