top of page

Winter 2024

Hello and welcome to my first blog post of the year and the first post in my new seasonal series. I wanted to (whilst on maternity leave) keep my toes dipped into my floral world but with a focus more on growing and the seasons rather than on weddings. I have, therefore, decided to write a blog post at the end of each season, encapsulating all that I do, learn and observe in the garden throughout the year.


Over the last couple of years, especially since COVID I have been very mindful that I need to slow down. I think, like a lot of people, the pandemic forced me to take a good long look at my life and re-assess my priorities. I do usually thrive on being busy, I love the go go go vibe and I relish that super productive feeling. Ticking things off my to do list just makes me feel good and there's nothing like the satisfaction of getting lots of stuff done. However, what I didn't realise is that this fast paced way of living was robbing me of enjoying the small and simple moments. During COVID, I found going for my one walk a day extremely liberating, even though it was technically very restrictive. I never used to go for a walk every single day and now I go almost daily, even if it's a short walk around the block. Over the last few years I've been learning to appreciate each season and walk more slowly throughout each year.


I'm starting my first seasonal blog post in winter... It's a new year and there is definitely a chill in the air! For me, winter used to be such a miserable season. The constant rain, short days and just general cold weather made me long for spring and I'd often hurry through January and February. Since adopting a slow living approach to my life, I now welcome all that winter has to bring, whether that's frosty mornings, muddy walks or cosying up inside by a fire. Winter has a lot to offer but we have to be intentional about looking for those wholesome moments.


For me, a joy in winter is that I can start dreaming up my garden and growing plans for the year ahead. This January I bought myself a garden journal & planner to document all that I'm doing and learning and it's been such fun starting to fill it out. As much as I love planning out the garden in the warmth of my own home, there is also quite a lot to do outside too. This includes clearing the fallen leaves, mulching flower beds, pruning and, of course, lots of weeding.


Above: Our magnolia tree in bud.



Winter Flowers


My planting for 2024 actually started back in November 2023... I planted lots of Daffodils, Alliums, Tulips and Crocuses and I'm excited to show you them once they start blooming in the spring. We planted some of the bulbs in pots and some in the ground and I always find that I never order enough so I'm already putting together a list of what to order this Autumn.


At the start of January I planted some lilac Sweet Peas and dark purple Aquilegia, these are for one of our flower beds that I'm working on this year. My goal for this year is to have all our, currently empty, flower beds filled. We're going for a cottage style garden which will include lots of pastel colours mainly purple, pink, white and green.


I also placed several orders of Dahlia tubers which arrived recently. I have potted them up in the greenhouse and I'm excited to show you them blooming in the summer, along with roses they are one of my all time favourite flowers. This year I am going to try to take cuttings and I'm hoping to have lots more plants in the garden at no extra cost. Below I've detailed all of the Dahlias I'm growing this year...

  • Cafe Au Lait

  • Jowey Winnie

  • Sweet Nathalie

  • Wine Eyed Jill

  • Bahama Apricot

  • Topmix Salmon

  • Labyrinth

  • Totally Tangerine

  • Caitlin's Joy

  • Mango Madness

  • Happy Single Kiss

  • Teesbrooke Audrey

  • Hartenaas

  • Maya

  • Linda's Baby

  • David Howard



Primula's are such a good winter flower and in January I treated myself to this Primula (Tutti Frutti) from the garden centre to add a pop of colour to my greenhouse. It's been really lovely having some flowers to look at whilst I potter around sowing seeds. I also bought a whole load of Primula Cottage Cream plants and have added them to our flower beds. They look so lovely, especially as there's nothing else flowering.




Sowing


As soon as February rolls around I get so excited, It's the first month that we start properly sowing seeds in the greenhouse. It's usually around this time every year that I realise I need a bigger greenhouse! This year I'm purchasing a large cold frame as extra storage and maybe next year I'll treat myself to a bigger greenhouse. Below I've detailed some of the things I've sown or am sowing this February.



Ammi is one of my all time favourites, It's really easy to grow and is perfect if you're trying to create a cottage garden. It does grow quite tall and will flop over a little especially in the wind so it may need staking or you could pack it into a dense border to be supported by other plants. It's a staple flower for me and I grow it every year!




Brachyscome Multifida. I've not tried growing this flower before but I just couldn't resist purchasing, I mean just look at that picture on the front of the packet. I'm planning on planting this in lots of pots and pots rather than in the ground as I think it'll look so lovely spilling over the edges of containers.




Primulas...I wasn't always that keen on Primulas but this year I've really been loving them and these seeds will be my third variety in the garden this year. Again, I'm thinking of keeping the Prims in pots but I'm sure a couple might sneakily make their way into our flower beds.




Lunaria, this plant is great for shady areas and we purchased the seeds that will display beautiful white flowers but it does also come in purple. I have a few of these plants already in flowerbeds that I planted last year as they are biennial. I also grow Lunaria for the seed pods and it's one of the few plants that I actually dry.


Phlox (Cherry Caramel). I just adore this flower and I didn't grow it last year as I couldn't find the seeds anywhere but this year I've managed to track some down and I've made sure I've sown lots in the greenhouse. It's the perfect cut flower, so beautiful and dainty!


Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican Fleabane), I don't know what it is but I've become obsessed with this flower, I can probably blame Pinterest! It has these beautiful pink and white daisy flowers and, to me, it's the perfect cottage garden flower. I'm so excited to see these ones germinate and bloom and I think I'm going to be adding it to all our flowers beds and lots of pots too.



Roses


Roses are a must in the garden for me and this year I ordered a few bare roots. I was really quite restrained with my order as I could have bought them all! I ended up ordering Emily Bronte (shrub rose), Queen of Sweden (shrub rose) and The Lady of the Lake (rambling rose) from David Austin Roses. We got them in the ground in the middle of January and I'm so excited to see them bloom as roses are one of my absolute favourite flowers. I'm already making lists of what to order for next year and also trying to figure out where to put them! Like the Dahlias, I'm going to try and take cuttings from the two shrub roses as well as from an existing shrub rose we already have (Desdemona David Austin Roses). I'll keep you updated on how that process goes.





Winter Veggies


We've started sowing some of our winter vegetable seeds late last year. Our winter lettuces are going really well and I've started to potting them on and protecting them from slugs with copper tape. I've recently put them outside so they can harden off over the next couple of months before planting them into a raised bed. My first love will always be flowers but I'm really keen, and more so is my husband, to start growing more fruit and vegetables on our way to being more self sustaining.




I also planted spring onions in early February, I've not grown these before but I've heard they are really easy so I'll be keeping an eye on them over the next couple of months as they begin to germinate.


In our raised planter we currently have radishes which we also planted late last year. I harvested one (below) back in January because I just couldn't wait to try it and it was delicious! I've left the others to grow a bit bigger and will probably harvest them towards the end of February. They are one of the easiest and fasted growing vegetables so I will definitely be sowing some more seeds over the next couple of weeks and months to extend the harvesting season.




Lastly, we have garlics... these will be ready to harvest and dry in the spring, though our cat keeps chewing the shoots so hopefully they'll survive until then! Garlics are also super easy to grow and we just bought a garlic from the supermarket, split it into cloves and then planted each clove about 6 inches apart. This is something you can do really easily yourself, even if you have a small garden and they also grow well in pots. When planting garlic, make sure you plant the biggest cloves as these will give you the best bulbs for next year. We ended up planting ten garlic cloves and the best time to plant them is in the autumn as they need a cold period to get going.


Well that's it for now, I hope you enjoyed my winter ramblings and I hope that it has inspired you to grow something whether that's flowers or veggies in seed or potted plant form. Our next blog post will be going live around the end of May and it should be a jam packed one with all of our lessons and experiences from spring.


Happy gardening!


Beth

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page