May 23, 2011

Gale Force

Blighty is being battered by crazy, gale force winds.

I know I shouldn't moan, but after the big freeze of November and December and the drought of March and April, having winds ripping my already stressed flowerbeds to shreds is hardly the ideal scenario for my first proper stab at growing flowers to sell. Oh dear, it is one of those days, when I am gazing out of my window wondering if the whole idea of boutique flower growing, on a garden rather than farm scale, without the protective tunnels and equipment, was really a completely deluded moment!

The pleasure in putting together the bouquets, knowing I chose all the varieties and grew them all on my own, is hugely satisfying creative moment, but wow, the fragility of the whole process - from seed to flower to bouquet - is not for the faint-hearted. No siree. It is also probably not for anyone with ideas of making a quick buck. It is a lot of work for a tiny return really, but I so love it, really truly find being waist high in borders my drug of choice. I don't think I could give it up. It is also the massive learning curve I crave, new skills, new knowledge. I'm loving the digging for knowledge as much as the digging in my flowerbeds. I do believe our brains were made to keep learning all through our lives, without that bending and stretching to the light of new ideas and understanding, more than brain cells wither, something in our souls need the challenge and sense of achievement and forward momentum too, don't you think? I know I feel a bit astray, overly free-wheeling without a thread of learning somewhere in my sights. I wonder if you feel the same way? It keeps stagnation at bay, maybe that is the nub of it.

Anyhoo, back to the shrieking wind, whilst I fret over my little patch, my thoughts must turn to those that are caught up in the real dangers it will be wreaking around the country, and to flower growers, like Jane, growing in even wilder climes and losing serious amounts of their gorgeous, hard won garden and polytunnel grown flowers today. And Lotte, with your towering vases in galeforce winds, take care of yous!


  1. Hello Belinda:
    We are so distressed to read your post today and really hope that all will be well. These extreme forces of Nature can be so destructive as well as frightening and it is doubly depressing when one feels that one's livelihood is at risk.

    Your bouquet of 'cottage' flowers simply arranged in the white jug is, surely, confirmation that what you are attempting with your home-grown bouquets is so very valuable and so much more preferable to the stiff, garish, artificial looking bunches that one can be faced with these days.

  2. Hi Belinda,
    This gale force wind is particularly frightening when surrounded by big trees in leaf too!
    I keep having heart stopping moments as small branches hit the ground.
    I can identify with the devastating effect on your lovely flowers too... my poor peonies are petal-less now.
    Still, the washing is drying ultra quick on the washing line....bit of a bonus I suppose...
    Julie x

  3. I agree with you wholeheartedly Belinda. When I was young, Oh so many years ago. I thought I would get to be a "Grown up" and that was it, set in stone. One of the rather wonderful things I have discovered it that I was wrong. We keep on learning, and what a joy it is too.

    I am getting cross with this weather. I had really settled to the sun and light breeze, silly me!

    Good luck with your gardening.

  4. Last time it was this windy my Black lab ate the door!! I am keeping a close eye on all my entrances and exits!!
    Love Helen x

  5. The weather seems determined to be against us, no rain here for weeks and now gusty winds - are we ever happy!

  6. Yes its very windy on the east coast too, lots of broken stems, must be a worry for you though.. lets hope all this erratic weather calms down for you... and I agree pushing ourselves to learn new things and recapture that, excitment, we had as children is so important for the soul x

  7. I agree with you. You can learn all your life. I'm into living the last half of my life learning full-on.

  8. Dear God Belinda, will it never end?

    Climate changes indeed....

    Hope all settles down soon and you have much left in your garden.

    I'm always thirsty for knowledge, more so now than when I was in school. Funny that. I still only know 1/10 about gardening, but I learn something new every week.

    It's midnight your time, hope you're all sleeping soundly, not kept awake by the howling of the winds.

    xo Jane

  9. Yes Belinda I agree whole heartedly about learning, I have witnessed with my own eyes the very detrimental effects not using the mind can have on people. I do not want to be one of those people! I have always read and taught myself how to do things and will continue to do so. I feel so sad for you and your lovely blooms, I am sure there will be good years and bad. Keep your pecker up, you are doing something so worthwhile, and I am sure that your customers are delighted with what you present them with. I would love to have you near me! Lots of love, Linda x

  10. Hope there wasn't too much damage. Mother Nature can be a B***h! But you are right about the need to continue learning and growing. That's what life is really about.

  11. I do feel for you Belinda. It has been awful to witness the damage in the garden by the strong winds and driving rain. I really hope conditions have improved where you are today.
    I agree about continuing to learn and making the brain work but lately I have found it has been a struggle to process and keep information in my head. I fear this is down to age related changes, although my 83 year old mother is still very much on the ball! Abby x

  12. Wait, from seed to bucket? Not to add to the woes, but what about the whole trial from bucket to vase to compost? Doesn't matter, I know you will persevere with style and grace, as usual! Best of luck weathering the current storm. Thinking of you and all your lovingly raised flowers. xxoo, J

  13. Oh i do feel for you,it must be hard watching the wind battering your beautiful flowers. You have such a talent, although it is a labour of love. I agree that it's important to keep the brain busy and learning, I find I get really down if I don't keep the brain cells ticking. I hope the damage is not too bad xx

  14. Hi Belinda..I feel for you, the weather has been so strange lately. We need rain! I never thought I would say that whilst sitting in England but boy does my garden need it.

    Your arrangement is just beautiful. I can see how they would give you an enormous amount of pleasure. Speaking of anyhoo....I must have been away with the fairies on my previous visits. Look how talented you are. I just noticed your shop and your gorgeous jewelry. I am loving that brooch. I see that it is sold out. If and when you make another, could you let me know? I would love to buy one. I love brooches of all shapes and and vintage.

    Saying a little prayer for your lovely garden and hoping thing settle down for you soon.

    Best wishes Belinda.

    Jeanne xx

  15. Thanks for all your 'weather sympathy' for the Wild Acre garden! It turns out it was mere breezes compared to Scotland. Not too much damage in the end, some snapped stems and damage to young plants, but with some more clement weather, it will hopefully recover in time for the Open day on June 26th. We just desperately need gentle rain.

  16. So true, we all need to keep growing, hopefully internally, not externally! 8 years ago I could speak fluent French, we have had a French exchange student stay this week and I realise a lot of that learning has gone. It is not like riding a bike, so we must use it, or lose it. I do hope your patch of the world recovers from being battered and you get to delight us with your arrangements for a good few months more.

  17. so glad you've not had too much damage in the end. i hear you on the new knowledge part too. pushing yourself in new directions, it keeps you alive doesn't it. really enjoy hearing about your adventures. L xx