Saturday, 13 August 2011

Awa' oot tae tea in the big toon.........

Aren't they just gorgeous???? I'm awa' oot for my supper tonight to friends in town. I'm taking with me a lovely bunch of home grown cornflowers with me, aren't they vibrant and beautiful? They aren't from my garden (not this year), given the ferocity of the wind, most things aren't doing that well out there, that will teach me to find a gorgeous view, leaving the garden, even by local standards more than a bit exposed! Anyway, at work I've been allowed to experiment a bit with a partially empty polytunnel.  Me being me, when asked if I can think of something novel to grow in there plumped for, yup, you guessed it, flowers!
There are a few of my little wonderful fish boxes a couple of weeks ago, beefing up and beginning to come into flower. They are now further on and looking great, must dig out a photo. The seeds were only sown in mid June, and we opted for fishboxes as this tunnel has a ready laid sand floor so I thought for a quick bit of fix of colour, I've sown a mix of annual flowers mainly and also using of course my trusty friends a good old fish box to give enough room and depth. Now, its not a monster crop by any stretch of the imagination, but I wanted to get an idea of what we could grow quickly as a sort of fill in crop. As well as being interested in local food, my ideas have developed into all the things we can grow here, potentially in MY polytunnel at home as part of my indoor crop.
A few of the earlier flowers have been going on for a while, cornflower, calendula, strawflowers, gypsophilla and the dwarf sunflowers, statice and other flowers are really coming along. I do like a bit of an experiment and this is one I'll develop further later this year. I like the idea of having local flowers available in Orkney, I'm really thinking about putting a proper cutting garden in my tunnel, who knows I may even be able to sell a bunch or two of them next year when I really get cracking! I do need to break ground on my own polytunnel! Look a photo with plants not swaying in the breeze, thats surely a bonus!

Just shows, if you can keep the wind out, you can do just about anything, OK the cornflowers are only a small bunch of flowers for my friends as a thank you for dinner. However, they're not a bunch brought in by ferry from 'south' - they are locally grown and who knows what potential or ideas they might spark regarding local growing and living? From small seeds, a bit of shelter and a bit of hard work, perhaps great things might come?

And, as I'm trying to watch my spending and produce more from home, I'm also taking them a pot of my home grown, home made, Orkney chilli jam and a bottle of my own home made Orkney elderflower cordial, all of which are big steps for me over the past few weeks.

What kind of home grown/made pressies or delights do you take when you go visiting?


  1. your cornflowers are lovely and as you write about your polytunnel, i'm getting excited for you not to have everything blown about by the wind.

  2. It's amazing what you can grow in a fishbox! Did you collect them from the shore?

  3. cornflowers are my of course!

    Sft x

  4. Love the blue flowers. And fish boxes! Love that!

  5. What? You've given away my cordial?

    Mr flowers.

  6. Fabulous - the fish boxes work so well, it even makes the flower garden moveable. Love the idea of your polytunnel being filled with flowers as well as edible loveliness. Am currently watching Monty wotsit's latest adventure, this time in Galway studying whales and dolphins. He too is growing things in fish boxes, as is the local custom, due to the Atlantic gales and poor soil. Mabne it is a new way to detect prevailing weather conditions? Just ask if people grow stuff in fish boxes...

  7. Janet, how funny, i will have to try and see that one, guess it's a coast culture thing. They are very handy *recycled* pots! I am collecting more as and when to maximise use of the tunnel space, they also grow rather excellent carrots too!

    Mr flowers, we need to work on the principle of sharing.......!

    Holley garden thanks, lovely blue isn't it! Fish boxes rock

    Sft, thanks cornflowers are a classic aren't they?

  8. Janet, I do collect them from the shore, They are quite a find! And make brilliant planters, pot stores, for moving potted plants etc, I did blog about them last year, I'll dig the post out......

    It's I'm very excited too :) the blue are my favourite too :-)

  9. Awesome cornflowers! Yes you should become the flower lady Fay-- I used to sell herb plants at a summer Saturday market and there was always this woman who brought buckets of flowers and she would spend the day assembling gorgeous bouquets to sell. Everyone loved them and she had many customers that came each Saturday. Like selling joy! (Catching up on your posts today, such fun!)

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  11. every gardening birthday wishes for lovely celebrations with cup tea..