I know my blog has been a bit quiet recently but I’ve been quite busy behind the scenes. I’ve been planning and dreaming and just recently sowing seeds. You know all about the vege seeds I’m growing but I’ve also started sowing flower seeds for my Cutting Garden. I’ve been a bit cross with the cutting garden or rather the man who ploughed and grassed our paddock. I marked out my Cutting garden with canes and asked him NOT to grass inside the canes. Yep you guessed it. As my carefully planted bulbs began to peep out from the soil so did millions and trillions of grass. The air was as blue as the grass was green that morning. Annoyingly I had to spray the whole lot and I HATE spraying but what can you do? So, I’m back to square one but progress is on it’s way in the form of tiny little seeds.
While I’m pretty excited about all the seeds I’ve chosen to grow there are a few Stand Out Stars that I really can’t wait for Here’s my Top 5 seeds to grow for the Cutting Garden.
These are stock seeds (Matthiola Incana). I can’t wait to smell their spicy scent! They were a very popular Edwardian flower that went by the name Gillyflower. There are two types of stock; hardy annual and biennial. Brompton stocks or ‘ten week stocks’ are treated as an annual and take ten weeks to flower. They produce just one stem so are definitely not a cut and come again flower. They often produce fancier flowers though and have a greater variety of colour. The biennial type of stock are sown in the Autumn, put on growth over winter and flower in early Spring. They form branched plants so you can pick them over a long period of time. Biennials are a great idea for the cut flower garden because they will flower earlier than any spring sown seeds. The variety I found (and there wasn’t a huge amount of choice) are hardy annuals. It seems that they’re a mix of singles and doubles as they advise to select light green seedlings for doubles and darker green ones for singles.
Ammi Majus is another flower that I’m really looking forward to. It’s a member of the carrot family so has a long tap root which doesn’t like to be disturbed when potting on. It’s white umbrels are very similar to cow parsley that froths and frolics in English hedgerows. It’s a filler plant and can be used with a huge variety of flowers to add bulk and a relaxed meadow feel. I much prefer natural looking bouquets and posies. They have a sense of quirkiness and vitality that glossy imported perfect specimens lack.
Snapdragons or Antirrhinums are such charming flowers with their dreaming spires of individual blooms. You need to get the taller varieties for a good cut flower option. Garden centres prefer the bedding varieties but you can still buy seed for the taller varieties. I found three varieties; Princess white with purple eye, Snowflake and Brazillian Carnival. All grow to about 85-90 cm and will simply fizz with colour (Brazillian Carnical) or radiate peace and calm (Snowflake).
Briza Maxima is a grass that also goes by the name Quaking grass. The grass heads have a pearl lustre to their coats and they hang from gossamer thin stems which naturally tremble and shake in the breeze. I love the idea of adding this energy to a bouquet so I really hope they germinate. Apparently you need patience as they take their time.
The final cut flower in my Top 5 is Larkspur the smaller cousin of the delphinium. This seed requires stratification which means pop it in the fridge for a few weeks. It needs a cold spell to break it’s dormancy and germinate. These flowers benefit from pinching out the growing tip to produce a bushier plant.
It’s the first day of spring tomorrow! My favourite season of them all!