July Joy in the Cutting Beds

IMG_5443Julie of Peonies and Posies encourages those of us with cutting beds to share them on the last Friday of the month and although she is gallivanting across the USA at the moment and not tending her own cutting beds I am sure she will be more than happy for us to continue the meme in her absence.

Seeing the above bed every time I ramble to the bottom of the garden really warms the cockles of my heart and confirms the general success of the beds. Having several strong and bushy dahlias in this bed contributes to this success of course – but it isn’t just dahlias and you can see nigella, tagetes, poppy, Sweet William, Briza maxima and a stray sweet rocket plant. As well as having a wealth of plants for cutting, I have realised that one of the other joys of the cutting beds is the pleasure of having a patchwork of different colours, something that you don’t get with colour themed borders!

The other cutting beds are not quite so full of colour, with plants waxing and waning – and a few not waxing very well at all, particularly zinnias. Below, the stars are allium heads, Ammi majus, bupleurium and Rudbeckia ‘Chim Chiminee’ which is just coming into flower.

IMG_5442Daucus carota ‘Purple Kisses’ mix is so far proving to consist only of the ordinary white version with none of the expected crimson, but the clary and Ammi visnaga are living up to expectations. There are tithonia and zinnia in this bed too but still a long way off flowering.

IMG_5441I realised that the heads of the ‘Earth Walker’ sunflowers are missing off this last photograph –Β  a shame as they make a lovely contrast with the shorter ‘Ruby Eclipse’ next to them. The autumn sown cornflowers are still flowering their socks off. There is ammi in this bed too and you can just see some ofΒ  the ‘Tall Spencer’ sweet peas against part of the fence – next year I may grow more of them along this fence as it is a sun trap and they seem to have enjoyed the location. You can see one of the pots here that have been dotted through the beds with dahlias and chrysanthemums – for want of space elsewhere in the garden!

Whether I pick the blooms from these beds or not they have brought untold pleasure by just being there – and I look forward to planning for next year with the knowledge and experience I have gained in this first proper season of ‘growing for cutting’.


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30 Responses to July Joy in the Cutting Beds

  1. Christina says:

    Thanks for reminding me that it is time to write about the cuttings beds although looking at my diary next Friday is actually the 31st. I do agree with you about how the cuttings beds add a different form of colour to the garden. I know that Julie has enough space for coloured themed beds even in the cuttings garden but I certainly don’t and am surprisingly pleased that I don’t.

  2. Sam says:

    I love the exuberance of these beds – I always prefer an eclectic mix rather than a neat, colour-coded one. It’s always pleasing when something self-seeds and works. There is a particular pleasure in cutting your own flowers and bringing them indoors to enjoy them all the more. Lovely.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Sam – the few things in the cutting beds last year were in short rows but I like them better in blocks like this.

  3. homeslip says:

    I do like your white cornflower and Nigella. I found a bit of white Nigella in my Sarah Raven mix and I have bought a packet of Nigella ‘African Queen’ (white with maroon centres) to sow soon after seeing something similar in the White garden at Sissinghurst. My cut flower patch startted off all tasteful pinks and whites then it erupted with yellow calendula some with maroon centres and now these orange leonine flowers are coming out. Talk about eclectic, it’s a riot down there. And can I say Cathy that I love your infectious enthusiasm for this flower cutting lark😊!

  4. Chloris says:

    I do agree, annuals add a new dimension to the garden at this time of the year. I have en’ t got a cutting bed but I have used loads of annuals to fill the spaces in my

    • Cathy says:

      That is something I want to plan for next year – annuals to fill spaces rather than just shoving in the spares πŸ™‚

  5. Chloris says:

    Sorry, I pressed ‘ send’ mid sentence. I was going to say I have used annuals in the new Winter garden. The scattered seeds of Linaria ‘ Fairy Bouquet’, Candytuft, Ladybird Poppies, Marigolds, Nigella and Cornflowers are a delight. Zinnias, seed grown Dahlias and Cleome were a bit more effort but well worth it. I haven’ t had so much fun with annuals for years. Julie gave me some Ammi plants in April and they grew huge. And sunflowers, I am growing tall ones for a competition organised by my daughter. Such fun.
    I love your Nigella and am interested about the Daucus, it is still pretty in white. And Briza, I must try that next year.

    • Cathy says:

      The nigella is Delft Blue – it is seed from last year but the few that grew then were tiny in comparison with these. Yes. more advanced thought is definitely required for next year – as you say, it is an exciting process!

  6. Annette says:

    It’s definitely worth it to grow some flowers for cutting. This year I’ve incorporated some in my potager and there are plenty for cutting, just no time to cut and arrange the flowers. Yesterday I said to Monsieur that our current project is looking better by the day…upon which he answered ‘whereas we look worse every day’…hope we’ll soon get near the end (of our project that is πŸ˜‰ ). Enjoy your flowers, Cathy!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Annette – I am so looking forward to seeing what the result is…. You are so good at teasing us and keeping it under wraps πŸ™‚ The sweet pea seeds you sent are flowering nicely including those most unusual ones – thank you

  7. What an incredible array of flowers for cutting to enjoy in situ, I like the sunflower ‘Earth Walker’ it looks otherworldly to me.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kate – and yes, they look great whether they are cut or not. I love the concentration of colour πŸ™‚

  8. Brian Skeys says:

    Cutting beds such as yours Cathy can provide a joyful splash of colour. Our daughter, Mary had one planted with annuals on her allotment last year, it was impressive, this year due to poor gemination it is not so good.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Brian – and I would rather sow mine inside than direct saw to give me more control, although last year things were poor because of a bad batch of compost. seeds germinated but then failed to thrive.

  9. Gina says:

    I’m planning a cutting bed and some cutting pots for next year. We are pulling up our patio and I’m planning to use that space for it

  10. rickii says:

    I swear by the goddess flora that I will plant a proper cutting bed next year, inspired by this post.

  11. Pauline says:

    Love your first photo with its many different flowers and foliage, but I wouldn’t want to cut them!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline – it actually surprising how much you can cut without affecting the overall appearance, and of course for some things it encourages more blooms anyway.

  12. I have been inspired by everyone’s cutting beds and look forward to having my own this spring, and cutting them!!

  13. Pingback: The Cutting Garden Review – July | Peonies & Posies

  14. Julie says:

    I have just published my post Cathy and included a link to your post – thank you for taking part again!! Your cutting beds are looking fantastic – you have a great array of flowers and as you say even if they are not all used for vases it is lovely to have all those beautiful flowers to enjoy in the garden. I only ever pick a small percentage of what I grow, but I would not want to be without these lovely annuals. How are you finding the quaking grass? I have grown it for the first time this year and was surprised to get home and find the plants are all brown. The seed heads are still lovely but I guess I expected them to keep growing for longer.

    • Cathy says:

      Hopefully I am track again now it is August Julie! Thinking about my quaking grass – I suppose it is no longer green and is more of a dry grass colour but not brown. Still swishy and floaty and attractive though…

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