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Cut Flowers

June 16, 2014



On the allotment the cutting garden is coming along nicely with the first picking of Ranunculus ‘Purple Heart’. The claw like bulbs were sown in April and now eight weeks later these gorgeous deep plum papery flowers have emerged. They’ve lasted for six days in water and the more I pick the more new buds emerge.  As a flower they were new to me and were inspired by this great book…


Louise Curley the author is keen to encourage individual gardeners as well as the British flower market to value seasonality. It’s estimated that more than 80% of blooms available to buy in the UK are imported and many are air-freighted from around the world. The global impact on the environment is therefore huge and not least in the amount of water required in the production. From a couple of beds on her allotment Louise picks several buckets of cut flowers a week throughout spring and summer and her book shows how you can do the same.

She gives a reminder that now is a good time to sow biennials from seed. These can be sown in pots or trays and will come through over the next few weeks to be planted out late summer to flower next year. Already seeds of Nigella ‘Double White’ have germinated fast…

DSCN2864and seeds of Hesperis matronalis  ‘Sweet Rocket’ are just showing both sown two weeks ago. When these seedlings get to the four-leaf stage they will be potted on in small individual pots to build up a good root system. They’ll sit in the cold frame before planting in the cutting bed late summer. Several self-seeded  Alchemilla mollis found in paving cracks in my garden last autumn were lifted out and planted in the cutting garden and these look great with white cosmos that has just started flowering.


Seeds germinate fast at this time of year with relatively little effort other than some gentle watering. A repeat sowing two weeks ago of dwarf French beans and peas were ready to plant out this weekend on the allotment.  And I returned with our first picking of broad beans, Charlotte potatoes, lettuce and courgettes making all the effort worthwhile.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2014 1:31 pm

    Thanks so much for the mention. 🙂 I LOVE those ranunculus. I’ve grown some this year and have been very impressed with them. Mine have gone over now but I’d definitely do them again. Where did you get yours?

    • June 20, 2014 3:04 pm

      Sorry to say I can’t remember where I bought them but over the counter rather than by post so I guess a garden centre. They look so lovely with the marigolds so next year I shall plant more and maybe stagger the planting to extend the picking-they have just gone over.

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