So, have I mentioned that next year I’m delving much heavier into flowers? Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking (always a trouble-maker!) and I’ve come to a few conclusions: 1) I’m getting bored growing vegetables and my larders are overflowing 2) If I’m ever going to try something new, I’d better do it now while I’m still physically able 3) Most people seemed more excited over the gift bouquets than the boxes of produce this summer 4) I’ve pretty well got growing veg in the potager maxed out production-wise and fun-wise, so I’m ready for something different 5) I need something more challenging to think about and plan for this winter, but that still involves gardening.
The end result of all this, plus a bit of inspiration from Northlawn Flower Farm who happened to mention the “Growing Kindness Project,” means I’m going to morph into a more dedicated cut flower grower. Yes, I can already hear some of you chuckling, because you recall how often I’ve said it’s nearly impossible for me to cut flowers from my gardens, but I will! Yes, I will! So, I’ve started a new notebook, made new lists to fill out the color needs and scheduling for continual bouquets, and begun the plan.
I mentioned in the post on daffodils that I am converting a failed berry row into a place for daffodils. After doing the math, more daffodils were needed to fill out that former berry row. This order went to my friends at Brent and Becky’s bulbs. Focus was on rounding out the color range, good stem length, and selecting varieties that would combine well with the others already growing or on order. Here are the new additions:
Narcissus “Barret Browning” has 3″ diameter blooms of pure white with a pale yellow halo at the base of its Orange bowl-shaped cup. Know as a good naturalizer, providing color in April. 14-16″
Fragrant jonquil “Cosmopolitan” has up to four 2 1/2″ creamy flowers with a long yellow trumpet that sports a jaunty salmon edge. 12-16″ and hopefully blooms in May in our Zone 5.
This large-cupped narcissus was on my original order for Van Engelen, but they were sold out so hopefully they are coming from B&B’s. An April-bloomer, known to be a good multiplier, it has 4″ gold petals, an orange “bowl” with a wide dark orange rim. l8-20″
This “bouquet” type jonquil has 4-8 small double golden blooms that are highly fragrant. 16″ and should bloom late April.
A lovely white petaled bloom with a somewhat flattened cup of yellow. The cup’s exceptionally wide deep salmon ruffled edge makes it outstanding. l6-18″
This beauty looks like a showgirl with huge 6″ diameter blooms of creamy white with a wide, frilly buttercup yellow trumpet. 18-20″, in April.
And, talk about a frilly-edged cup, just look at “Mallee!” 14-16″ tall with white rounded petals, an extremely ruffled cup with a wide pink edge and yellow base. Mid-spring.
Bright contrast, with its brilliant yellow petals and orange split corona. I can’t wait to see this one in person!
Another white-petaled beauty with a wide open trumpet of soft yellow highlighted with a very ruffled deep pink rim. 18-20″ mid-late spring.
You may recall that last spring I assembled bouquets for a friend’s brunch. Most of the spring bulbs were finished, but the viburnum blooms, lavender hyacinthoides, and dwarf purple iris were available and I picked some Silver Bells and blooming kale as filler. The iris, viburnum and hyacinthoides only lasted a couple of days, possibly because I didn’t condition them, but I was happily surprised that the silver bells (Ornithogalum) lasted nearly a week. There are only a couple of clumps in the Blue Garden, so obviously I needed lots more. 100 are on the way!
And then, after vowing that I wouldn’t…I ordered another amaryllis to brighten my winter days!
And then later in the week, I watched a clip from “Garden Answer” and saw a luscious tulip with variegated leaves that would be perfect to brighten the Front Island. It’s called “Purrisima Blonde” and is coming from White Flower Farm. This was also justified because a tulip I’d planned to go in the Front Island was unavailable at shipping time.
In trying to fill the gap after spring bulbs (because I have no peonies to cut) some Dutch iris were ordered as well.
I’ve grown these before and they bloomed in mid-late May but they didn’t return well, possibly because the drainage was not good where I planted them, so I’ll try again. I ordered a mixture, plus a group of just blues which are destined for the Addition Garden. And in thinking about the bouquet make-up over the season, more vertical flowers were needed, so some gladiola bulbs are on order:
I’ve never been exceedingly fond of gladiolas. They always make me think of funeral flowers, and heaven knows we’ve been to plenty of those in the past months! But, I think they are worthy of another chance and it will be fun to see what colors appear. Sometimes they are just too tall for a regular bouquet however, so I’ve ordered some “dwarf” glads that are only 24-36″ rather than the standard 36-48″ These are from K. van Bourgondien and are called “Glamini.”
And right now some of you are wondering if this is really ME writing this, because there are PINK and RED flowers in this photo! Yes, I’m actually going to allow ALL colors in the Cutting Garden next year, because surprisingly, some odd people actually like those colors and will be happy to get them in a free bouquet! In further thinking about the zinnias, asters, and other flowers later in the summer, I chose these pretty lilac and cream blooms.
And then, I couldn’t resist these little peach and cream darlings!
As you can see, visions of bouquets are dancing in my head. AND, I really need to STOP ordering bulbs and figure out where they will all grow! Oh well, isn’t that what a long winter is for??? And, now that the bulbs are all ordered (well, maybe there will be some dahlias later on?) I can concentrate on SEEDS!!!!
Your daffodil garden will be glorious!
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When I pick flowers and bring them in I keep seeing them and enjoying them but when I bring in veg I either eat them or put them in the fridge. Maybe that is why your bouquets bring so much joy to the recipients. Plus flowers will give you new challenges and any you cannot use will not need preserving! (Like you I hate to waste food I have grown and will preserve it rather than throw it even if I already have loads!)
Exactly! I kept canning this summer just to avoid waste. Flowers I can just enjoy and quickly deadhead when they are past. No jars to wash, to canner to lug in and out! I’m really looking forward to next spring and summer! Always appreciate your thoughtful comments!
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I enjoyed viewing your selections, Carolee. Many lovely bouquets will be coming from your land to happy recipients next year!
Good to hear from you again. Did you like the Mandarin Orange balm? It’s a more aggressive grower than I expected, but since it’s a lovely filler for bouquets and provides fragrance, I’m keeping it fairly controlled.
Yes, the mandarin orange balm has been lovely. Thank you again. I’m keeping it in a large pot!
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