I used to grow lots cut flowers on our old plot – about one fourth of the plot was dedicated to perennial cut flowers (most of which I grew from seed) and I usually also filled several beds with annuals. But then we had to move to a smaller plot and I prioritized feeding my family calories over feeding them beauty. There is a narrow strip along the fence where I replanted some of the perennials (many had to be left behind), but in 2013 all eight raised beds were used for vegetable growing.
But then I missed the exuberance of annuals and their long season of picking.
So this year, when we added two more raised beds, one of which was destined to house our Garden Connect plot, I decided the other would be for annual cut flowers. The bed is not big, just 1,20 x 2,80 cm, but by planting a variety of flowers, I hoped to make sure it would give us lots of mixed bouquets over a long period of time.
I presowed all the flowers and mulched the bed with flax straw to minimize maintenance. I supported the flowers with an intricate web of string.
In the middle of the bed, I made a simple tipi of bamboo canes and grew sweet peas around it. On one side of the tipi, I planted English marigolds, cornflowers, the scented annual lupine “Sunrise” and larkspur. On the other side, I planted nigella (Love-in-mist), annual clary, a few zinnias, ammi
visnaga and pincushion flower. There were also two cosmos plants and two cleomes.
The bed became everything I hoped for: a source of beauty that kept on giving. I only took out the sweet peas last weekend and the cornflowers are finished as well as calendula, but many of the flowers are still good for cutting.
It is where this bouquet came from.
Cosmos bipinnatus “Purity”, Ammi visnaga, annual clary (Salvia viridis) and pincushion flowers (Scabiosa atropurpurea).