Writing and re-writing plant lists, researching different varieties, reading books and looking online for inspiration has been a wonderful excuse to learn more about gardening and the way I would like to shape and design our garden. For sometime I have known which cut flowers I want to grow at home and on the allotment and therefore I wanted to plan the rest of the garden to compliment my cut-flower ambitions. The plants in the garden need to seriously multitask. I need plants with good coverage, be relatively fast growing (considering I’m starting my beds from scratch) have good foliage and be useful for my cut flower arrangements. I would also prefer plants that helped out native wildlife. So good pollinators are on the winning list. However …. as much as I try to stick to my carefully thought out shopping lists I do tend to get a bit carried away when I see some pretty looking flower seeds or an interesting looking shrub or perennial.
What will you be trying out in your garden this year? Here is a look at some of the plants that I will be stocking my garden with.
Hydrangea Limelight, Confetti and Macro Zorro (Rosa)
When I used to think of hydrangeas I used to think of big vibrant blue and pink balls. I had no idea that there are so many interesting varieties out there. I ha e chosen these three for the garden. I love the lime green colour of ‘Limelight’ and think it will look stunning with pink roses. ‘Confetti’ and ‘Macro Zorro’ are two lace cap Hydrangeas completely different in style. Whilst ‘Confetti’ looks ridiculously pretty and classical ‘Zorro’ on the other hand looks like the black sheep of the hydrangea world, rebelling away from the 1970’s version of hydrangea that had put me off this shrub for so long.
Viburnum Opulus Roseum
I can’t wait to see this ‘pom pom’ flowering shrub bloom in the garden. The beautiful, soft flowers start off green and turn to white. Both the flowers and the deep green leaves can be used for cut flower arrangement in the vase.
Flowering Quince ‘Pink Storm’
A bright blooming oriental looking shrub that looks as well poised as an orchid in the garden. I love this deep coral colour and the waxy thick petals that form these compact blooms.
I pick these flowers a lot at Mums house and know how valuable they are for floral arrangement in large jugs and based. Informal and relaxed, they have a rustic charm and compliment roses and other cottage flowers beautifully.
I had Astilbe in my bridal bouquet and have wanted to grow it ever since. I’m growing mine from a root cutting and it’s looking pretty good at the moment! It tolerates shade so I’m hoping it will add some pretty tones in my north facing bed along with the Hosta’s and the pastel pinks of the Foxgloves that I have just planted.
Astrantia ‘Shaggy’ and ‘Ruby Cloud’
I also had Astrantia in my bouquet when I got married and grew it in my old garden. It’s great for bees and looked so lovely in the garden and in a vase. I’m looking forward to trying these two types of Astrantia for cut flowers in the new garden.
A crowd pleasing garden staple. This will look great in my west facing bed with clematis and roses growing behind it. Deep purple flowers that cut really well and are great for bees and butterfly’s! What not to like?
Alchamilla Mollis (Lady’s Mantle)
This is a must for filling in spaces in the borders. The perfect foliage for cut flowers and looks and feels very tactile. I love looking at it on a rainy day when droplets of water ball up on the leaves and look so beautiful.
Acid green, striking flowers and waxy deep leaves Euphorbia is another one that will add contrast to floral arrangements and I think will work well with the bigger more prominent blooms from the garden.
Hollyhocks – Tall Mix
I have never grown hollyhocks before and to be honest they are not my most favourite perennial but they do have that cottage garden charm and will add nice height to the the cut flower beds and I’m going to grow them on the allotment.
Aquilegias – Mixed
A flower I can rely on! Very important for my novice green fingers. I love growing these! So many different varieties and colours. The seeds scatter so easily after their lengthy flowering period and they can cross breed and create unexpected blooms in the garden the following year.
Scabious ‘Perfecta Alba’and ‘Ping Pong’
So you may have guessed I have a bit of a soft spot for flowers that featured on my wedding day but hey we’ve been getting sentimental about flowers since the history books began! I had scabious seed pods from the stunning ‘Ping Pong’flower and I’m so pleased I’ve been able to find the seeds to sow to see if I can grow them and the frilly ‘Shaggy’ scabious at home as I would love to put them with my cut flower arrangements.
Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ and ‘Coral Charm’
I adore peonies and when looking at which ones to put in the garden these two stood out. I’m growing them from root cuttings so they might take a while to establish and flower but I know that they will be worth the wait!!
A shade loving plant that I think will look lovely in a vase. I love the delicate hanging flowers so simple and graceful against the glossy green foliage. I couldn’t resist buying one so I’m looking forward to seeing how it grows.
Korean Feathered Reed Grass
To me this is the perfect looking grass for a garden…tall, fluffy and oh so nice to look at! I reckon this grass will go with just about anything and will contrast really nicely with some of the perennials in this list.
Tubers, Bulbs and Corns
Gladioli ‘Green Star’
What a stunner! I love the acid green flowers of this gladioli and can’t wait to pair it with some vibrant dahlias! I’m going to plant lots of gladioli as they have just good vase life and if I grow a succession of plants hopefully I’ll have plants throughout summer.
Anemone ‘De Cean’
Anemones are my second all time favourite flower (poppies being number one). These gorgeous flowers always look stunning in arrangements and I love how these unique blooms emerge from the tightest of buds. They slowly unfurl as though being woken from a deep sleep. When they finally wake up – wow what a lovely sight.
I came across these alliums and thought they would look lovely in the cut flower patch. I don’t often go for yellow flowers but I think these will work really well with some on my annual cut flower choices.
Dahlia – Cut Flower Varieties (see Dahlia blog post ‘Venturing into the psychedelic’)
This blog post focuses on shrubs and perennials but I’ll be writing about my annual cut flower list soon! All images and links can be found via my Branch and Bloom Pinterest account.