Cutting garden update and inspiration

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Creating a cutting garden
Can you remember the last time you felt so excited by an idea that you feel like giggling and talking about it non-stop to everyone who will listen? That's how I've been feeling lately about flowers. Earlier this year I wrote about creating a cutting garden at the allotment, growing flowers from seed and planting them out to add colour, attract bees and hopefully to bring some home to pop in vases round the house. Even in the last four months I've learned a lot. Some things have been more successful than others.
The sunflowers are going great guns, with the tallest around 3 foot high at the moment. The first tray of zinnias never germinated. I planted some direct thinking that would be better but nothing there either. On the third attempt I got a tray growing in the greenhouse (better late than never). I gave Mum six and had about nine left for myself, three went in the boarder by the house and the rest at the allotment. I hope they're not too late to flower this year. Marigolds have taken a while to establish and have taken a fair bit of protecting from slugs and rabbits but are looking ready to flower.
Dahlias and asters look almost identical when small but now they're bushing out the leaves are totally different shapes.
Creating a cutting garden

Creating a cutting garden

Creating a cutting garden

Creating a cutting garden

Pretty much all the small seedlings I planted out were demolished by slugs or rabbits. Next year I will be alert and aware of the critical first few weeks; protect!
Cornflowers are non existent sadly, I was so looking forward to them. I won't bother with mixed packets of seeds again; not knowing what I'm supposed to be seeing is irritating and I've probably weeded out some of the things I shouldn't have and I've realised that a jumble of plants is not what makes me happy. My preference is for unity and organisation. Some of the plants are not what I had in mind, some better, some worse. The low, ground covering plants seem to be surviving and ready to flower; lobellia, swan river daisy, linaria, mesmembrythemum... None of which I can cut but the latter being an amazing show of cheerful colour in the sunshine.

Bulbs. I poo-poohed the idea of bulbs in my cutting garden but actually, I've u-turned and think they're a great addition. C bought a few bags of bulbs and I planted eight and a half bays out of the fourteen with bulbs. The ones I put in a while ago are coming up with conviction. The gladioli can be cut and there should be plenty of those.  Lilies could also be cut but I probably won't as they are perfect in situ. Not every flower will make a good cut flower.

Sweet peas are not really establishing, I'd say it's touch and go but we'll see.
Creating a cutting garden
The Cut Flower Patch by Louise Curley
C has bought me a wonderful book which has so much information, advice and ideas. My enthusiasm has been renewed and buoyed so I have plenty in mind for next year. I'm going to draw out my plan for the patch, put in new bulbs, grow some things from seeds and buy in plug plants for things which are difficult. Bearing in mind that to get flowers blooming steadily to be able to cut a few each week for displaying, there will be a different selection. It's going to be a whole new journey next year so that's something to look forward to. However, this year is going better than I dared hope; plenty is growing, I've kept things pretty tidy and weeded as best I could. There should be lots of colour on the plot soon!

The garden at home is more difficult as there is not much free space, with the empty bits in dank shady patches where nothing wants to grow and it's not helped by things almost constantly being trampled by Lincoln either.
Creating a cutting garden

I'm learning; I'm growing too.


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