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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.