Thursday, June 19

My Cut Flower Patch

Quite a lot of my favourite blogs reviewed The Cut Flower Patch by Louise Curley. Every review I read gave a flowing account of the book and many followed up their review with a giveaway. I lost count of every draw that I entered. Time after time someone else's name was announced as the lucky recipient until eventually Snowbird over at Gardens and Wildlife drew my name.

Even then it seemed that I was not meant to have a copy as the book went out of stock just before my name was sent to the publisher. I was offered a substitute but I decided to wait until a new batch arrived and this month my copy arrived.
I haven't had a chance to read the whole book but have enjoyed what I have seen so far. From the cover photograph I think Louise has been sneaking onto our plot.




Our sweet Williams are at their best. These are biennials flowers and as I am picking the ones on the plot next year's plants are at the seedling stage in the garden greenhouse. I sowed wallflowers at the same time - one lot for the plot and a shorter variety for tubs in the garden. 

The wallflowers have germinated better so I wonder whether I should buy some fresh seed. The sweet Williams were last year's seeds.

Last year I also grew sweet rocket which is just going over but gave a colourful display. It was a purple variety which I hope will produce seeds but I am thinking of adding a white variety next year.

I also sowed ox-eye daisies which are flowering in many verges at the moment. I've always liked them so decided to have some on the plot. I'm hoping this will grow as a perennial. 

So at the moment this I can enjoy vases of flowers like this one.

The old raspberry bed has been turned into a flower border and is planted up with campanula persicifolia, verbena bonariensis, gladioli, native primroses and dahlias. We were not going to grow dahlias this year but ended up buying one or two tubers. Interestingly the slugs seem to prefer the green leaved planys to those with brown leaves

I'm also experimenting with annuals as last year's attempt at an annual flower bed was disappointing and full of weeds.

I'm hoping for a better effect this year and will report back later. As we are renovating the rose border on the plot I may also add some perennials for cutting too.

Just one thing though, Louise writes that larkspur is a really easy annual to grow and yet it seems to be the one that is causing me most of a problem being reluctant to germinate and when and if it does germinate it is slow to grow. 

The seeds in the pots below were planted a full month after the top photo of the larkspur. The later sowing of larkspur is highlighted inside the yellow box. All these pots were sown at the same time.


Is it just me that has difficulty with it?

36 comments:

  1. I have trouble with Larkspur too and the slugs love it - I have none of my sowing left - this is the third year I have tried - I'm giving up now. Your flowers are lovely - a cutting garden is such a good idea - unfortunately I no longer have room for a specific cutting garden but have plenty of flowers to fill a vase or two. I never sow sweet Williams - they just come back year after year - they are great in the garden and in a vase they seem to last forever.

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    1. My problem is I hate cutting flowers from the garden, Elaine

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  2. Makes a nice change from Veg a flower patch is great if you have room I haven`t sadly

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    1. I also think it is god to have flowers, fruit and vegetables cheek and jowl. It encourages biodiversity and brings in the good guys. Many plants are bought with bees etc in mind - for instance the dahlias are single flowered, Good photo opportunities too

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  3. I am going to copy this idea on our allotment. We have some flowers to pretty it up at the entrance to the plot, but growing for cutting would be great for our service users to take home.
    As an amateur flower arranger I may also find a corner of the garden at home.
    Thanks, Sue.

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  4. I like annuals, because you can sow them wherever you want every year, I also like when they selfseed - that's why I have more and more of them :)

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    1. I have lots of candytuft that has self seeded and looks beautiful at the moment, Dewberry.

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  5. I don't think I will ever be able to devote space to cutting flowers, so I shall just admire yours! The Sweet Rocket is amazing. Is it related to the vegetable Rocket?

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    1. I don't think they are connected, Mark Sweet Rocket's posh name is hesperis matronalis that doesn't offer a connection, I bought a packet of mixed colours today that look to contain a paler mauve and white.

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  6. I'm glad you finally managed to get a copy of the book, I've really enjoyed reading it myself. As you know, I've sown sweet williams and wallflowers too, the first time I've got round to sowing biennials, I usually forget about them in the busyness of the season so I'm hoping they do well so that I can enjoy them next year. I have sweet rocket in the garden, it's got a gorgeous scent.

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    1. Yes, I got there in the end, Jo.

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    2. Yes I got there in the end, Jo.

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  7. I love those Sweet Williams. I do grow a few flowers here, but without a lot of space it is just a few. And I never cut them to bring inside. At least I can see them from my window.

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    1. I'd probably not cut then if the grew in the garden, Daphne. Do you dead head as I wonder whether the cutting prolongs the flowering?

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    2. If I grew them in the garden I'd probably not cut them either, Daphne. Do you dead- head as I wonder whether cutting prolongs the flowering period?

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  8. I can almost smell those sweet williams from here!

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    1. Hi Patsy I can smell them. Next broadband development is online scent :)

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  9. I love this book, I entered so many giveaways to win a copy & failed so I bought a copy. It really is lovely, I have some Sweet Williams & Wallflowers from seed I sown/sowed?? earlier on this year. I've always struggled to grow Larkspur too, I'm blaming it on the snails.

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    1. Mine hardly get to the stage to interest a snail, Jo.

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  10. Sue, have you got any photos of plants affected by the contaminated manure that you are warning about? I think I may be a victim. My tomato plants have developed some very strange symptoms (see my Facebook timeline).

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    1. The symptoms don't look like the herbicide contamination from your photo on Facebook, Mark See this page on my website which may be of some help.

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  11. So sorry for all the delays re you finally getting a copy...and this was the FIRST book I reviewed!
    I really do think you should write a book about your allotment.....you have the expertise for sure....and if you do, could I have the first SIGNED copy please...pretty please????xxx

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    1. No problem at all, Snowbird good things are worth the wait.. AS for writing a book I wouldn't know where to start or what to include.

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  12. What a lovely cut flowers! You're growing so beautiful plot!

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  13. Awesome update Sue I also found with my perennial flower garden border I got a lot of weeds in the middle of trying to get the weeds out will post complete photo when finished half photo coming when I post my blog shortly

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    1. Let's hope we both end up with a good looking perennial bed, Linda

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  14. I got bonus a package of Sweet William seeds on January, then I sowed the seeds on February. What a shame, no seeds were sprouted. Maybe the seeds were expired. I really love the color. I will try once more time.

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  15. We have really been concentrating on vegs and herbs, but this year i have sown some flower seeds. They all seem to be taking their time though. The Foxgloves didn't make an appearance at all and the Lupins are still very small but we have high hopes for them. Some were sown directly into the ground and we have had a great display from a Bumble Bee mix, fingers crossed for the rest.

    Jean x

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    1. Foxgloves are usually biennial like sweet Williams, Jean, The seeds are tiny did you cover them? We tend to cover our seeds with vermiculite rather than compost. My theory is when they germinate in the wild they lay on top of the ground.

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  16. Your sweet willams are very pretty Sue! Mine are starting to bloom now. I love you vase with flowers, they are so fresh. I only always forget to collect the dianthus seeds and have to buy new packet.

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  17. they are lovely Nadezda . I love the dark colours and the ones with 'eyes'.

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