My boutique cutting garden here on the side of the hill works hard to produce the volumes of blooms I require.  The engine to much of this is my Rhino which has to be a real workhorse all year round.  It's only in its second year and I’m still working out how to best configure the internals. I now think that the best system is a 1 metre wide bed of soil/compost along the sunny side.  This will accommodate some winter grown hardy annuals which are then replaced by the tomatoes, chillies and aubergines, which have now been planted out.  This year I am growing the tomatoes up string which is fascinating me.  The compost will need to be replaced/ammended at least once a year.   I would like the rest of the Rhino to be 'paved’ to accommodate the shelving, pots of sweet peas and dahlias, and workbench.  Unfortunately this will not allow enough room for the lounger, and mini cocktail bar so a fold up chair will have to suffice with a tin mug of tea or coffee.

wooden folding chair inside greenhouse place to sit while gardening
Time to take a seat

As a flower farmer, much of what I grow and cut are annuals and biennials. One of the secret delights of this is the near constant search for the ultimate seeds that are going to give me the most fragrant, prolific and unique blooms with which to enchant my customers.  Enchantment is what I am looking for and I do love a challenge.  However, this has to be balanced with my growing conditions, which are unique to every garden.

Following on from my own comments last week, I have just ordered more biennials to get started for flowering next year. These will include wallflowers, sweet williams and hesperis, all of which offer wonderful fragrance and vibrant colour.  Foxgloves are already sown and potted up along with reseda which blackens my hands like the shelling of broad beans.

Glass jars have continued to be filled with flowery fragrance, colour and texture.  I’ve continued to use a few stems of arching deutzia and philadelphus with their clusters of white flowers, along with roses, ammi, cornflowers, nigella, foxgloves, alstroemeria, sweet peas, sweet williams, grasses, and stocks. They are all still growing and will continue to do so for a while yet.  Very soon the achillea, daucus carota, larkspur, verbena bonariensis and scabious will start blooming, offering me a whole new palette to work with. The sheer pleasure of a small bunch of your own cut flowers is almost unbeatable. The garden will barely notice and likely throw up more shoots and flower stems for you.  The compliments you get from a few stems artfully arranged is priceless, even if you do have to prompt.

a june bouquet with roses, dephiniums, alliums, ammi, achillea, veronica andphiladelphus
A June bouquet with roses, dephiniums, alliums, ammi, Achillea, Veronica and philadelphus


Follow the flowers and happy gardening.



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Written by Fran Phillips