Saturday, September 20

Flower Power

We have lots of flowers on the plot which besides providing us with cut flowers and look attractive provide a feast for the beneficial insects.

It all kicks off with the hazel and fruit blossom - some of which seems insignificant to our eyes but is loved by the insects.

Following on from this there are the permanently planted spring bulbs and flowers such as daffodils and the native primroses.
I have more daffodils to plant from tubs as I prefer the smaller varieties in the garden.

Then we have campanulas given to us by a friend and which were planted up in a new flower bed. This bed was originally the home of the summer raspberries that suddenly died off. 
Around May time the biennials flower starting with the wallflowers, which are later joined by the sweet rocket and sweet Williams.
This year I also sowed some ox-eyed daisies which started producing flowers in May and are are still flowering. They make very long lasting cut flowers too. 
As these are perennial I will move some into the bed which has been allocated for next year's annual and biennial flowers.

The biennials for next year - wallflowers, sweet rocket and sweet Willians are planted out and growing well.
I sowed and planted some ammi at the same time which I think was a mistake as it is flowering now and maybe should have been sown with next year's  hardy annuals.

This year's hardy annuals have featured on my blog earlier and are still flowering. I've been particularly impressed by the amount of flowers produced by the cornflowers
I've tried to regularly dead-head the flowers and sowed a succession of batches of seed. I don't know whether this has made a difference as I haven't any flowers that weren't dead-headed to compare them to but the patch has flowered for ages..

I've also tried to keep up with dead-heading the sunflowers ...
... and the dahlias that were planted in the same bed as the  campanulas.

Although we had decided not to grow dahlias this year, we relented and bought some single varieties for cutting. The problem is that the bees love them so much that I feel guilty robbing them of the flowers. When dead-heading these and the sunflowers I have to take care not to remove a head still being browsed. (By the way if you can't tell a dahlia bud from the remains of a dead flower I have written about dead-heading dahlias here). Sprinkled in amongst the dahlias are verbena bonariensis which is also popular with the bees.

We have a row of sweet peas along one edge of one of our plots.
Despite their best efforts they don't manage to look spectacular as we keep cutting the flowers before they have a chance to put on a brilliant show. They keep trying and we keep cutting but I guess that they will just throw in the towel soon.

Finally - as far as this post goes anyway - are the shrubs. We have a whole row of buddleias.
This came about as a result of my inability to dispose of the offspring of cuttings taken from various unknown varieties - one of which was acquired from someone's compost heap. Their honey scent fills the air and draws in bees and butterflies. Last year the flowers were smothered by peacock butterflies but these have been missing this year. I have kept dead heading to try and prolong the flowering in case the butterflies arrived later but they haven't. I wonder whether the cool, damp August didn't suit them.

We do have other shrubs too but I'm finishing with the roses.
Between the roses are the earlier flowering irises. The roses and irises were pushing through a mass of weeds and grass along with a few other perennials.


We've made a start at tidying up but both the bed and roses are in need of more attention.

Maybe a project for the winter months.

34 comments:

  1. What a brilliant display! The thumbprint photo that appeared on my Facebook timeline shows Daffodils and Primroses, and I thought "Wow, Sue has got them to flower very early"! Actually, when we were at Hidcote earlier this week we did see some Primroses flowering - I mean the cream-coloured ones that you normally only see in the Spring, not the brightly-coloured ones. I have not seem many Peacock butterflies this year either, in fact far fewer butterflies of all sorts, even the whites.

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    1. I hope that the peacocks are back best year, Mark.

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  2. A wonderful variety of blooms to attract bees! I love your dahlia choices - lovely color! Verbena is now a staple in my cottage themed flower gardens too :)

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    1. I'm hoping to take cuttings and have some of those dahlias in the garden next year ,Jenni. The verbena self seeds and pops up everywhere

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  3. What a lot of flowers on your plot, your house must be filled with them all summer. I love your patch of sunflowers, I managed the grand sum of two this year after the slugs devoured the rest, and there's your golden wings which inspired me to buy mine, well, actually it was a present from Mick at Christmas. It's done well this year, putting on some growth and flowering well.

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    1. I love the stamen that are left when the petals drop from Golden Wings, Jo

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  4. Beautiful flowers Sue.. your plot must be buzzing.. lovely :o)

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    1. It is buzzing, Julie. We passed a hedge a few days ago that was covered in flowering ivy and the buzzing from that was incredible and stopping people in their tracks.

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  5. The hardy annual bed looks so good, a real punch of colour.

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    1. It's been great, Jessica and definitely will be repeated next year.

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  6. The buddleia at Slimbridge had masses of peacock butterflies last year as well, but very few that I've seen this year. The dahlias and roses are lovely, especially that pink rose wtih all the petals. Sweet William and verbena bonariensis are things I'd love to grow next year, both so pretty. You've done really well with your flowers this year, so much variety and all looking so healthy.

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    1. I wonder if the poor August was to blame as it would have been the right (or this year wrong) tome of year. We have another two roses that need coaxing back to full vigour, CJ, They didn't cope well in their battle with bindweed but are hanging on - just

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  7. The diversity of plants you grow is aimpressive. I particularly like your patch of hardy annuals - what profusion.

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  8. Beautiful flowers! I love these sunflowers, they look great, and there are so many of them.

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    1. Just a packet of sunflowers seeds, Dewberry

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  9. Wow! Helpful as we are hoping to produce flowers to cut on the allotment next year and trying to think of flowers that will provide the best succession of blooms.

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    1. I've done this in our small front garden bed L, bulbs for spring and then perennials with long flowering periods. I'll post about it,

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  10. You sure have a nice sized area to garden! You have a great assortment of blooms! You asked me about what kinds of goldenrod to plant. I do not know what kinds would grow in England or if there are any that are native there. Do you have some flowers there that are native to where you live? That could be a fun project!

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    1. The plot is large Sue but our actual garden is small hence the need for a less vigorous golden rod.

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  11. Wow..really beautiful and exellent blooming! Your garden look so lovely with many kind and various plants.

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  12. Goodness me Sue, I had no idea you had just so much in bloom there at your allotment. I'm sure the critters appreciate each and every one of them too!
    The bed with the cosmos is incredible. I need to rethink my attitude towards annuals now, thank you.

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    1. Did you read the post abour how I grew the annuals, Angie?

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  13. Lovely sweet Williams, Sue!
    I also think to not plant dahlias every spring but buy them looking at the picture. Yours are such pretty!

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    1. We really like the smaller single ones Nadezda

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  14. Everything has done you proud and looked wonderful....I'm sure the wildlife appreciated all your efforts......the peacocks were late in our garden this year but when they turned out they came in their hundreds, I wonder why they didn't show?xxx

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    1. You must have had our peacocks, Dina

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  15. They are so beautiful Sue! Especially your dahlias and sunflowers. Flowers always make our garden so colorful and more interesting. Thank you for sharing, especially about deadheading.

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    1. The dead heading does help keep many plants flowering, Endah

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  16. The flowers are variety in your plot! They look so lovely! All of them look so healthy and full of colours! Your house must have a lot of cut flowers right now! ;)

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    1. I picked a bucketful of sweet peas yesterday, Malar.

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  17. You not only contribute to the pollinators Sue, but that show must boost the spirits of the other plot holders too!

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