July 11, 2011

Creating a cutting garden, questions and answers from week 1

Well it has been an eventful couple of days at Wild Acre! No internet connection for 48 hours, a camp out in our garden with son 3 and a bunch of his 8 year old buddies, a local music festival, son 1 and friends camping in same tent the following night in post-festival crash-out, a high speed run for supplies and tools to Hatton Garden in London this morning and then this afternoon son 2 returning tanned and tired from a week mountaineering in the Alps with his school. Phew. Double phew. Anyway, lets get to the flowers shall we?

So. Firstly, thank you so much for your enthusiasm for this series, seems like there are plenty of you who want to have a go growing more flowers for cutting in your gardens. Secondly, thank you for your interesting questions, I honestly think that the thing I am most looking forward to about this little course is going to be the ideas, experiences and questions you bring about your gardens and flowers, and the way we can all chip in and explore these real life floral dilemmas and triumphs together! Bring it on.

From last friday, these were the questions that arised from the brief introductory post.

1.  Driftwood reminded me that for growers further north, planting plans need to remember the sharpness  of the winters and cooler,wetter summers than I usually experience here. Thisbloominglife writing from Oz reminded me of the extreme heat/dryness of her growing conditions, so where ever it is that you garden, I will try to bear in mind that our growing conditions are going to vary a great deal, and will be as clear as possible if plants are frost tender or drought intolerent etc. Please, on your part remember that I can only tell you what has worked for me, so keep your own climate and aspect to the fore of your planning to avoid disappointing results okay?

2.  Edi mentioned a scalding technique for prolonging the vase-life of dahlias,  and I promise lots of easy tips like this to really make your cut flowers perform brilliantly! You are going to feel like pros by the end of this (unless you are already pros, in which case, well, it will just be a familiar kind of feeling, bear with the preaching to the converted aspect!!)

3.  Charlotte asked about a grass she saw in a photo on the blog, this one

- it is Hare's Tail grass, Lagurus ovatus in posh, an annual I grow from seed. It is native to Guensey apparantly and naturalised in Australia and can even grow in sand dunes - gets about a bit! It germinates really easily and grows like topsy anywhere there is sun. It looks so pretty and tactile and lasts really well, so a brilliant one to try. I'm hoping to introduce or remind you of lots of less usual plants like this gorgeous one. Plus where you can buy them. Oh yes.

4. Sherri B asked a wonderful but devilishly tricky question! My top two plants for cutting? Yeeooww, how to choose? It changes with the seasons and years, but two faves of 2011 so far have been drumstick alliums (allium sphaerocephalon) and the white and green tulip, Spring Green. Stunning and statuesque in the garden and in the vase, and they last for ages indoors and out, really AGES. Both grow from bulbs, so plonk in the ground in the autumn, forget about them and be made giddy with delight in the spring. Simples. Pictures below to show you why I rate them.

Bliss out! But even as I upload these photos, other beautiful flowers are scurrying into my mind, two is not enough! Gardeners are utterly spoilt for choice, no? Join me for more flower love on Friday! xx


  1. Hum I didn't know about scalding the end of cut dahlias. Possibly already done for us in the cutting stage. BUT If I grew them, or snagged a few from my neighbor's garden, I could/ would do that.

    See, already helpful.

    xoxo jane

  2. Love the hare's tale grass and until now hadn't noticed it. I have put it on a list to try for next summer. Gosh, you have us all fired up!!
    K x

  3. My grandmother taught me to singe the stems of dahlias on a hot (electric) stove (cooker) ring, it seals up the stem apparently? I loved doing it as a kid, not often were we allowed to play with something so dangerous as the stove!! Is that the same as scalding? Maybe "lost in translation" for me down under?!!

  4. I've never seen the green and white tulips before. They are superb. No chance of growing them here in Brisane, but thanks to your photo I'm a fan too.

  5. Oh my, I am so glad I asked that question...those are beautiful! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions so well. See you Friday!

  6. How marvelous life is here. Learning about flowers. Oh harp on
    It is exquisite
    Where can we buy in US? I wish Crocus would deliver here. I can not wait until Fri. So long away :-)

  7. Oh my...so beautiful. How could you ever choose just two favorites for cutting when you have all this from which to choose?

  8. I'm with you on the spring green tulips - I grow them too. Such beauties. But my alliums have always failed dismally. I can grow onions and garlic in the veggie garden but not the flowering sort. Any tips for success? Where do they like to grow?

  9. Have pretty much given up on tulips, but may try them again.. maybe. but definitely will add alliums this fall. can't wait for Friday!

  10. I come here for my flower fix! You NEVER disappoint!

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