I am very sorry that I missed the June Cutting Garden Review – it was such an abundant month for cutting with the peonies, roses, ammi majus and other annuals all looking fantastic! Sadly I just never found the time to capture their beauty on camera. June was over far too quickly and we on the plane headed for America in early in July, so yet again I have not been around to capture the progression of the cutting garden in this midsummer month.
I did worry that I would return home to find everything in the Cutting Garden had faded, but I should have known not to be so pessimistic. Whilst the roses are largely having a rest and most of my early sown annuals have gone over in the heat, there is still much pleasure to be found from perusing the borders and certainly no lack of flowers to cut!
One of my favourite fillers – the green amaranthus is just ready to start adding to vases of dahlias.
The beautiful rose Wolverton Old Hall is still producing a few blooms.
These snapdragons were sown early in February and looking stunning. As the flowers fade I will cut them back hard in the hopes of a second flush of pure white blooms.
Bright orange cosmos ‘Bright Lights’ is lighting up the gaps between my hot coloured dahlias. The white cosmos ‘Purity’ is just about to flower between my pale dahlias and is one of my favourite late summer blooms.
Above is possibly my favourite dahlia – beautiful ‘Preference’ is just starting to flower. I also have the very first bloom of ‘Cafe Au Lait’ in the greenhouse with more to follow in the garden and all my other dahlias are covered in big buds. There are plenty of gladioli growing, but none in flower yet.
These blue cornflowers have grown very leggy during July, but they are still good for a few more cuttings. My beds are ready for a good weed and tidy up after their early summer flush and I like to remove the biennials and annuals that have gone over to get some light and air into the beds. This will give the dahlias plenty of breathing space so that they can flower at their best until the late autumn.
Along with the dahlias and gladioli, zinnias provide the bulk of my late season flowers. Usually I would also have plenty of sunflowers, but however organised I try to be something always gets missed and this year it is the sunflowers. I did sow the seed in May, but the plants have languished in the cold frames and now look beyond planting out. Never mind – I will look forward to having these back in the garden next summer!
White and blue nigella self seeded in the borders and produced early blooms in May and June. Whilst a few flowers are still opening, most are developing into the lovely seedheads which will stand well and can be added to arrangements until late autumn.
Most of the ammi has gone over now – tall brown stems are littering my borders throughout the garden. If you look hard enough though you can find a few fresh flowers. I also have ammi visnaga, which was sown in early spring, just coming into flower so these should keep me in white umbels well into the autumn.
This beautiful bed of nepeta has kept the bees happy whilst I have been away, but collapsed this week and is ready for cutting back. If we have a warm late summer it should hopefully flower again in September.
As we move into August I need to focus my attention on jobs that will ensure I have plenty of flowers next spring. These include:
- Making my bulb order, so that I am ready to start planting in the autumn.
- Pricking out the biennials sown before our holiday so that they can grow on in the cold frames ready to plant in their final position when I plant the bulbs.
- Checking my seed supplies for hardy annuals so that I can order any that I am missing. I will be sowing in September for early flowers next spring and will write about this more fully in a dedicated post in August.
- Ordering sweet pea seeds for sowing in September and growing in the greenhouse for flowers early next year. Once again my outdoor crop is plagued with pollen beetles, so I may stop growing sweet peas outside altogether. Although the stems are now quite short I do still have plenty of flowers i the greenhouse and these plants have been flowering now since April!
I am sorry that the photos are quite limited this month, but I will make sure to take plenty of shots of the August beds to share with you in my next Cutting Garden Review.
In the meantime, please do leave a link to your own Cutting Garden post, so that we can all share your progress. To get the ball rolling do take a look at this lovely post on Rambling In The Garden. Cathy got carried away and posted a week early – giving me a slight headache when I arrived home last Friday and thought I had got my dates very confused! I soon realised what had happened and owe her a big thank you for her enthusiasm.