There’s something special about bringing the outside in and filling vases, pots and jars with cut flowers you’ve grown yourself. You may have a designated cutting patch or grow plants destined for the house in pots, on the veg patch or amongst shrubs, it doesn’t matter. A simple jar filled with sweet peas from the allotment will add colour and of course fragrance to any home.
Hopefully you’ve already sown and grown some of the seed from Rob Smith’s Cut Flower seed range? If not there’s still time for some varieties, click here to browse the range. Winner of the Big Allotment Challenge, 2015, Rob tells us “Flower growing is addictive, from easy-to-grow calendula and borage to the more particular larkspur.”
For his range Rob has “chosen varieties that I grew on the Big Allotment Challenge, so you can have a go at growing them and even challenge your gardening friends to a ‘grow off’. There are companion plants to help encourage insects, flowers to use for cooking and of course, plenty of beautiful flowers to grow, cut and enjoy.”
When your flowers are ready for cutting avoid doing this in the heat of the day. Ideally cut early in the morning or in the evening and place your flowers in water immediately. The best time is in the evening as you can rest the flowers up to their necks in water in a cool dark place overnight and arrange them in the morning. Add cut flower feed to the water or substitute with a drop of bleach.
A mix of budded, partially open and fully open flowers tends to look best with the fully opened ones being replaced when they go beyond their best. Cut the stems at an angle to allow greater water absorption and remove all lower foliage so that it doesn’t sit below the water line.
To prolong the life of your cut flowers, remember to keep the water topped up and changing it every other day will keep the flowers fresher. Remove flowers as they fade and if possible mist the flowers during hot weather. Moving them to a cool place overnight will also help to keep the flowers looking good for longer.
Whether you are a skilled flower arranger or just tend to plonk them in a vase your home will look better with home-grown cut flowers on display than without. That’s a fact.