"Most of us [....] pass through a flowery doldrums
toward the end of July. The great Spring
procession has gone. A gap comes in the
parade before the big division of Summer appears."
The Gardener's Bed-Book by Richardson Wright
|Zinnia 'Northern Lights Blend' and Purple Coneflower (click to enlarge)|
There may still be a little truth in the quote above from Mr. Wright's 1929 publication, but today we are fortunate to have an endless variety of flowers to beautify our gardens throughout the summer. Today I'm going to share with you some of my favorites - both annuals and perennials - all of which are great for cutting to bring indoors where they can be enjoyed in the comfort of your home.
|Cutting garden early July 2014 (click to enlarge)|
The photo above shows my cutting garden as it is today, and this is its very first summer. We prepared the bed last fall by tilling and adding a composted soil mix from a local supplier. Our primary purpose for creating this garden initially was to address an issue with stormwater runoff from a nearby downspout.
|Dry creek bed ready for small bridge. (click to enlarge)|
|Clockwise from top left: Russian Sage 'Little Spire', Yarrow 'Pink Grapefruit', Coneflower 'Bravado' and 'White Swan', Bee Balm 'Petite Delight' (click to enlarge)|
Then around about April or May this year I transplanted numerous amounts of existing perennials from areas in the backyard where the previous owners had planted them.
|Transplanted Liatris 'Kobold' (click to enlarge)|
Just a few weeks ago I found some Liatris 'Kobold' popping up among a huge bed of yarrow and have transplanted it to my new cutting garden. Its so much fun gardening at a new home and finding these "little surprises". The previous owner left me a folder with all of the plant tags so that's how I know what all these perennials are.
|Clockwise from upper left: Spirea 'Little Princess', Veronica 'Tickled Pink', Shasta Daisy 'Silver Princess', Stachys 'Hummelo' (click to enlarge)|
Above are a few other lovely "surprises" that I have growing elsewhere on my property, which are also great cutting flowers. Who knew Spirea would make such a great cut flower! They are actually drying in my vases and still look nearly as lovely as when they were freshly cut.
|Ornamental oregano (click to enlarge)|
|Verbena bonariensis (Mexican Verbena) (click to enlarge)|
It's been wonderful to have so many existing perennials to divide and transplant from other areas in my yard, but I did purchase a few new things. In addition to the Ornamental Oregano and Mexican Verbena shown above, I found a great buy on my favorite lavender - 'Fat Spike'.
|Ready for stone walkway and lavender borders. (click to enlarge)|
Future plans for my cutting garden include installing a natural stone pathway and my 'Fat Spike' lavender will make a lovely border. I've grown it before and I can attest to its hardy nature. I couldn't believe I found it at a nursery here, seems most of them only carry 'Hidcote' or 'Munstead', both of which I have growing elsewhere already and have nearly lived out their days. 'Fat Spike' is far superior, in my opinion.
|Seeded zinnias around transplanted perennials. (click to enlarge)|
|Clockwise from top left: Lilliput, Northern Lights Blend, Envy, Fantasy|
Then in early June I filled in the gaps around the perennials by seeding zinnias. I also seeded cosmos and Mexican verbena in late June but had no luck with germination on those, most likely because I failed to keep them moist.
|cynthiacranespottery.etsy.com - More new creations coming in mid-late July!|
And it surely comes as no surprise that the lovely colors, and the birds, the bees and the butterflies in my new cutting garden, all come together to inspire my porcelain ceramic art!
I would love to know your favorite cutting garden flowers, be they annual or perennial.
So please do comment and let me know your thoughts as well as how you keep your blooms lasting in the vase. Feel free to include your own blog address in your comment, too!
Happy gardening everyone! I'm off to check on my cutting garden now because, well, you know -
I'd Rather Be Gardening!
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