The last of the cut flowers for the season are now quietly composting down and the vases are all back in their cupboard, so now seems like a good time to review the year’s flower crop.
The sweet peas made an early start, and were one of the last flowers to give up the ghost. Not bad given I managed to plant them out the day before the last frost. It singed them, but they came back stronger. We had sweet peas somewhere in the house, usually in a vase by themselves, for months. Here’s some of the ones I remembered to photograph.
Other long-flowering triumphs included the dahlias – Cambridge and Bishop of Auckland. Cambridge was big and blowsy, sometimes pure yellow and sometimes with orangey-red stripes. It worked well by itself or with other things….. I particular like it with the orange of the calendula, which is a much simpler flower, but its long season meant there was plenty of time to experiment. This was the first time I’ve grown dahlias, but they were a doddle. I took cuttings off the Bishop of Auckland, which if they survive the winter in the summerhouse, will mean I have even more flowers to enjoy next year. Here it is with various other flowers, including the very satisfying white snapdragon flowers, and with pink cosmos. The cosmos was intended to be a red one, and made quite a splash in the front garden with the two dahlias, the orange of the calendula, yellow and orange marigolds and some purple verbena bonarensis. There was nothing subtle about our front garden this year, and occasionally the ‘exuberance’ spilled over into the flower arranging.
Here’s the cosmos again with an aster…
A lovely rose, Lady Salisbury, planted in the spring, provided much cooler displays. It worked well with cinerara and later in the year with an unknown sedum, one of the few flowering plants we inherited when we moved here a little over a year ago. There’s some bupleurum and scabious in the second of these bunches two. The third one was my all-round favourite this year, a gift for my grandmother. It includes a white dianthus, one of the flowers she carried in her wedding bouquet.
, I fell in love with dark flowers this year, including a cornflower, Black Ball, which looked stunning with the snapdragons – another new passion. I also discovered cerinthe, totally unknown to me, but a winner in terms of interesting foliage.