Our mild and sunny autumn has been a bonus for gardeners this year. Flowers usually past their best by the end of September have carried on into November. Here I am continuing my tradition of running around the garden once a week and picking whatever is in flower for my Mother-in-law, Joan. It’s a flavour of my garden that I am after – now my in laws are too elderly to visit us and see the garden for themselves. The flowers are loosely tied with string- and not arranged- as Joan takes great delight in making her own floral creations and placing them on the all the windowsills in the house.
In the centre of the bouquet is some Verbena bonariensis grown from seed. It’s flowered virtually all summer and been a magnet for bees. Seeds for cut flowers come from Higgledy Garden.
There’s some spikes of Persicaria Orange Field and deep red Persicaria Firetail. These flower July to October and are long-lasting in a vase. The spikes give a contrast to the daisy- like flowers of chrysanthemum Mei-Kyo.
Chrysanthemum Mei-Kyo is one of the last to flower in my garden. It’s totally hardy here and doesn’t need staking. Flowers last for at least two weeks in a vase.
My chrysanthemums grow at the base of the sweet pea canes on my cut flower bed. They do best in full sun, but these are growing on the north side of the hazel rod trellis. They grow to about 60cm high with a 50cm spread. Good quality plants come from Woottens plant nursery. I’ve been looking at their on-line catalogue for new additions to my plot and I rather fancy a chrysanthemum called Aunt Millicent- just for the name itself! It’s a very pretty pale pink flower with a greeny yellow centre. More like a daisy than a chrysanthemum.
Bright pink alstroemerias are growing in large 40cm plant pots in my poly tunnel. These provide flowers nearly all year round. Flower stems are pulled rather than cut, and this encourages them to produce new flower stems. Tall stemmed varieties suitable for cutting are sold by Viv Marsh Postal Plants. I’m hoping to add a white variety called Blushing Bride to my collection next spring. The poly tunnel, bought second hand for £20, needs a good clean. Another winter job. It’s much harder to keep the polythene skin clear of algae than for a greenhouse. But it gives me a 20ft space to work during wet weather- and provides winter protection for a mini orchard of peach trees.
Cathy at Rambling in the Garden started this meme three years ago, and it shows how gardeners from all over the world grow cut flowers and use them to decorate their homes. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour around my garden and the flowers grown for Joan.