About my garden

Monday, 10 December 2018

Recycling my vase on Monday and Floral update - part three.

The green vase I made last week is still looking really good so I added in a few different flowers and left most of the foliage. A couple of things were looking crispy but I think the water got low. Top tip - keep the water topped up!

Regular readers will know of my change of direction this year. The story of my year is here and here.
Obviously it is interesting to people keen on growing cut flowers to know what has grown well and is worth trying. Thanks Christina for pointing that out. 

Unless otherwise stated things were grown outside from a spring sowing. 
One thing I do know is that pinching out really works for many things to get good bushy plants and more flowers. It works for most things which will branch anyway. 

This year many things grew well for me in no particular order:
Cornflowers. I had white and pink. The flowered for months and if you keep cutting they keep flowering and bush out nicely. They last a reasonable time if picked early and fade prettily. 

Sweet Peas. Winter Sunshine inside and mixes outside. 

Cosmos. I had Cupcakes growing inside which were beautiful. Outside I had a general mix which wasn't as good due to the weather. 

Rudbekia. I tried Sahara for the first time. Oh, they were gorgeous. Some plants were inside and did really well, some outside didn't get very tall through lack of water. Still pretty and good enough for small vases. 'Green Eyes' is still flowering, in fact one plant has survived from last year. 

Ammi. This did well from a spring sowing and went on flowering for a long time. 

Daucus carota. This got off to a slow start but is doing well now! Again probably went short of water in the summer. Really pretty and  good with anything. 

Dill. Seeded everywhere from the previous year and went in every bunch during September and October. 

Larkspur. Autumn sowing. 

Nicotiana. I sowed some and some seeded themselves. Flowered for months and were very useful. Green and pink.

Atriplex. Fantastic foliage/filler. Once you have it it seeds forever. 

Amaranthus. The plants I pinched out and watered well produces lovely long tassels. 

Sunflower. 'Vanilla Ice'. I love this and it went on and on. 'Prado Red' also. They have smallish heads which are better for vases and keep coming. They suffered in the drought but then took off when we had rain, like many things. 

Snap dragon. 'Royal Bride' was brilliant and went on until November. 'Madame Butterfly' grew and flowered well but I didn't like some of the colours in the mix. Some were a strange pinky orange. One was white and green which I did used often. 

Zinnia. 'Queen Red Lime'. Gorgeous. I grew some mixed colours inside and they did much better than those planted outside. Too dry again, I expect. 

Scabious. Pinky colour mix and also 'Fata Morgana'. These did well and in fact, I think they are still flowering. Once established they just go on and on. Cut as a bud and they open in the vase. 

Limonium suworowii. I grew these having seen them in other peoples vases. They made good little plants and beautiful long flowers which looked great mixed in with other things. Then they were scorched. :(

Salvia farinacea. A beautiful pop of blue, especially good with pinks. The whites were no where near as good. 

Dahlias. Of course!

Cardiospermum. A beautiful annual vine which produces puffy seed balls. 

Some things failed or were disappointing but I need to leave room for improvement next year. No doubt different things will fail or be brilliant:

Ridolfia. My plants were very feeble and never bulked up. Trying again from an autumn sowing.

Stocks. I can't seem to grow them well. Any tips. Trying again.

Didiscus. These are very pretty and started well but then got very leggy. I'll try and get bushy plants next year. 

Orlaya. I think I had 3 plants which never got over 40cm. They like to self seed apparently or be sown very fresh. I have lots of seedlings now from seed kindly donated from a fellow grower. 

Cosmos. Xanthos and Rubinato. I was really looking forward to these but they were feeble plants barely tall enough to cut. 

I'll stop now before you all drop off. 


  1. Gorgeous vase as always. Our mum flowers have turned to mush in the rain. What a joy to have them growing beneath the protection of your poly tunnel. Loved the information about what worked well and what didn't in your cutting gardens this year.

    1. Thank you. Yes, I do love my poly tunnel. Vegetables grow very well there too with fewer pests and diseases.

  2. I can vouch for how lovely the Chrysanthemums are...thanks for the blooms, they are just the thing to adorn our newly decorated living room.

  3. Oh that is interesting to read - in my early days of seed sowing I never knew which needed to pinched out, but I too have learned that most things are better pinched out. I suppose success or 'failure' this year does no mean the same for next year, but it's deciding what is worth the effort of trying again, particularly for you. I must try pink cornflower as yours is so pretty - I have already planted out Black Ball, Blue Boy and white. Will definitely be addong R Sahara to my seed list as it is one I had already made a note of after seeing it on a blog. Thanks for sharing all of this - it is one of the joys of blogging

    1. It seems wrong to pinch but you have to be brutal, don't you? I bought the pink on a whim from a local nursery. They come out very bright but then fade. I saved seed and have more coming on for next year! You are welcome, it's nice to have an interested audience.

  4. I appreciate hearing what worked for you and what didn't, and why. I'm trying to grow more from seeds and less from plugs but space is a major issue for me. Given our ongoing drought, I've got to restrict my use of irrigation so only my small cutting garden, consisting of 3 raised planters, gets watered lavishly and, even there, I'm probably stingier with the water than is ideal. I had little luck with Orlaya plugs last year, partly because rabbits showed up for the first time ever and kept eating them to the ground, but I'm trying them again from seed now. The coyotes seem to have taken care of the rabbits, at least for the time being...

    1. I start most of my seeds in small pots and then prick out as warm safe space is hard for me too. I have tiny propagator which I use in spring. Heat would not be an issue for you! Then every windowsill is covered in seedlings for about a month until I feel it's safe from cold, mice and slugs to put them elsewhere. It's a constant battle. But fun.


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