Penny’s Gardening Blog – Flower box to grow

I will be talking about the weather in true English style, be sympathetic and give some support to all you growers out there battling with your veg/herb/flower gardens, encourage you to try a Riverford Flower Box To Grow and inspire you with some photos of gardens I work in.

the weather

Heavens Above! What is going on? In recent times we have had the driest autumn on record, the driest winter, the coldest April and now the wettest too. How about the hottest summer next please. It really makes life rather difficult for anyone trying to grow anything at all. I read some garden articles in early spring listing plants suitable for drought as this is what we were all expecting then, hose pipe bans spreading across the country like wild fire and then it starts and we are all relieved to have at last a shower and then another….. and another …..But this onslaught and absolute deluge of rain that we have been subjected to over the last few weeks is just all too much. Maybe an article on damp gardens is called for now.

It is pretty miserable working out in this kind of weather and sometimes if it’s persistent enough one just has to give up. I have pretty good waterproofs in the form of fishermans salopettes,  wellies,  a coat and an assortment of hats, (shorts and a sun hat in the car too, just in case, yeah right!!!). It is not a pretty sight!


Even some of the field workers have had their hours cut as no planting can be done because it’s impossible to get the tractors and planters on to the ground. Things are not happy!

box to grow

Veg and heb  box to grow customers have had their plants for a month now and hopefully  have manages to plant them up. Nothing has grown much this last month because its been unusually cold and very wet. My courgettes have copped it…just couldn’t cope, simply drowned and my other seedlings are sat there not growing and looking rather sodden and sorry for themselves . All you can really do is keep checking for slugs and snails who come out in troops in this weather. If really keen you could cover the plants with cloches to try and keep some rain off them and also raise the temperature a bit. We could all do with some sunshine to make the plants grow.

flower box to grow

The Flower Box To Grow is my baby in some ways as growing cut flowers is my speciality so riverford have used me to select the plants and varieties that come in this grow your own kit. I have grown organic cut flowers in a field I rent from riverford over the last four years. The Kit will provide you with flowers to cut and enjoy in a vase through out the summer and well into the autumn.  The flowers are all traditional English country flowers such as cornflowers, bells of Ireland, love in a mist, sunflowers, snapdragons and so on….take a look and be tempted.  The kit comes with 54 seedlings and two packets of seeds and is extremely good value for money and obviously I highly recommend it.

in the garden

What with all the rain perennials have pretty much doubled in size over the last few weeks and have been really enjoy this long awaited drink. I am lucky enough to work in some really beautiful garden in the local area and to cheer you all up and possibly inspire you I will show you some photos of some of these.

This garden is partly walled and formally planted with fastigiated yews and lots of shaped box and box hedging. It sits quite high on a hill and has lovely views across the valley. With in the formality it is planted quite loosely with loads of old fashioned roses, geraniums, day lilies and so on.

We let campion, forget me not, sweet rocket and valerian officianalis seed freely and then cull when necessary. This makes it look very natural and also fills gaps creating ground cover and hence suppresses growth of unwanted weeds.

forget me nots

symphytum ibericum  comfrey

This is a low growing comfrey and a useful ground cover plant too

This is a taller comfrey useful for making a liquid feed  and  great for composting as it encourages the rapid breakdown of other materials  you put in your heap and its also very pretty.

Symphytum x uplandicum   Russian comfrey

I love this combination of bright yellow Kerria japonica and a bright red Rhododendron behind. Very cheerful indeed.

19 responses to “Penny’s Gardening Blog – Flower box to grow

  1. Traci in Totnes

    Thanks for another interesting blog Penny, great pics too!…which I enjoying from comfort of my computer with a coffee…will def have to purchase one of the flower boxes, looks lovely. Thanks, keep up the good work :)x

  2. Love your blog Penny

  3. So far out of my veg box I’ve lost the rainbow chard and courgettes 🙁 everything else seems to be clinging on well despite the weather.i’m really looking forward to my flower box delivery 🙂

  4. Linda Broadbent

    Lovely photos . . . so far so good courgettes are surviving along with everything else I planted out last weekend. Only plants I’ve lost were the cucumbers shortly after they arrived … progress can be seen here also found a web tool for organising my food plant life

  5. I hope you had a waterproof camera! That’s some really dedicated gardening!

  6. Thank you for the lovely garden photos, and you rock the waterproofs even if it does look like someone just chucked a bucket of water at you 😉 I don’t have a garden, just troughs of lupins & hollyhocks & mint & bee seeds (as I like to call them – mixed meadow flowers) out on our north London fire escape. Trying to replicate my childhood Isle of Wight country garden on two square metres of wrought iron is “interesting”! Perennials all loving the wet weather, but I admit I’m wondering if I shouldn’t start taking vitamin D supplements or something until the sun reappears :/ Another couple of weeks of this, though, I reckon. Then maybe we’ll see the sun again. Fingers crossed…

  7. Penny Hemming

    Hi Susie. It is amazing what you can grow in containers. You should take a look at one of my early blogs back in jan/feb about growing in containers although it sounds like you’ve got it sussed already. I will put some photos up of my terrace full of container grown plants soon, so look out for it.

  8. Hello, love what your doing here.. am really interested in learning about growing flowers. im a trained florist but now want to be able to grow my own for this use and wandered if you new of any suitable courses or if you need any voluntary help so that i could learn a bit? im local living in landscove. keep up the good work. lucy 🙂

  9. Donise Wright

    What a lovely gardens! I, too, am a florist and want to learn to grow. Thank you for the tips and photos.

  10. Penny Hemming

    Hi Donise. Follow my blog and get some hot tips. I am in the process of writing my next one and our flower box to grow is about to start going out to customers so I will write some flower growing info to support these customers and any other followers. Plus some more photos of gardens. Penny

  11. Hi Penny…What a lovely blog and you got a lovely garden too. It shows your hard work that makes your garden eye catching. Please share more photos..

  12. Hi Penny,

    This is wonderful. I just came across your blog while looking for some gardening tips. I found what I was looking for:). You must be spending good amount of quality time for your garden.

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