We have had perhaps the hottest summer since we moved to Italy. I spent most of July and certainly the first half of August hiding from the heat and sun. What made this year’s temperatures particularly difficult was that the night time temperatures were not very much lower than mid-day. So there was no relief for me or for my plants. But through it all the cuttings bed has produced masses of flowers for me to pick and enjoy indoors.
Every Monday I have joined with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her popular weekly meme and every week I have had several vases to offer. Plus there have been some flowers picked during the week; so I would say that the cuttings beds have been a huge success.
That said there are things I will do differently next year and some plants didn’t perform as well as I would have expected.
The self-seeded Cosmos have produced very strong plants but many fewer flowers so I will hope that my next year’s sowings will prove stronger than this year.
These Echinacea were grown from a give-away pack of seeds two years ago; they had very long drooping pink petals, which I don’t seem to have any pictures of.
I have already removed Dark Cosmos from this bed because it was dead or dying along with Ami majus which had finished flowering, the new little plants are Black Tuscany for winter.
Many of the plants are now exhausted and won’t produce many more blooms; and because I was away for so much of June there are no second sowings of anything that might have been planted out now, my one hope is some chrysanthemums that I took as cuttings last autumn, but they were only planted out a couple of weeks ago so they may not have time to perform very well this year; I will have to take more cuttings this autumn and be more diligent in finding a place for them next year.
At the left hand side of the bed are last year’s Sweet William, a couple have begun flowering again, I’ll leave them to see how many flowers they produce next spring; I haven’t sown more seed this year because I was disappointed that they weren’t as perfumed as I had hoped.
I had been very bad at dead heading the flowers of these orange Cosmos but since I began to be more assiduous they have responded by producing masses more flowers so I will definitely grow them again next year.
I have learnt that Zinnias really love the heat as long as they have adequate water (which isn’t a huge amount) so will probably so the seed a little later next year when there will be more warmth in the greenhouse for the seedlings, may of this year’s young plants died before they were planted out because, I think, it was too cool and shady for them.
Julie at Peonies and Posies will be posting tomorrow with an update on her wonderful cuttings garden and others will join in too, do check them all if you are thinking about starting a cuttings garden yourself or are new to growing flowers to cut for vases. Julie has a wonderful selection of plants and is excellent at sharing her wisdom; In this way we can all learn from each other, one of the many reasons for blogging. Thanks for hosting Julie.