Monday flowers on a Tuesday – better late than never has never been more apt! Life in my household can only be described as chaotic this year with travelling children and an assortment of guests coming and going on a regular basis. Days of well planned routines seem like a distant memory but I am not complaining as I know come the autumn my daughters will be settled in new cities with new jobs and my son will be starting university, leaving us as true empty nesters – at least until the Christmas holidays.
The last three weeks have been taken up with a visit from my sister in law and her family from Florida. It has been such a treat to have my small nephew brightening the days – we celebrated his 7th birthday with a family party and a big bouncy castle, took out a boat on the Broads, ate fish and chips at the beach and saw some amazing magic tricks at Kentwell Hall. They left yesterday leaving us feeling rather flat, but we are looking forward to seeing them again soon on our annual trip to Florida. Another sister in law and her family – who live in London – have been spending weekends with us and joining in with the fun. The two of us share a love of vintage containers and this weekend she brought her latest purchase to show me – this beautiful soup tureen which is missing its lid was picked up for a song and is perfect for the showy dahlias which are filling my cutting beds right now – I had no choice but to flower it up for her and share it with you today!
Although I have very little time for gardening and flower arranging at the moment, my cutting beds are overflowing with treats. The half hardy annuals are getting into their swing, new dahlias are flowering every day and my outdoor sweet peas are pumping out the blooms. Above you can see amaranthus Hot Biscuits, chocolate cosmos, sweet peas, heuchera, lime & beech foliage and a selection of dahlias.
This lovely dark sweet pea is a favourite. You can also see the lime seeds clearly – I have cut off the leaves so that the seeds stand out.
The selection of dahlias above includes Totally Tangerine, Apricot Beauty and Labyrinth – some of my favourite dahlias in apricot shades.
The colouring on these heuchera leaves works perfectly with the apricot and plum colours in this arrangement.
Amaranthus Hot Biscuits is new to me this year – its stunning copper shades will work with so many flowers and I can see it will be a staple in autumn arrangements. Amaranthus is a half hardy annual, meaning that it will not survive a frost. The seeds are very easy to germinate but must be pricked out and kept in a frost free place until after your last frost date. Amaranthus start to flower in July and will continue producing these amazing long tassels until the plants are killed by an autumn frost.
Chocolate cosmos is also a new plant to me this year and is rapidly becoming a favourite. It is a tender perennial so in my frost prone cutting garden I will have to lift it in October and keep it under cover in my greenhouse or cold frames until late May next year. It produces a succession of flowers on lovely delicate long stems that twist and turn in such an elegant way – most definitely a top tip for your cutting gardens!
Heucheras are another perennial that I consider to be a cutting garden essential. The beautiful leaves come in a variety of colours and are great for filling in low level open spaces in an arrangement and the flower stems provide airy structure.
I have not been playing with flowers very much this year – one thing or another always seems to get in the way, so I thoroughly enjoyed filling this beautiful tureen with all the lovelies from the cutting garden. As ever I am linking up with Cathy at Rambling In The Garden, albeit a day late joining in with her challenge to find something from the garden to put in a vase every week of the year.
I hope that you are all well and enjoying your gardens – whatever the season where you are.