July has been a busy month here at Fieldcrest and August looks as if it is going the same way – I won’t even mention the weather!!
We had a great time with the ‘Flowers for the home’ day and it was fantastic to see how lovely everyone’s vase arrangements were, despite having to be picked in the awful rain!! Everyone was so friendly and happy to share and we definitely discovered hidden talents.
We have had stalls at West Kirby, Heswall and Neston farmers markets in June and July, and we enjoyed chatting to everyone and selling our herbs and edible flower plants.
We will be doing the Heswall market again this month and we’ve been invited to the Neston Summer market on Friday 23rd August. Unfortunately we can’t make West Kirby in August as we are holding our Baking with Herbs class here at Fieldcrest on the same day.
In between the rainy days, we have had some lovely sunshine I have taken the opportunity to watch and record butterflies in the garden. It is a sad turn of events that we are surprised when we actually see any butterflies nowadays, so we are doing as much as we can here at Fieldcrest to attract butterflies in all of their lifestages.
Yesterday I spotted Commas, Painted Ladies, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Large White, but all only in small numbers sadly.
At the moment our Buddlieas are doing a great job providing food for the adult butterflies and there are lots of flowers around at this time of year. These are the top five for summer as recommended by Butterfly Conservation:
- Buddleia (The butterfly bush). Very easy to grow in almost any soil. Different varieties will flower in pink, red, purple, and white. Usually in bloom through July and August. These shrubs need pruning well in Spring as they can grow 5′ to 8′ from the ground in a single season.
- Verbena bonariensis. Stems up to a metre tall support heads of lilac-purple flowers from August to October. Easy to grow from seed, plant March to April in well-drained soil. These can provide useful height at the back of a border. Only half hardy so can be a short-lived perennial.
- Lavender. Flowers are a purplish-blue in colour and grow on spikes through the summer. Plants can be used for edging beds or grown to form an attractive, low-growing hedge. It thrives in a sunny, sheltered position in well-drained soil. Lavender should be planted in April or May and pruned back to encourage bushy growth.
- Perennial Wallflower (Bowles Mauve). Produces a profusion of sweet-scented purple flowers from April all through the summer. Wallflowers make great bedding plants and will grow well in full sun or light shade. Plant in well-drained soil.
- Marjoram (Oregano). A perennial herb, growing from 20 to 80cm tall. White, pink or purple flowers grow on spikes from June to September. A good edging plant and useful ground cover, requiring little maintenance. The smaller varieties also do well in rock and alpine gardens.
The Butterfly Conservation are holding a Big Butterfly Count until today (11th August), and provide lots of information on their website for you to join in.
We have all of the above plants for sale, except the wallflower, and have lots of herbs, edible flower plants, cutting plants and scented plants for sale in our small nursery. Many plants of course perform all of the above!
The Nursery is open Tuesday and Friday from 11am – 5pm and Saturday 10am until 1pm. We will close the Nursery in the middle of September, so do come along and visit us before then, walk around our cutting/flower garden and have a cuppa in our garden cabin.
Chris and the Fieldcrest team