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2022 didn't exactly get off to an auspicious start - we got a flat tyre on New Year's Day, then, the very next day, someone backed into our car while they were parking and dented the door.

Cherry blossom
Cherry Blossom in February

By mid January, Covid cases at our daughter's school were soaring and children were dropping like flies. Just when we thought our Rosie was going to be lucky, she tested positive. Just as she was due to go back to school after 8 days, I came down with it and then, nearing the end of my isolation period, my husband succumbed. Luckily we only had cold-like symptoms as we have been triple vaccinated and I'm not sure we would have realised my daughter had the virus if we hadn't been testing every day.

With this latest period of isolation ending tomorrow, I am crossing my fingers that we can make a new start and I've been using this time for planning ahead - not just which annuals I will grow this year but new ways of growing.

June flowers
Home grown  flowers

As I write, my husband is making use of this down time to install some grow lights in the potting shed so that I can start my annuals off earlier. I haven't tried this method before but I've had a lot of bookings for natural flower arranging workshops this spring so I am keen to get sowing as soon as possible so that we can be harvesting flowers as early as possible.

The cutting garden has been freshly dug over and a thick layer of new compost has been incorporated. We didn't have a very thick layer of soil as the beds were sited on top of where some old outbuildings had resided. There was a lot of rubble lurking under the initial depth of soil. In the end, we removed about 30 bags of rubble from just 2 beds measuring about 3m x 1.2 m. I am hoping that this year should be a bumper year for our flowers.

Wedding Bouquet Preservation

Being confined to the house has also spurred me into action - I've been able to use the extra time to plan a new Home Flower Garden service which I have been considering for a while now - pressing wedding bouquets.

Wedding bouquet
Pressed Wedding Flowers

Brides can send their bouquets by post after the big day and I will carefully dismantle it and lovingly prepare each flower for pressing. The flowers will be left for 4-6 weeks to dry naturally. I will then recreate the bouquet.

pressed wedding bouquet
Pressed Wedding Bouquet

So, as the nights draw out and the weather warms up, daffodils and tulips are pushing their noses up through the soil, the snow drops are out in little flurries in the beds, the Iris reticulata are starting to bloom, the hellebores are gearing up for their amazing display. Spring here we come!