D surprised me with a big bouquet of flowers on my birthday last week, and I have truly been enjoying them since. Every day there is a little change, just as there is in the garden, with some flowers slightly changing in color as they fade and new buds opening. I find myself fiddling with it nearly every day to put the prettiest flowers facing my reading chair, and turning it when I am here at the computer. Watching to see which flowers last longest has become a priority. I also received a birthday check from my mother. It was a birthday check from my mother that bought the first seeds that began my first herb farm. That $25 was the “Seed” that grew into a very valuable piece of property and business, along with a lot of hard work, of course, and help from my wonderful children, and probably more luck than I’m aware of even now. But, I digress….
Looking at my bouquet has inspired me to do a better job with my Cutting Garden this year. I know, loyal readers are shaking their heads and thinking “she says that every year, but little change is made and rarely is a stem cut for a bouquet.” And, gentle readers, you would be entirely correct. I admit, that I’d rather leave the flowers in the gardens for not only my enjoyment, but for all the butterflies and other pollinators. And, during the growing season I’m really only in the house to sleep, so why bring flowers indoors unless one is entertaining? BUT, the enjoyment I am feeling with this bouquet has triggered a desire to bring that happy feeling to others: People who don’t have a garden of flowers to enjoy, as I am blessed in having. So 2021 is going to be the year the Cutting Garden actually serves its stated purpose. It’s going to become bouquets, which will go to people in our local nursing homes, or shut-ins who are feeling isolated. With that goal in mind, the tradition of spending my mother’s gift on seeds is continuing, this time with the Cutting Garden in mind and yet another seed order has been placed! (I bet you are not surprised at that statement either 🙂
Here’s what is coming for the bouquets:
- Blue Thimble flower…1-2′ tall, 1-2″ ball blooms of blue June-frost (so they say, we’ll see!) A sun-loving annual, which is good because the Cutting Garden is in full sun all day.
2. Calendula “Bronze Beauty”. Calendulas are a staple in the potager, but these beauties are a new color, and destined for the Cutting Garden. To help them last longer, they’ll go in the shade of taller neighbors, since they don’t tolerate heat well, but they will provide lots of early color for bouquets.
3. Strawflower “Apricot Shades”…I used to plant 500 strawflowers, back when I grew dried flowers for wholesale, and for wreath-making for shows. They make a long-lasting cut flower when fresh, and can be dried for fall bouquets after frost as well.
4. Sweet Pea “Mollie Rileston”-cream flowers with a coral edge. I fell in love with sweet peas last year, and hope they do as well this season.
5. Sweet Pea “Henry Eckford”-supposedly a true orange sweet pea, named for a famous breeder. The sweet peas will all go on trellises in the potager, since any planted outside the fence last year were quickly devoured by the rabbits!
6. Ranunculus “Cafe Au Lait”-I’m excited to try growing ranunculus for the first time. They probably won’t like our short spring that turns into summer so quickly, but I have a couple of ideas to make them happier. Hopefully the corms arrive SOON, so they can get an early start!
So, these are joining the 40 or so other varieties that are already either in, or soon will be in the 2021 Cutting Garden. Let’s just see how many bouquets can be made to bless some other flower lovers this year. I hope they like shades of orange, apricot, blues, purples, yellow, and white!