This year's foray into growing flowers

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

My mission for the year was to create a cutting garden in which to grow flowers which I could cut bunches and take them home to admire in vases. It's been a bit of a disaster to be honest, in as such that I had visions of taking home armfuls and having bouquets in every room to admire through the year. There have been a number of stumbling points along the way. Notably, the way that I selected seeds; based more on how I felt at the time rather than if they were good for cutting, good for the conditions, actually going to flower at the right time... My last update was mid June and things have moved on since then.
However, all is not lost, not by a long shot. I have spent many hours merrily tending the plants over the last half a year. The initial stage of planting up the seeds in the greenhouse was more of a stress than it needed to be, with the same said for re-potting and I suppose the planting out as well. However, once they were safely rooted in the ground things have been so much more relaxing. Pottering around with a little fork, big bucket and a kneeling stool has been particularly enjoyable.

anenome de caen

candytuft mixed
Along the back of the fruit plot the narrow bed has been devastated by a mouse burrowing under the plants, eating the roots of all the dahlias and most of the asters. The marigolds and sunflowers have been left untouched.

Let's start with what has been a success. The wildflower annuals have been the surprise triumph. There were two bays of this style of mixed seeds, though I had such a struggle to identify which I'd planted and which were total weeds. One of the bays was ripped up altogether, but the second bay seems to have grown up with plenty of pretty annuals which are full of flowers bushing out everywhere. These wont be something I want to grow next year - though I do want to grow cornflowers, both the original blue and mixed colours individually. The slugs demolished the cornflower seedlings two days after I carefully planted them.



The French marigolds have been going great guns. Beautiful orange flowers and tufty little plants. I've been very pleased with these, but they aren't suitable for cutting.
The mesembrythemum have been amazingly cheerful, bright and longlasting but unsuitable for cutting at all.
Dahlias have mostly been great, as with asters and zinnias,
The sunflowers have done really well, but again, these are no good for cutting. I might grow a small variety next year which could be cut.
The lobelia and lineria are both flowering prettily but cannot be cut. Candytuft worked well where it was put, but I wouldn't cut it.
Bulbs I popped in have had mixed results. The lilies have been reliably good but didn't get cut as I didn't think they would last. Perhaps I should have taken the plunge.
Some of the gladioli may flower yet, if the bunnies don't gobble up the rest of the foliage. There are certainly lots of munch marks on the stumps remaining.

Aquilegia and sweet peas are holding on to life, but I wouldn't call them thriving. Hopefully the sweetpeas will grow up the archway and flower next year. That's my wish!


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