As the cutting beds have progressed this season I have tried to post regular updates although it must be three weeks since the last cutting bed post. It is obvious from recent vases that there is plenty to cut, and to cut and come again. In the far corner we have three dahlias, Cosmos ‘Candy Sripe’ and Cosmos ‘Purity’, annual dahlia ‘Figaro’, Alonsoa, dwarf sunflower ‘Choc Sun’, Rudbeckia ‘Goldilocks’ and blue and pink clary sage:
‘Karma Serena’, the greenish white dahlia we all fell in love with last year, was just budding up nicely but something (possibly a cat) has broken the stem so we will have to wait a little longer for that. There seems to be a misspelling issue with the other two, but hopefully the mystery will be solved in due course when the other one flowers. The rudbeckia and dwarf sunflowers are both dead certs for next year, and it will be interesting to see what other colours emerge when the annual dahlia mix:
There are five dahlias in the next bed , two Bishop’s Children, ‘Twynings After Eight’, ‘Nuit D’Eté’ and another of last year’s Karma ones. In front of these are Antirrhinum ‘Admiral’s Purple, Rudbeckia ‘Irish Eyes’ and not yet flowering Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’. Meanwhile, self-seeded bupleurium plugs some of the gaps.
The antirrhinum have been brilliant and regular deadheading is encouraging new flower spikes whilst ‘Irish Eyes’ have been smiling for weeks:
At the back of these two beds the sweet peas have been suffering with the heat and lack of rain, and although still flowering are doing so on very short stems, so perhaps a second sowing would have helped to prolong the season – although sweet peas elsewhere in the garden are still flowering well…
The corner bed is one of two halves, with the sunflowers ‘Ruby Eclipse’, ‘Italian White’ and ‘Earth Walker’ beaming away to the sun and our neighbour at the top, and Amaranthus caudatus and Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ lurking happily at the bottom:
The fourth and last bed contains Larkspur ‘Sublime Deep Blue’, Ammi visnaga, three shades of cornflower, Amaranthus ‘Green Cascade’, Godetia ‘Azalea Flowered’, Aster ‘Milady Mixed’, Zinnias ‘Sprite Mixed’ and ‘Luminosa’ and self seeded Briza maxima, the latter already reseeding for yet another year.
Despite cutting back, the godetia does not seem to be going to reflower, so perhaps a second sowing would be useful for this too. The asters have been slow getting to flowering stage but you can see they are just about there and will no doubt appear in a vase very soon. The tassels on this amaranthus have been decidedly short this year – is there any way it could have been because this was ‘old’ seed? I was not going to include cornflowers, which readily sprawl, in the cutting beds next year but the ones that have been corralled at the back of the bed look OK so I think I will keep a narrow strip of them here next year, supported from the start.
What I need to do at this stage is plan for next year, allocating spaces before I actually order seed, unlike the retrospective planning after an autumn of random seed purchase and a spring of sowing that has been my ‘modus operandi’ in these last two seasons. These regular updates have certainly helped me assess progress and make informal but informed decisions about the plants used – and the feedback and shared information from other bloggers has been a huge help, so please keep it coming. If any one else wants to write about how their cutting beds are doing please feel free to link to this post as the shared experience is proving invaluable.