I finally made it back from Waddesdon on Wednesday evening after almost four weeks away from Leicester. I really enjoyed my extended stay in Bucks but I was pretty apprehensive about the level of carnage I’d find in the house, garden and allotment when I got back!
On balance I think the apprehension was justified, although by some miracle the allotment in particular had survived rather better than I’d expected. I too often forget that plants actually want to grow and therefore they’ll do everything in their power to do that, even under pretty trying circumstances.
So long story short, yesterday my cutting beds yielded sufficient flowers for four jam jar posies. I’m feeling extremely proud of myself, despite my only contribution being to put the plants in the ground and then abandon them!
I failed to pay proper attention to the labels as I was picking but my haul included cosmos ‘Purity’, ‘Sensation’, ‘Xanthos’ and ‘Apricotta’, sweet peas, ammi majus, rudbeckia ‘Rustic Dwarf’, a lovely white scabious that I have no recollection of planting, sunflower possibly ‘Little Dorrit’, and crocosmia that I inherited when I took on the plot.
I’m not sure when the idea of growing flowers for cutting became something I decided I wanted to try. I suspect it was a mixture of watching items on Gardeners’ World about people growing for cutting on their allotments, becoming more aware of companies like Sarah Raven and Higgledy Garden who sell seeds specifically designed for cutting and discovering Flowers from the Farm, an amazing umbrella organisation for a growing number of small independent flower growers supplying individuals and florists with local, sustainable flowers.
I’m aware that over the last two or three years, my whole approach to cut flowers has shifted. Although I do still buy flowers from supermarkets, I try and be aware of where they’ve been grown and whether they’re genuinely ‘seasonal’. And if I’m buying flowers for someone else, I’ll use the Flowers from the Farm website to find someone local to the recipient if I possibly can.
One of my first brilliant discoveries was the lovely Sarah Sutton of The Wild Bee and Me, based between Leicester and Market Harborough. Not content with growing and selling amazing flowers, she’s also a beekeeper!
In the last couple of weeks I’ve also discovered Laurel Rusakoff (Sweet Grace Flower Farm in Quainton, Bucks) and Rosie Insley (Wild Rose Flower Company) both of whom were extremely generous with their time, advice and – in Laurel’s case – flowers when I met them!!
If you’re interested in finding out more about growing flowers for cutting, I’d strongly recommend following Flowers from the Farm (@flowersfromthefarm) on Instagram. Every week a different grower takes over the account and I’ve discovered some amazing and inspiring people as a result.
That’s all for this week! Head to The Propagtor‘s blog to see what’s going on in other gardens in the UK and beyond! And happy gardening!
Twitter and Instagram: @MySecretGard