The cut flower beds at the end of June

At last here is my post reviewing the cut flower beds.  almost everything I sowed during the winter is flowering now so I have flowers dotted all around the house and in the last week I have been able to give away four full bouquets; this is bounty I would never have dreamed of a couple of years ago.

As you saw in Monday’s vase the sunflowers are growing tall and flowering; the Giant singles make impressive plants, the tallest must have been well over 8 ft when I picked it; but to be honest they were disappointing in a vase because the heads were so heavy they bend at the neck when cut, I think they need the power of transpiration and osmosis to keep that keeps them holding their heads up in the garden (those from the vase are already compost!).  So next year I won’t grow these giants but I will continue to plant some of the smaller headed varieties; the tall ones left in the cut flower beds now may be left to hopefully produce so seeds for seedy bread.

The sunflowers can be seen through and above the the windows in secret garden

The sunflowers can be seen through and above the the windows in secret garden

Bees love the sunflowers so that's another reason to leave some for them to profit from

Bees love the sunflowers so that’s another reason to leave some for them to profit from

The secret garden cutting beds

The secret garden cutting beds

Not quite the colour I was expecting from the illustration on the pack but an amazing colour ever the less ; the under side of the petals is almost red with a deep pink on top

Not quite the colour I was expecting from the illustration on the pack but an amazing colour ever the less ; the under side of the petals is almost red with a deep pink on top

I have to admit to being rather a snob about Dahlias in the past, maybe because I found their colours rather strong in an herbaceous border – as a cut flower I can’t think of anything that produces so many flowers in a season and of such size and strength of colour.  I think I would enjoy them in a garden setting too now as long as the staking were invisible.  I don’t like to see individual canes with a stem tied to it in a border, it is different in a cut flower bed but even here I find the staking soon disappears under the foliage if it is put in early enough.

Zinnias - I'm in love with zinnias!

Zinnias – I’m in love with zinnias!

What’s not to love, another plant I hardly knew before starting to grow flowers for cutting.  Again I really appreciate their intense colours and their ability to produce hundreds of flowers during a season.  From an area of less and 2 square metres you could have flowers to pick every week for 4 or 5 months.

Cleome and crimson Antirrhinums

Cleome and crimson Antirrhinums

I’ve planted too many crimson Antirrhinums, especially as they are deep burgundy rather than crimson but they have formed good bushy plants producing medium length  stems so deserving of their space, it will be interesting to see if they over winter as last year’s did.  However last year’s plants produced one flush of flowers this spring and then looked as if they were dying so most have already been removed to give space to the Chrysanthemums that spent the winter in the greenhouse.

Ammi visnaga was sown 23rd January

Ammi visnaga was sown 23rd January

Not quite open yet but Ammi visnaga looks a much better plant than Ammi major, I think I might grow some to use in pots on the terrace next year and I will sow some in autumn.  the plants were very small when they were planted out on April 21st.

All the supports put in as soon as growth began is doing a great job of keeping the plants growing straight and helping to keep stems long

All the supports put in as soon as growth began is doing a great job of keeping the plants growing straight and helping to keep stems long

Cosmos looks so strong I think I could just leave this part of the bed for them to keep self seeding so next year I may not sow any more just to see what happens

Cosmos looks so strong I think I could just leave this part of the bed for them to keep self seeding so next year I may not sow any more just to see what happens

Aster Monch, I like this but I'm not sure it really earns its space in the cut flower beds

Aster Monch, I like this but I’m not sure it really earns its space in the cut flower beds

A rather early Chrysanthimum, will they still be flowering in autumn when I need them?

A rather early Chrysanthemum, will they still be flowering in autumn when I need them?

This isn’t the only Chrysanthemum flowering, I would rather they weren’t flowering yet but there’s little I can do to stop them.

I have been picking Helichrysum to dry about every three days, I already have quite a lot ready to store to ready to make a swag (if I’m lucky) to hang around the kitchen fireplace.  I need to check what is the best way to store them to keep them freshly coloured and dust free but without getting damp.

I spotted this beautiful dragonfly on a Gladioli last week

I spotted this beautiful dragonfly on a Gladioli last week

What is happening in your cut flower beds?  Are some plants more successful than you hoped; what will you be sure to grow again, and what is in doubt?

Next time I’ll write about the plants that have proved disappointing so far and which may not be worth the hassle of growing again.

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32 thoughts on “The cut flower beds at the end of June

  1. I feel the same way as you about dahlias and zinnias… I always used to think their colours were so brash, but the white zinnia you have used in vases has completely quashed that image thank goodness! It all looks healthy, despite your heat, and you can never have too many antirrhinums can you? 😉

    • Yes they were seed from Sarah Raven, They were sown on January the 14th and germinated in 7 days. i pricked them out on February 11th and they were planted out into the secret garden cut flower bed on April 21st. I can’t actually find the seed pack but I can’t imagine that I used them all, I wanted to tell you the name of the variety.

  2. I loved the last photo. I have planted many sets of colorful gladioli that end up with many white among them. I have wondered if white is a wild type/dominant or did the company throw those in as filler? I must look into that. Great post. I wish my garden was as neatly laid out.

  3. Christina que cantidad y variedad de flores de corte más maravillosas tiene. Todas me gustan. Pero las Dalias y las Zinnias son mis preferidas. Los Antirrhinums color carmesí son preciosos y me gustan en grandes macizos. Y la Libélula sobre el Gladiolo color blanco es mi foto preferida¡¡¡¡¡ Es broma. Todas las fotos son preciosas. Muchas gracias por mostrarnos sus magníficas camas de flores de corte. Saludos de Margarita.

  4. I’m SO impressed with your cut flower beds, Christina. I love that dahlia! I’d be pleased to have a small fraction of the flowers you’ve got in my own raised planters. I never got round to removing the Westringia and rosemary that have taken over much of my space, although, given our recent hot, dry weather, I’m not sure that may have made much difference to the end result. Oh well, there’s always next year.

  5. It’s amazing how much you have done with your cut lower beds!
    My chrysanthemums are already putting out buds and trying to open blooms. I don’t think I’ll tolerate that this year, and they will all be cut back this weekend!

  6. Good to read your cutting bed catch up, Christina, and it is interesting to compare rates of growth. My Ammi visnaga was sown on 16th Feb and planted out on 10th May but is not in bud yet and is only about 12″ tall. I was hoping they would have self seeded from last year otherwise I would have sown some in autumn. My antirrhinum were sown a fortnight earlier, planted out in mid May and have been coming into bloom since mid June although the taller variety is only just opening its buds now. Certainly worth putting the supports in early in your case – generally things don’t seem to grow as tall here and not all will need support. I realised after I wrote my post that I had omitted to mention the things that weren’t successsful , so will remedy that in due course.

    • Probably our failures are as important for us (as well as others) to know as our successes. Growth is fast here I sow some things early because I know I will need the space in the propagators later in the winter.

  7. This looks great. it is no wonder your vases are so lovely. That is a great shot of the Ammi visnaga. I’ve grown both A. visnaga and A.major and this year I’ve gone back to A. major, partly for change and partly because I like it’s looser habit, but your photo has me thinking it’ll be A. visnaga next year.

  8. It is lovely to see your blossoming summer garden, especially since we have returned from Italy to a rainy cold winter in Canberra (Australia). I always forget just how bright sunflowers are!

  9. What a great shot of the dragonfly! It must be wonderful to have so many beautiful flowers available for bouquets. I had intentions of planting a cut flower garden in the area where some of my winter vegetables grew. Usually I follow with summer vegetables but decided to cut way back this year, so no beans or peas or squash. As it turns out, I still haven’t planted flowers. Instead I am letting the soil ( and myself!) rest.

    • A rest is good too, but I can recommend growing flowers to cut, they have given me so much pleasure in the last couple of years. I think more so as I live in a climate where the garden doesn’t offer many flowers in summer.

  10. I don’t stake my Dahlias but they are dwarf varieties and yet they are prolific flower producers. I have chosen the open flowers for the bees and feel guilty when I steal some. Cuttings beds are a great idea. Amelia

    • I have some dwarf, more open types and some of the big blowsy ones for vases! There is plenty in the garden for the pollinators so I don’t feel guilty.

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