Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Planning a Cutting Garden and a New Competition!

Have you ever been tempted by the idea of starting a cutting garden? Maybe you’ve had enough of paying for stems of over-engineered, chemically coated and unscented shadows of a former bloom, when you know very well you are more than capable of growing better yourself?  I know my answer to both questions and I imagine I’m not on my own here.
   
Since I’ve had a garden I’ve grown flowers for the home and I guess that started with my Grandmother bringing Roses in to her home and naturally roping me, an animal crazed youth, in for earwig duty. That was much more exciting at the time but the Roses never failed to amaze either.  They were always large, old fashioned, scented blooms in shades of pink and red, a much better quality rose than the mainstream tight budded chaff that is churned out en mass nowadays.  To date, I have refrained from growing roses but that doesn’t mean that the influence of growing cut flowers has been lost.  

My small garden is host to a number of plants and flowers that could be considered as vase worthy and I have been known to sacrifice a few for the home but this is not without a touch of resent.   A few decapitated blooms in a small space is often too great a loss, at least it is not something that is entirely sustainable, and it is therefore my intention to dedicate a bit of space (a small space at that) on my allotment.  The question is – What do I grow?

I have visions of growing a mix of annuals, perennials and bulbs so that I can create seasonal displays. I have a vague idea of what to grow but I want a wider and more informed view of what will grow well and last and in true Ryan’s Garden style there is an upside to this - there’s a prize in it for you!

In association with clothes retailer Lands' End I am giving away six £25 gift vouchers and several packets of Nasturtium seeds, which are perfect for sowing next spring in the garden or on the allotment.  Lands' End sponsor the Colour Garden at Barnsdale Gardens.  I was lucky enough to be invited to the garden this year but I couldn’t attend.  I will visit next year for sure as part of a number of much needed garden visits.  

So the question is - What Spring bulbs would you recommend for cutting?  To enter the competition please click here.

12 comments:

  1. Hmmm, there are so many. I work in a flower shop, and we get so many bulbs cut from muscari, to fritillaria meleagris. But I especially love the F. imperialis, three to five in a vase is quite a statement, (if slightly smelly, although I kind of like the smell).

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  2. Growing up on 3 acres in the country, my parents would plant a 20' x 20' patch with Zinnias, Cosmos and Sunflowers, so we had plenty of flowers for cutting! Unfortunately, living on a small city lot, with space at a premium, I'm sorta like you, I can't bear to cut any of the flowers to bring inside. If a stems gets broken, however, I do bring it in...and enjoy it immensely!

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  3. My favourite bulbs for cutting has to be tulips. I always hate cutting them from the garden though, so I will be planting loads on the plot next year for bringing into the house. The best flowers for cutting from the garden this year has been Dahlias, Zinnias and Rudbeckias and the more you cut the more they grow, perfect.

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  4. Brilliant project - I started a cutting garden in the middle of a field on Anglesey a couple of years ago, it's what got me hooked on growing stuff from seed, but now I am back in my own garden I don't have the space. I tried a cutting area, but found myself loving the flowers "in situ" too much to cut many... Enjoy!

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  5. In spring I love scented daffs like 'Sweetness'- cheerful & not too frilly if your're not a fan of doubles like 'Yellow'or 'White Cheerfulness.'I've heard you shouldn't put daffs in a vase with other flower due to something they exude, but I do, anyway & it seems ok. I'd go for scented bulbs every time, & if you choose scented tulips (Taylor's has a nice selection) you can use their spot in the garden later w/out fear of spearing the bulbs- just compost them after flowering as the 1st year flowers are often the best. (You can stick a bit of wire in their stems to keep them upright in the vase) I wish I had an allotment/patch where I could grow cut flowers! Enjoy!!

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  6. Just cutting one flower and putting it in a bud vase has an amazing impact. Or three o0r five vases in a row. Great also to put interesting foliage in as single items. So the loss from your garden is less.
    Well written post and competition idea!
    Best Wishes
    Robert

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  7. Ohh. This is one of the reasons, i hate living in an apartment without a garden.

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  8. Hi Ryan,

    I know they're pretty mainstream and some may think a little prosaic and certainly they're not nearly as exotic as a lot of these suggestions are bound to be, but Spring has not arrived until I have a vase full of cheerful, nodding daffodils.
    SarahTheVet x

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  9. I know daffodils are obvious as an answer - but daffodils in a clear glass vase on a sunny kitchen table are one of the most cheering, uplifting, sights I know. My favourites for indoors aren't necessarily the ones I'd like to grow in a garden either. Daffodils like this are best when they are their most ordinary, basic, bright yellow - the bring 'em home in bunches (or cut 'em in bunches!)form. There's something so very exciting about peeling the green elastic band from a bunch bought in a shop, I think I'd put an elastic band round my home-grown bunch specially for the pleasure of taking it off again!

    You said let you know when I post about seaweeds. I've just posted the first group on Loose and Leafy. Here's the link

    http://looseandleafy.blogspot.com/2010/10/leaves-of-sea.html

    Unfortunately, identification pends!

    Lucy

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  10. Bother, bother, bother . . . I've just written a long comment and it's vanished because I forgot to wait for the WV thingy. I can't cope with this kind of comment box. Oh dear, wail, wail . . . I was voting for daffodils and explaining eloquently why and . . . oh dear, I'll not write it out again - but I will let you know I've posted the first of the seaweed posts on Loose and Leafy. Here's the link

    http://looseandleafy.blogspot.com/2010/10/leaves-of-sea.html

    Lucy

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  11. My spring bulbs are in pots. Couldn't bear to cut them. But the pots come in, and the flowers last for weeks. Pot by pot, in turn.

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  12. Hi Ryan, I've found your fantstic blog via JWBlooms and was interested to see you are planning a cutting garden. I have spent the last year turning my garden into a cutting garden for a tiny business I have started selling bouquets and arrangements during the growing season. My blog has been charting some of the highs and lows and what has worked or not. I am absolutely no expert but thought you might be interested? Recently I have started wittering on other subjects, but pre October is mainly flowers! Alliums of every kind have been the stars of my bulb growing. Belinda

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