Last night I paid a visit to our friend Adrian who we’re lucky to have growing a range of summer flowers for us. Adrian manages several acres located here in the sunny Tamar Valley all by himself providing us with a range of high quality locally grown British Flowers.
Through out the Winter we’ve been offering his stunning indoor Anemones but with them coming to an abrupt end just in time for Easter I thought it would be a good idea to look at what we have in store for the Summer.
We started by looking in the Pinks houses, here Adrian showed me the crop in three stages, one house had just been planted, this will provide the later cropping, next we looked at a house planted last September, these should carry on from the next house which is the second year crop, these are all budding up nicely and as the weather turns warmer should burst into flower giving a good heavy yield.
Moving on we looked at one of the Cornflower houses, they look to be forming huge plants and would seem to be on track for coming into flower in late May but as always it all depends on the great British weather!
Then we popped into one of the Dahlia houses, Dahlias are one of the crops Adrian excels in. They don’t look much at the moment, just the first green shoots of life poking through the ground but by the start of July these houses will be bursting with colour and all of the variety and majesty of this national flower of Mexico. Its hard to believe that when discovered this flower only had 30 species, now there are nearly 60,000 cultivated forms of Dahlias! And it’s popularity is still growing, Interflora have decided to feature Dahlias in their Summer arrangements this year and although their designs were created using imported Dutch flowers come the summer it will be a welcome boost to the British flower industry that can grow better, fresher & cheaper Dahlias than can be imported from Holland.
Next it was off to the Scabious houses, these are a crop Adrian has been growing consistently well for many years and have a huge popularity with the wedding florists we supply. Its beautiful light blue colour and country garden look are very fashionable. Although the houses are filling with buds we still need some warmer nights and sunnier days to bring through the good stems, with a bit of luck and the sunshine we’re enjoying today we should be able to start selling come mid May.
We’d been wandering around from house to house for nearly 45 minuets by now, the air had turned chillier and the sun was on its way down. We looked at several more houses with various crops such as Nigella & Larkspur. Larkspur can be a difficult crop to grow, whilst a pretty cottage garden looking flower with huge popularity it is prone to a myriad of problems for growers including mildew which can ruin a crop in days. We soon came to a house full of young plants in pots, these are the flowers Adrian has been propagating from seed and hidden in amongst the assorted pots of Ageratum, Scabious and Larkspur were a few trays of Nigella ‘Choc Ice’, this I’m excited about, its a stunning single white flower with a pronounced chocolaty black centre with curved stamens, this will look stunning in anyone’s wedding work this summer.
Adrian had one last surprise for me as we were wrapping up the whistle stop tour, tucked away down at the bottom of the Nursery he has a little trial area, and here much to my surprise he showed me some Muscari. Now this year for the first time ever I’ve had several requests for British Muscari but I rebuffed them as I was not aware of anyone growing the crop here in the South West. Well maybe next year there will be!
I didn’t get time to see everything unfortunately. Adrian grows some super Lupins that usually start flowering mid May. There are also Alchemilla Mollis and Achillea come June and Gyp, Ageratum & Eryngium by July. Summer is a very busy time on Adrian’s Nursery and with the growing popularity of British flowers long may it continue!