Posts Tagged ‘echinacea’
Isn’t it too bad that cut flowers are so expensive?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have vases of color all over the house?
Well, actually, you can. If you have a few packets of seeds, and a little plot of ground that gets plenty of sunshine, then you can grow your own flowers for cutting.
This winter, when you’re looking through all those catalogs (see post “Have You Ordered Your Gardening Catalogs?” http://wp.me/p1OXDF-Ub) and planning your garden, be sure to carve out a space for your cutting garden. I use my whole garden as a cutting garden, but some gardeners like to have a patch set aside just for cutting.
Clear the ground of grass and weeds. Dig and turn the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches. If your soil doesn’t drain well or isn’t fertile enough, add some composted manure (available in bags at Lowe’s: http://www.lowes.com/pd_252970-82589-WGM03204_0__?productId=3083255&Ntt=manure&pl=1¤tURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dmanure&facetInfo=) and mix in well. Level out the top of the soil and plant the seeds. You can plant in rows, with the taller plants at the back so they won’t shade the shorter plants, or you can plant in squares or groupings of each kind of flower. To plant annuals, I put the seeds down and sprinkle more soil on top. Tamp down the soil with a hoe to make sure the seeds make good contact with the soil. Keep the area moist (not wet) until the seeds germinate and have a couple of leaves. Then water deeply every 3-4 days. As the plants mature and the roots go deeper, water deeply weekly. Soon you’ll have plenty of flowers to cut for your own use and to share with family and friends. Most annuals improve with cutting because it encourages more blooms.
Some of the flowers listed below are perennials (plants that come up year after year), and can be planted from seeds but many are planted as seedlings, which give them a head start in the garden. Some of the flowers listed below are from bulbs that will come up year after year.
Some Of My Favorite Cutting Flowers
- Centranthus (Jupiter’s Beard)
- Companula (Canterbury Bells)
- Bachelor Buttons (Corn Flower)
- Scabiosa (Pin Cushion Flower)
- Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco)
- Rudbekia (Black-eyed Susan)
- Gypsophilia (Babies’ Breath)
- Japanese Anemones
- Bee Balm
- Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower)
- Roses (a shrub, but great for cut flowers)
- Hydrangeas (a shrub, but great for cut flowers)
For more information and pictures of these blooming plants check out these posts:
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My very first job, when I was 15 years old, was planting seeds at a local nursery. To me, it was just a part-time job that provided a little teenage spending money. Eight years later, I found myself married to a landscaper, living in a brand new home, with a brand new landscape to design.
It isn’t because I have a fantastic memory that I remember one of our very first fights as a newly married couple. It probably has more to do with the fact that my husband reminds me of it all of these years later. He doesn’t remind me to be unkind, nor to remind me that I was the one in the wrong. Instead, he reminds me because it is something we laugh at almost fifteen years later.
We laugh at the memory of the ‘discussion’ we had over how to landscape a four foot wide flower bed stretching out along a 50 foot driveway. My husband, a LANDSCAPER, and me a new bride, who had six months experience planting seeds along a conveyor belt, and a few weed pulling sessions in her youth. To say we had very different views about the design is an understatement. I suggested a patch of grass would be nice. My husband, putting aside all newly-wed sensitivity, laughed out loud at my suggestion, (I think that is when the ‘argument’ started) and instead suggested trees, shrubs and perennials.
I have thanked my husband for his wisdom ever since.
After my husband planted four beautiful towering oaks, and placed a few Spireas, Potentillas, and Barberry shrubs here and there, in a peace agreement of sorts, my husband left the rest of the design to me. I spent hours perusing greenhouses of a nearby nursery and became acquainted with Stella D’oro Day Lilies, Echinacea, and what became my favorite, Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia).
Within a year and a half our landscaped areas increased and I had three more good sized flowerbeds to take care of. Again after some careful placement of trees and shrubs by my husband, I was left to the flowers.
This round of landscaping, I fell in love with Forget-Me-Nots, Jupiter’s Beard and Woodruff. (And quickly learned to never again plant the ever-seeding Mexican Primroses.)
I’ll never forget that early summer day, just four years after our first fight as a married couple, when a city official knocked on my door and declared my yard as the recipient of the city’s ‘Yard of the Month’ award!
My husband is not often found sending me beautiful bouquets of flowers, but instead he has taught me an appreciation and love of flowers that last far longer than some store-bought flowers in a vase. I am a lucky woman.
And what a lucky man my husband is. He has beautiful flower beds AND a wife that can admit she is wrong.