I’ve been growing flowers for cutting in my garden for the last couple of years, they look lovely, but it also means that I don’t buy so many from supermarkets.
I like a more natural looking bunch of flowers, you can grow flowers that aren’t easily avaiable to buy, you’ll save money, it’s cheaper and there’s the added bonus that you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint a little.
I haven’t got a big enough garden to have an area dedicated to cut flower growing, so I grow them among all the other plants in my garden and at my allotment.
The picture at the top was taken at R.H.S. Hampton Court, straw is used as a mulch to keep weeds down and retain moisture in the soil, but this probably isn’t a look you’ll want in your garden.
At the moment I’ve got lots of dahlias, calendula (english marigolds) and cosmos, but next year I’d like to have peonies, larkspur, more roses and sweet peas too.
For the price of a packet of seeds you can have masses of calendula, they self-seed around the garden and obligingly pop up every year, just dead-head them as the blooms fade and they’ll keep on coming. They’re so much nicer than french marigolds, bees find them more attractive too because the flower is more open and accesible, so it’s a good way of attracting pollinating insects to your garden.
Spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and scented narcissi are all available now, select fat, firm bulbs as these produce the best flowers.
The dahlia plants grow back each year too, which makes life easy. They originate from Mexico, so you can see why they appreciate a sunny position in rich, well-drained soil.
I usually dig the dahlia plants up when they die back in the autumn and store them in my greenhouse, that way they get off to a quicker start and produce flowers earler.
I inadvertantly left a dahlia plant in the ground this winter, it got off to a later start than ones that were stored in the greenhouse, but it’s flowering beautifully now, so don’t worry if you haven’t got a greenhouse, just cover the crown of the plant in late autumn with leaf mould or compost to protect it from the worst of the winter.
If you love the home-grown natural look and want to send someone a bouquet have a look at these people Common Farm Flowers, they send lovely arranged flowers grown on their smallholding in Somerset.
Do you grow any flowers for cutting?