It doesn’t seem very long ago that the cutting beds consisted of four almost empty plots, a greenhouse full of seedlings and a retrospectively drawn plan…. But that’s the thrill of it all because by ensuring that the little gardening time I had over the last couple of weeks was spent planting the rest of the seedlings out, I can tell you (and unashamedly proudly tell you!)that every spot on this map has now been filled except the one reserved for the lupins (which were slow to germinate but are making up for lost time). Every step forward from sowing to pricking out, potting on and finally planting out has been a positive one, now just awaiting the final step forward to flowering. After the last couple of years when I first began sowing seeds again with some degree of earnestness but with very limited success due to a variety of factors perhaps you can appreciated just how excited I am at the prospect of all these plants that have been grown from seed finally flowering…. There should certainly be flowers for cutting by next month!
The first beds still includes some little aquilegia and red antirrhinums sown last year and a white poppy which was overwintered here but may as well stay as it wouldn’t take kindly to being moved. The centaurea is far taller than I expected it to be although I have read that autumn sown cornflowers often are, so may leave it till spring next year. I am especially pleased with the sunflowers which have clearly benefited from the plastic bottle protection.
The pink in the next bed are ranunculus, another success story although the plants are very straggly – hopefully they will appear in a vase very soon! As this is the first time I have ever succeeded with them, it will be interesting to see how well they survive for another year. Against the fence at the corner of this bed are some sweet peas, a free packet of tall Spencer types, with the first sweet pea flower of the year. These were sown in November and planted out at the end of March.
The little corner bed looks a bit of a mess having last year’s potted tulips planted here and some new allium, none of which has done particularly well. Things will certainly look neater once the tulip foliage can be removed in a few weeks! The soil in this corner used to be quite heavy as it was imported topsoil moved from elsewhere from the garden but hopefully it is improving and will continue to do so. The empty square is home to a dahlia. The last bed, the photo taken awkwardly to try and include it all, also has some Sweet William overwintered from last year which will probably be moved to a pot. Just out of sight behind the cerinthe on the far right are pots of chrysanthemums awaiting homes, which will probably have to be larger pots elsewhere in the garden as there is just no room in the ground! Dotted amongst plants in this bed and elsewhere are some late sown Ammi majus, and there are a few other minor changes where plants had been omitted from the original plan but there has been only one failure, the Zinnia ‘Starbright’, which failed to thrive despite the relative success of the other zinnias. There are various reasons why I have grown so many different things this year – leftover seeds, trial seeds, etc – and finding space has definitely been an issue! Almost everything has fellow seedlings planted in the garden too but finding any space is now practically impossible – at least the comprehensive records I have kept this year will form the basis of rational (perhaps!) judgements for next year! Many of those of us posting a Vase on Monday have decided to start cutting beds partially because of this, so thank you to Julie of Peonies and Posies who is hosting a link with other bloggers who want to share the progress of their cutting beds – a really useful and supportive meme that we have all been able to learn from. Do pop over to her blog and have a look (and she has a giveaway this month too!).