Friday, February 17

Something new for 2017 - part 6 (Allotment Annual Flowers)

Regular readers will be aware that we like to grow annual flowers on our plot. Our reasons are threefold, for cut flowers for the house, to provide a nectar bar for insects and lastly, but by no means least, to add colour to the plot and give us something of beauty to enjoy.

Last summer we have two main beds.
The plants in one bed were raised in modules and planted out and the left over seeds were mixed up and later sown directly in another bed. We enjoyed both beds but were pleased at the success of the direct sown bed.

This encouraged us to try some direct late summer sowing of hardy annual seeds to try and produce some early flowers next year. Self sown annuals that successfully overwintered and flowered early added further encouragement. We sowed, cornflowers, a mixed packet of seeds, calendulas and some larkspur. Germination of the first three was excellent. The larkspur was old seed and didn't do as well. At present all are protected by enviromesh and, although it is early days, so far so good.
Some wallflowers, sweet Williams and sweet rocket will also sit out winter and hopefully provide early flowers.
As I browsed the seed catalogues my mind turned to which old favourites I would continue to grow, which varieties I would drop and which new varieties to try out.

I ended up with three new types of flower and one that didn't fare too well but which I thought was worth trying again.
I've grown the low growing ageratum in the past but I didn't realise that a taller variety existed and that it is supposed to be a long lasting cut flower.

I was attracted to the shape of the amberboa - these are related to cornflowers and are a type of sweet sultan. The are supposed to be aromatic, make good cut flowers and be loved by butterflies and bees - sounds perfect.

I liked the colour of the gaillardia which is also another that claims to be a good cut flower. A few red flowers seem to add zing to a flower patch.

Another plant that claims to produce good cut flowers is the didiscus or lace flower. It didn't do too well last year but the odd flower that were produced made me keen to give it another chance.

Our full list of flower seeds (so far) is here. Flower seed order.


14 comments:

  1. You always seem to do well with your annuals and you have some lovely arrangements in the house. I didn't know about the trailing ageratum variety either and I like gaillardias, though I've never cut them for the house. Lovely photos in your last post, are the goldfinches back or did you take the photos elsewhere?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ageratum isn't a trailer, Jo it's just taller than usual. The goldfinch was in our garden - we had just two but it's better than we have had for a while

      Delete
  2. Your annual beds are lovely and I like the new selection of amberboa. The didiscus has a really lovely bloom which would be worth trying again. I have grown gaillardia in my garden and they do well. They are pretty hardy, providing they are grown in the right spot. I also enjoyed the bird photos in your last post. Looks like spring is on the way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lee. I'll try harder with the didiscus this year.

      Delete
  3. The flowers look so pretty! I already have one slightly confused wallflower in bloom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not surprised that the wallflowers are confused, Deborah.

      Delete
  4. Love those beds and am 100% with you on the reasons for having a cutting flower garden. I've purchased quite a few varieties of flower seeds this spring and am really looking forward to all that splendor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once the beds start flowering it is a real treat, Margaret

      Delete
  5. The annual beds looked wonderful last year. The gaillardia looks like a small hydrangea flower. Cosmos, pot marigold and the tall tagetes are among my favourites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The blue flower is the didiscus, Brian. Cosmos and pot marigolds atr on the list from last year.

      Delete
  6. Oh that amberboa looks most striking Sue. Could well be tempted myself. I didn't have much joy with didiscus a couple of years ago but have not given it a second chance yet. It always looks so pretty when you see photos of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope that the amberboa lives up to the photo, Anna.

      Delete
  7. Am so impressed with your direct sown bed both last year and what you have overwintered this year. You will be well ahead. I've grown Amberboa and its fantastic. Keeps for ages in a vase and a delicate scent. Looks great on the plot and bees love it. I love Didiscus too but its a tricky one I think, slugs love it, but its so lovely that I too will be trying it again this year!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's good to know about the amberboa, Annie

      Delete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It isnot published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.