Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The cutting garden

Well, this was going to be the year when I concentrated on flowers for cutting rather than vegetables. On the whole, flowers have proved a lot easier to grow. I wonder if this could be our soil, with about 3 inches of chalky topsoil before you hit the bedrock. This means its very poor in nutrients and prone to frequent and long droughts, both of which flowers seem to handle better than veg. I think to build up sufficient bulk in a vegetable crop you need to either water it constantly, or improve the soil every year for about 10 years??

Having said that, obviously where people are vigilant they have got fantastic crops. You only have to see Ali's blog (from the same allotment site!) to see the potential.

I think until I am able to commit more time in the summer evenings, I will have to resign myself to the lower maintenance crops like flowers and herbs. We are planning to get a greenhouse in the garden later in the year, so this means we can do tomatoes and so on there. Watch this space to see if we do grow anything interesting this year, or whether my moans, groans and excuses fill the WHOLE BLOG! Ha ha.

So in the meantime here are some more of my finest cuttings from this week. First up my Charles de Mills rose was magnificent. This yielded me a whole bush of fragrant, dark mauve blooms. The best ones were cut with a stalk attached and put into an arrangement with some cornflowers.

Ones that were too late to pick for cut flowers were picked just below the flower and placed in water to keep them fresh.

And because I couldn't bear to waste them, I even picked the petals from the deadheads to be dried in saucers and saved. The smell in the room was fantastic!


  1. How do you dry your rose petals? Our humidity here in Texas tends to cause mold. Also any more news on the Strawberry thief? If there is one, I hope it has fur or feathers.

  2. They look lovely. Pot pourri is a great idea for the dead or dying flowers, I would have never thought of that.

  3. I think it's touch and go on the rose petals. The plate is in our conservatory which gets very hot, especially in the current heatwave and I think that's why these didn't go mouldy.

    Often in the past they have gone brown and musty smelling. They have crisped up nicely this time, I will post a photo of what they look like now.

  4. gorgeous colours. The picture of the saved petals took me right back to my childhood memories of making rose petal perfume. Shame no one ever told me you had to dry them out first and preferably not mix them up with your mud pies! Never did smell too special!

  5. i hope my rose will be like you flower.im stay in tropical country.not easy to grow them in tropic.

  6. Hi nic

    Thank you. I had just hte same problem in childhood with rose petals. I remember being very disappointed when my perfume just smelled like old tea.

    By the way, I am convinced there were no strawberry thieves, but our negligence was to blame.

  7. Hi areen, how interesting. I am always convinced that we need a hotter climate for roses. It must like a mediterranean climate?