The cut flower beds at the end of April

Last week I was lucky enough to visit Julie of Peony and Posies and tour her large cuttings garden; I certainly envy the space she has for her cut flowers.  At present tulips are the main attraction and I took away some ideas for which tulips I would like to grow next year.  Thank you Julie for welcoming us into your home and garden; it was the perfect beginning to our short trip to Suffolk.  I am a little late joining Julie for her review but it will help me in future if I post this month.

You will notice the plural!  I needed to plant out many of the small plants before leaving for a very quick visit to the UK last week, so I decided which of the vegetable beds I might be able to spare, at least for a while.  I’m kidding myself, now the flowers are in, they’ll stay until they finish flowering, which may hopefully be autumn for some of them.

The wall flowers are producing huge numbers of flowers; I should probably be picking more to make sure the show continues. In the same bed, sweet William are just opening and will I’m sure make an appearance in a vase on Monday very soon; squeezed in by the side of the Sweet William are some Alliums that are already showing fat buds. I have planted some rooted cuttings of a green carnation, some of these also had buds but I removed them to encourage the plants to fill out and make stronger plants.  There are also two varieties of orange Cosmos, Polidor and Millennium.

Wall flowers and Sweet William

Wall flowers and Sweet William

In the mixed pack of Wall Flowers 'Persian Pearls' there are a couple of pink flowered plants

In the mixed pack of Wall Flowers ‘Persian Pearls’ there are a couple of pink flowered plants

Carnations, wall flowers and new Cosmos plants

Carnations, wall flowers and new Cosmos plants

The bed behind the wall flower bed is the Asparagus/sunflower bed, the sunflowers have enjoyed being released from their pots and have grown a lot in just a few days.  In the Asparagus bed, which is of course producing regular spears this year, it must have heard me say that it was going to have to go, I planted some ‘Lucifer’ and various sun flowers.

Sweet William

Sweet William

Where 5 Leylandii were removed last year I have planted some bulbs into the ground (including Gladioli) and used the space for some pots for bulbs that need better soil than this spot supplies at present, hopefully with time I’ll be able to add more organic material to improve the conditions.

Allium Purple Sensation is also about to open its buds

Allium Purple Sensation is also about to open its buds

White Alliums in a pot behind the olives, they will be ready to pick very soon

White Alliums in a pot behind the olives, they will be ready to pick very soon

Freesias in a pot haven't been picked as much as they should have been

Freesias in a pot haven’t been picked as much as they should have been

At the back of some borders I've planted bulbs for cutting, here yellow Dutch iris will be ready to pick by next week I think

At the back of some borders I’ve planted bulbs for cutting, here yellow Dutch iris will be ready to pick by next week I think

Actually they are probably ready now!  The Viburnum in the foreground was new last autumn, I’m pleased to see so many flowers in its first year.

The original cuttings bed with Larkspur, Ami majus and Antirrhinum

The original cuttings bed with Larkspur, Ami majus and Antirrhinum

Ami majus, larkspur, Antirrhinum, Bell’s of Ireland and Daucus carota’ Black Knight’ are all growing steadily.

To the RHS of the cuttings bed the perennial Asters and Kautia are growing well

To the RHS of the cuttings bed the perennial Asters and Kautia are growing well

In the existing bed, a selection of white Dahlias has been planted between two rows of Narcissus.  The permanent planting of Knautia, Aster ‘Mònch’, and Aster ‘Monte Casino’ are already growing well as is an Alstroemeria plant that I left in the ground over winter not really thinking it would survive.

The new Dahlias are already pushing through between the rows of Narcissus

The new Dahlias are already pushing through between the rows of Narcissus

Last year’s parsley has been removed because it was going to seed (more has been planted in another bed with new rainbow chard and swede). Last year’s chard will continue for a few more weeks if I keep cropping it, but on one side of that bed is space for more Cosmos and Ami majus, when the chard comes out I may plant Rudbeckia there.  Sorry no images!

I am excited about the flowers to come and about how much I am learning from this experience.  If you haven’t done so already do visit Julie to read all about her plans for this year.

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19 thoughts on “The cut flower beds at the end of April

  1. Oh so much colour so early Christina. I’m a tad envious. I noticed what look like bamboo canes around the edge of the cutting bed. Are they there simply to stop the plants flopping over or is there another reason? 🙂

    • There is ‘pea’ netting attached to the bamboo so that hopefully everything will grow straight and therefore taller. I need to get some stakes in for the dahlias but that needs to be stronger.

  2. I can see the expansive potential of “just one” cutting bed. It’s very tempting to test that, though I think I had better wait at least until the basic structure of this garden is in! btw, I love the pink wallflowers that came in the mix 🙂

    • The cut flowers are addictive (at least to me) but the pleasure is great for not very much work. I think I will look for individual colours in seed for the wall flowers as there wasn’t so many of some that I liked a lot.

  3. It looks promising as well as beautiful. I love the color and everything looks so healthy!
    Glad you had a good trip. I’m looking forward to seeing the dahlias, they were such a work horse last season and I’m hoping a few of mine survived their less than perfect winter storage…

    • I think dahlias are pretty tough, I had some stored on a shelf in the greenhouse so big fluctuations in temperatures and the odd soaking by mistake, they all had shoots!

  4. It’s amazing to see so many flowers! It must be a real pleasure knowing that picking these blooms won’t detract from the main beds. If only I had the space to replicate this in my garden 🙂

  5. This is an inspiring post Christina, so much work has gone into your cutting garden, I planted several types of allium in my borders last Autumn but wish I had put them in pots like you, the foliage is not that nice to look at whereas the flower heads (I hope) will be wonderful.

    • I put mine in pots because they actually need more rain/water than my borders receive; I may plant the pots somewhere after they’ve flowered as I don’t think anything flowers particularly well the second year in a pot.

  6. Lovely that you could meet up with Julie and see her beautiful garden. Your cutting beds are amazing Christina… it all seems to be growing so fast! I like that mix of wallflower colours. You could leave the asparagus to flower and use the lovely foliage perhaps, before it is uprooted? Look forward to seeing your next vases! 🙂

    • The Asparagus has produced quite a lot of spears so far so I don’t think I will be allowed to dig it up. If it can share the bed with flowers for cutting then I will have to accept it. I still don’t really think it is a viable crop for a small garden or where ground is at a premium; a whole year for just a few weeks of crop just isn’t worth it.

  7. I am excited to start a small bed I hope this month. I hope to build ours this week and get started with annuals that need warm weather at the end of the month….you have so many wonderful beds. I am learning lots too!

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