For a few weeks I have been playing with the idea of having a cut flower patch in the garden. I first saw it on a TV programme and it planted the idea; then Katie over at Lavenders&Leeks also mentioned it in her Youtube video and it got me thinking again.
We don’t own the house we currently live in, so I can’t plant any fruit trees or change the overall landscape of the garden. It slopes upwards, and everything seems to be on a slight incline. So what I plant is either perennial plants -which we will be able to dig up and take with us when we move-, or I plant in pots, leaving the garden rather bare in my opinion. So, with the edible garden approach and companion gardening I can fill the garden a little here and there. Having a flower patch would also fill it a little more, and as most of the flowers will be annuals we won’t have to worry about them when we leave. I say when we leave, we would like to stay here until we have been able to save up money for a house; for the price we pay it is a great house, and the garden is huge really.
In any case, I love flowers, and I love having flowers in the house. So, what could be better than enjoying them outside my back door and feeling proud that what I have in my vase has grown from my soil?
The problem I have been having with the planning, however, is twofold. Firstly, I only have one point of access to the plot, and it’s on the narrow part of it. I would have to make access paths in order to get to all the flowers. Secondly, I want to grow quite a large variety of flowers, so I was having a lot of problems visualising how I was going to distribute the plot in an organised way.
After thinking and thinking, my partner simply looked at me and said: just throw the seeds in and see what happens. And, you know what, I think I will do just that. I have arranged my seeds into 3 groups. Those that grow up to 45cm to be placed at the front, those that grow up to about 75cm will be in the middle, and the taller plants and grasses will go at the back. This way, all the flowers will be mixed but visible, and it won’t be such a regimented place.
Thus, this is my plan so far. I feel I need to physically divide the plot for some reason, I guess to have some height boundaries. Since taking this photo I have put some strawberry plants next to the heather you can see in the photo, giving the plot another function as well. Alys Fowler suggests putting down slab stones in your path so you don’t compact the soil. For now, I’m going to see how it goes without adding anything to the plot.
Most of my seeds are from Sarah Raven with a couple from Suttons and some free ones that came with an allotment magazine. If you’re also thinking about a flower patch, the flowers and fillers I have selected for each section are the following:
Forget-me-not – 15cm
Calendula – 45cm
Californian Poppy – 30cm
Nigella Moody – 45cm
Anchusa, salvia 45cm
I’d like to add a couple more, if you have any suggestions leave a comment or head over to instagram!
Nigella Deep Blue – 45-60cm
Nigella African Bride – 45-60cm
Didiscus – 60cm
Nicotiana – 60cm
Poppy Blusch 60cm
Cottage Garden mix (1 packet?) – 60cm
Rudbeckia – 75cm
Bunny’s Tail grass 20-50cm
Poppy Candyfloss – 60-90cm
Dill – 90cm
Bishop’s Flower – 90cm
Cornflower – 90cm
Verbena – 90cm
Ravenswing (biannual) – 80-100cm
Scabiosa – 100cm
Wild Carrot – 120cm
Nasturtium – 180cm
I have ordered 2 dahlia tubers, but I’m not sure if I want to plant them in the patch or if I will have them somewhere else in the garden. I have ordered one tuber of Dahlia ‘Jowey Mirella’, which is a lovely raspberry red, and one tuber of Dahlia ‘Gerrie Hoek’, pink with a hint of orange, resembling a waterlily.