Cutting Bed Review: Flowering Fruition

IMG_5279Every month Julie of Peonies and Posies encourages us to show the progress of our cutting beds,  a useful resource for those of us who like to pick blooms to put in a vase on a Monday or any other day. This month I really feel that all the effort of sowing and nurturing is beginning to pay off as many of the occupants of my cutting beds are in flower or at least in bud. The above bed in particular is full of blocks of different greens and a smattering of other colours, and definitely showing the benefit of planting in blocks rather than rows. We have three different dahlias, all in bud, white and blue nigella, cerinthe, Tagetes ‘Paprika’, Escholtzia ‘Red Chief’, Briza maxima, Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’, Papaver ‘Apple Green’, Dianthus ‘Russian Skies’ and last year’s Sweet William.

The corner bed has already produced bupleurium for a recent vase, and another dahlia, rudbeckia and larkspur are progressing nicely,  zinnia less so. Various alliums also share this bed.

IMG_5282IMG_5286Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’ and ‘Queen Lime’ and Tithonia are making steady progress in the third bed, where Clary ‘Oxford Blue is in full flow. Ammi visnaga, Daucus carota and Amaranthus ‘Green Cascade’ are leafy and promising, and Cosmos ‘Antiquity’ is flowering happily but on very short stems – they are a lovely colour but I do hope they will grow taller.


The first flower has appeared on the sunflowers in the fourth bed but has been snipped for a vase. Cosmos ‘Candy stripe’ has been flowering for 3 weeks and the leggy centaurea has been flowering for longer than that. Red amaranthus and further zinnia occupy other blocks, along with feeble molucella and insignificant Lupin ‘Snow Pixie’ neither of which I will bother with next year. Late sown Ammi majus is dotted through this and other beds and is almost flowering.

IMG_5283IMG_5284In the middle foreground is a lone hosta, accidentally left behind when its overwintered brothers were moved on, and a promising little group of Antirrhinum ‘Twinny Pink’ just beginning to flower. This is not a tall variety, but I am thrilled to have finally raised snapdragons from seed and now have the confidence to try them or other varieties next year. I am also growing white and yellow ‘Twinny’ varieties but they have not grown as vigorously as the pink.

Keeping a record of what I have sown and when it was planted out and when it flowered is already proving a useful resource, as are the cutting beds. I still cut from elsewhere in the garden too but try to keep it discreet whereas I could cut all the blooms on plants in the cutting beds if I so chose – in the meantime though they are, of course, attractive in their own right. Have you found space for beds devoted to growing flowers and foliage for cutting?

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18 Responses to Cutting Bed Review: Flowering Fruition

  1. Amy says:

    It’s exciting to see, Cathy! I do hope that in a year or two I’ll be able think about trying some cutting beds. I love the cerinthe, which doesn’t seem to be used much over here – I wonder why… I’m looking forward to seeing what Monday brings 🙂

  2. homeslip says:

    This is all looking so productive and very promising for future vases. My Sarah Raven packet of mixed seeds for cutting direct sown at the allotment in March have started to flower and so far I have cut calendula, pink cornflower, pink corn cockle and ammi majus. It’s very exciting for Monday vases! I just need to improve transportation home on my bike now!

  3. Gina says:

    THis looks great. I’m missing a cutting bed from my garden. Something to think about for next year as I love flowers in the house

  4. Nice to see the progress your cutting beds have made since you revealed the plan. Your Clary looks really strong and is a beautiful colour.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks FD – I am already considering which will be worth growing next year and which not to bother with. I like this clary too and it’s good to be able to have a single colour

  5. rickii says:

    I would like to think that the knowledge base is growing,but it seems that different things perform well in different years. I’ll keep trying.

  6. I keep thinking “No space!” and keep trying to sneak a few into Mr. Chef’s veg. beds. Sweet peas are all that have managed to sneak in, by virtue of the fact they grow upright, and take up little space, I suspect. This year, I’ve started a few pots of cutting flowers, though, sadly, they’re way behind, as usual! However, we recently bought two wooden raised beds for veg. and I’m just thinking I could squeeze in another one, by my shed!!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I am sure I have thought ‘no room’ in the past – but have even ‘acquired’ the new shrub border and extension to the bold borders by creative thinking in the last year or so. Mind you, I don’t have to compete with the Golfer for space in the garden 😉

  7. He has always been keen to grow things that are productive, and so the “Allotment” became his domain – and responsibility. So I suppose I shouldn’t interfere!

  8. Mine are slowly growing but I hope to see some flowering soon. I need to weed one and remove the netting as the plants are getting big….love how you have these great records and all that you have sown flowering.

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