This is post number 2500. A portentous number. So excitingly relevant I have been walking around the farm for days now trying to compose something suitably apt.
Something profound about how this blog has been such a feature of my life. And my gardening life. And moving to France. And growing my own food. And finding such peace. And producing the most stonking flowers which I share with so many friends.
But really. That’s just not me. And this blog has never been more than a pictorial and occasional essay about transforming this farm into a landscape I can be proud.
And surviving biblical floods, storms, wild boar, drought….
I was hunting for a document just this week and came across these hilarious garden plans I created when I first managed to get my hands on an allotment garden in London way, way back.
Bless. That is the work of someone who has dreamed of a garden for way too long and has too much time in front of the computer.
I even tried that sort of thing when we moved out here in 2007. More craft and glue rather than computers.
And I did a lot of research.
But creating this garden and re-landscaping these acres has mainly involved years and years of thinking, planning and actually writing out endless To Do Lists.
And getting them done.
And writing to friends. I love it when you reply to these blog posts with comments.
I put more effort into the visual aspect of the blog back when our father was alive. He explained he would never be able to travel to France to visit. So more photographs appeared. His only stipulation for wading through endless shots of things that weren’t madly him…. stories about the cats.
He adored cats. So I had to oblige with obligatory shots first of the darling Artur. And now Creature. Who is not such a darling but she is a delight. (I just wish she wouldn’t insist on hanging off my wrists with her claws when she plays.)
Here is is locked out of the potting shed because she is an utter pest and I was trying to take leaf cuttings of the sedums.
But she thought they were tasty snacks.
Quite frankly, she is at her most darling soft and pliable self when fast asleep.
Each day on my website I get around 40 visits. Some days 90, others 12 or so. But one topic is the leader each and every year. Drying Sedum Flowers.
There was a time when my post entitled I could murder a kevlar onesie topped the list. But that was so 2014.
It seems everyone loves this gorgeous autumn plant. And yes I know it is called Sedum Herbstfreude, not Autumn Joy. And that it is probably also Hytotelephium now.
It is autumn. It brings me joy. And right now I am trying as many ways as I can to dry the flowers and extend the season.
It has gone mad in the garden this year – droughts are good for some plants indeed.
So I am drying it in a few ways. Removing the fleshy leaves (which rot) and placing some in just a centimetre of water in a vase. The way we dry hydrangeas.
And placing some in vases with no water at all.
And trying them upside down on my racks in the same way I am drying loads of amaranth and helichrysums.
Oh you haven’t seen that shot yet. Because I haven’t finished making another one to hang over the table in the garden room.
I have one in my office, (close-up of attempt to dry China Aster flowers – not sure it will work.)
…and one in the dark of the cellar (very unphotogenic, but here you go.)
That is probably the biggest change to my flower growing habits this year. More flowers to dry and arrange over the winter months when the dahlias finally give up the ghost and the zinnias topple and the roses drop their leaves.
I promise to give you an update on progress of these drying methods this time.
And not wait 2500 more posts to write it.