The Cuttings Garden at the end of May

The cuttings beds are continuing to give me so much pleasure.  Being able to pick flowers for a vase whenever I want is just incredible.  There has been so many of some flowers that I am now more able to calculate how many plants I need to plant to have ‘enough’.

I decided to read last month’s post to help me remember where things were a month ago I am astonished to realise how much the sunflowers have grown in just four weeks, they are nearly to the top of the canes and two have been flowering for almost a week.

The sun flowers are almost as tall as the Trachelospunum hedge

The sun flowers are almost as tall as the Trachelospunum hedge

I must pick these, tomorrow you might see them in a vase

I must pick these, tomorrow you might see them in a vase

These are a rather lovely strong yellow

These are a rather lovely strong yellow

The wallflowers finished flowering and as I needed the space and they weren’t as scented as I’d hoped I removed them and planted out some dianthus and Zinnias.  I think I may try some more Zinnia seed a little later too, with the hope they will continue to flower well into autumn.

Cosmos, sweet William and newly planted dianthus and Zinnias

Cosmos, Sweet William and newly planted dianthus and Zinnias

I don’t know if the orange Cosmos will grow taller, I do hope so as they would be more useful in a taller vase.

The Bells of Island are flowering but are very short; having never grown them before I don't know if they will continue to flower or this is 'it'!

Bells of Ireland are flowering but are very short; having never grown them before I don’t know if they will continue to flower or this is ‘it’!

The Bells of Ireland are no more than a foot high I was expecting more like a metre.  Sorry about the mixed feet and metres!

The original cuttings bed stuffed full!

The original cuttings bed stuffed full!

I’m really pleased with the amount of flowers the larkspur have produced, they are a lovely deep blue and I like them combined with a lot of other colours as well as on their own so I’ll try to grow about the same number of these next year (or rather I’ll sow more in September).  The autumn grown seeds have grown much more strongly than those I sowed in February.  I think they can also be planted quite close together which is useful to remember.

To the left of the Larkspur I cut all the Ami majus hard back, hoping they would grow again to produce more flowers; I’m not sure they will as they are being overtaken by the all the cosmos seedlings growing from the seed that fell there last year, I didn’t pick them enough!  Interestingly they are much stronger plants than those I sowed this year, but they aren’t flowering quite yet and hopefully the new plants will grow stronger as time passes.

One of the Dahlias has buds, an astonishingly short time after planting it

One of the Dahlias has buds, an astonishingly short time after planting it

The Echinacea I grew from seed two years ago and planted out last year is producing flowers for the fist time, the stems are incredibly long

The Echinacea I grew from seed two years ago and planted out last year is producing flowers for the fist time, the stems are incredibly long

Knautia seem to have taken over the end of the bed, the small plants I moved there last year from another part of the garden where they struggled to survive and certainly didn’t manage to make any impact at all have now formed a large patch and are flowering profusely I think I will give them the equivalent of the Chelsea chop before I go away so that they will continue to produce flowers right through until the frosts in late autumn.

Knautia!

Knautia!

More Dahlias are growing to the left of the Knautia.  I planted all white this year in a variety of sizes and forms.

One thing I have definitely learned is that you can’t have too many white flowers; it adds light to any arrangement and is fabulous with blue, elegant on its own and combines with almost every other colour to intensify their colours.

Thank you Julie at Peonies and Posies for prompting this post, it is so useful to be able to check back to see what flowers when and other information one always thinks will be easy to remember but never is.  Do visit her post to see her wonderful Cuttings Garden and others’ more modest but equally fascinating cut flower patches.

 

34 thoughts on “The Cuttings Garden at the end of May

  1. I’m just about to plant out 15 or so Cosmos ‘Purity’ and hoping for a good showing. I saw a whole bed of them in Germany recently and they looked astounding. With you on white flowers. I haven’t grown sunflowers (successfully) for several years. I should try again as I do love them. D

  2. The larkspur are always so stunning. I am very envious of the growth you’ve had with the sunflowers. Here in my cold summers, they get no-where near as tall after a full season of growth!

  3. Your cutting beds are not only full of productivity, they’re beautiful as well! I can’t wait to see what you do with the dahlias, I’m sure a vase of pure white and off whites will be outstanding.
    This really seems to be full swing for your garden, with all the snapdragons and larkspur in the beds and all the poppies in the fields outside the garden you are just surrounded with early summer color.

  4. Thank you for joining in again this month Christina – your beds are so much more advanced than ours in the UK that it is a real treat to read your post. I think you will find that if you keep cutting your flowers they will increase in size. I think they might be small because they go from seed to flower in such a short time in your warmer climate. As long as you do not let them go to seed they should bulk up quite quickly. I would pick all the flowers regularly, even if you are putting them on the compost, to prevent them seeding. It will also be useful to second sow a batch of flowers in July or August to give you a fresh flowers for the cooler autumn months – it will be a struggle to keep your annuals going through the long hot Italian summer. The zinnias, dahlias and sunflowers will love those conditions though.

  5. Those larkspur are beautiful. Here its too cold for anything to open. We have lots of lush growth, but really not many flowers yet. I have grown Cosmos Purity a lot, it makes a very large plant, the flowers are such a clear white, but I also love the very dark ones like Rubenza.

    • That’s very kind Rickii! Having the cutting beds has opened up a completely new way of growing flowers for me. It is impossible to grow these flowers in the borders because they need too much water but treating them like a crop it is possible to just irrigate where it is needed.

  6. I have also realised how valuable white flowers are and would like to find more white perennials. Have just planted a white lavender… Love those Larkspur – such an intensive blue!

  7. Most impressive Christina…..you reminded me that now I can plant Larkspur early in my new cutting bed…I adore this flower….Knautia are taking over my gardens but I do love the flowers…they just keep pumping out blooms until the first freeze.

  8. Love the knautia patch and I’ll consider growing that in Quantity on the allotment next year. And I’m inspired by all the affirmations on white flowers for cutting so will increase those too..

  9. Wow! You have so much in flower. I have a gap here in North Wales after the bulbs finish and before the cosmos and sweet peas get going. I really do love the larkspur. I think I will have to find a space for some.

  10. That’s a really important thing we will learn this year – the quantity needed of different things, as well as how long things will flower for. I am pretty sure that some of my beds are overstuffed – but perhaps the plants will just be compact? We shall see. Which sunflowers are you growing this year? I love your dark pink cosmos – and your blue larkspur! It will be so exciting to see all these appearing in vases!

    • I’m growing a few of several different varieties including the seed you sent me. I intend sowing some more when I get home as they will continue to flower into autumn here. I’m growing Earth Walker, Moon walker, Van Gogh mixed, Velvet Queen and Black Magic. there are just a couple of each.

      • I look forward to seeing your different varieties – I have grown Earth Walker after seeing yours last year. Ruby Eclipse forms such strong plants and Growing from seed I collected myself is an added excitement. Hope yours do well too.

  11. I have to admit to feeling a little jealous of your cutting beds. =) I am so looking forward to seeing your arrangements!

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