August in the Cutting Garden is a month of pure abundance – although most of my hardy annuals have gone over leaving a few gaps, the half hardy annuals and dahlias are pumping out flowers on a daily basis – regular dead heading is crucial to keep the succession going into September and October.
Now that the flowers are growing close to head height it is hard to get a good shot of the overall Cutting Garden, so this month will focus on close ups again.
Cosmos Bright Lights is a favourite flower of mine – so delicate and uplifting.
The zinnias have loved the hot weather and stood up well to this weeks monsoon like rain storms. Although zinnias can be a little tricky to get going, once they are established they will keep on producing plenty of fresh flowers well into October.
The single white cosmos ‘Purity’ is my favourite cosmos – tall and billowing it is hard to believe that this delicate looking plant was not flattened by all that rain. As long as I keep dead heading (on an almost daily basis) the flowers will keep coming – it is a perfect plant for cutting but also very prolific and long lasting in pots and containers. I have used a lot of cosmos as bedding plants this year, in place of the costly garden centre petunias etc and it is proving to be very long lasting.
The flower above and below is cosmos ‘Double Rose Bonbon’.
This stunning single is cosmos bipinatus ‘Rubenza’.
And this lovely double is cosmos ‘Click Cranberries’.
Amaranthus is another favourite half hardy annual – adding a touch of drama to anything you arrange it with. This year I have grown amaranthus tricolor ‘Red Army’ above and amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis’ below. The green variety I have been growing for a few years, but this is my first time growing the red. I am surprised that its growing habit is so much more upright – perhaps it will arch downwards as the tassels increase in length.
This beautiful orange dahlia is called ‘Mrs Eileen’ and I grow her every year. The colour of the large flower heads is just stunning!
I have mentioned that my sunflower sowing was a disaster this year, but look at this beautiful half hardy rudbeckia called ‘Cappuccino’ – these will make a great replacement for sunflowers and again are a new seed for me this year.
On Monday I promised I would show you the grass that I used in my vase growing in the garden. Panicum elegans ‘Frosted Explosion’ is a half hardy annual grass which is looking as lovely in the border as it did in my vase. The thicker leaves that you can see come from the gladioli bulbs which were interplanted with the grass seedlings in late June – hopefully these will flower later in September. I have never grown annual grasses before, but I certainly will be growing this, along with Briza Maxima (the greater quaking grass) next year.
Every year I find room for a few asters and I loved the apricot colour of this one (aster ‘Tower Chamois’) so much last year that I made sure to grow plenty more this year. I do not find asters make a very long lasting cutting flower, but for a few weeks they are so beautiful that I feel they are worth the effort of growing.
I had my usual helpers this afternoon – although Hardy was a bit grumpy about having his photo taken today – he does look very handsome in the sun though.
This vibrant orange nasturtium is a self seeded plant from last year.
The apricot coloured dahlia ‘Preference’ is another favourite.
My borage sowing was pulled up by birds earlier in the early summer, so I am delighted to find a few plants have self seeded themselves randomly amongst other flowers.
Dahlia ‘American Dawn’ above and ‘Labyrinth’ below are both new additions to my garden. I gave in to the temptation of the Sarah Raven catalogue in early spring and I am so glad that I did – these two new dahlias are stunning and will be appearing in my Monday vases very soon.
A few of the roses are starting to flower again – hopefully there will be lots more roses in September. This one is the David Austin rose ‘Munstead Wood’.
This annual lavender is called ‘Spanish Eyes’. Another half hardy annual, this one is very easy to grow and flowers non stop until the first frosts, making it a great alternative to perennial lavender which is over by mid August. I have some growing in the Cutting Garden, but have also used plenty to edge my borders around the house (last year I filled pots with it). As long as you dead head regularly it just keeps on flowering, whatever the weather conditions.
Nelson was delighted to find a few raspberries had dropped to the ground – his favourite summer treat!
The sun was just too soporific for Hardy.
Annuals that are still flowering well include euphorbia oblongata and salvia viridis. Both make excellent edging plants and the euphorbia should survive through the winter to produce fresh flowers early next spring.
So that is most of what has been flowering in August. There are also sweet peas which I forgot to photograph and a few perennials including scabious and phlox growing in the Cutting Garden. Also I have a second sowing of stocks and snapdragons growing well but not yet in flower. Another omission is the half hardy annual Bells of Ireland which are looking good right now. I find it is handy to have lots of green filler foliage to choose from when working with the sometimes quite rigid shapes of dahlias.
With the exception of the asters and cosmos ‘Double Rose Bonbon’ (which came from Seeds of Distinction), all the seeds I have mentioned today came from the beautiful Sarah Raven seed catalogue. If you are making plans for next years cutting flowers I would highly recommend that you order a copy for lots of inspiration!
I do hope that you will leave a link to your own cutting garden posts and if you have any questions please ask in the comments below. It would be really nice to know what everyones favourite August flowers are, so do please join in with a comment about yours.
I will be back on the last Friday of September with my September Cutting Garden Review and will have a Giveaway for you again next month. In the meantime I will be posting about the hardy annuals I will be sowing in September next Friday. It is hard to believe it is already time to start planning for next years blooms!