I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite cut flowers; these beautiful, easy to grow flowers, don’t require any cosseting. You can sow these flowers from seed this month, directly where they are to flower, so there’s no messing about with potting seedlings on, and no need for a greenhouse or any special kit or equipment.
There are so many fabulous varieties of Nigella available. I am particularly fond of Nigella damascena ‘Double White’, which I purchased from Sarah Raven. I have been growing for this Nigella cultivar for quite a number of years now; I simply can’t be without it. I enjoy the ferny looking foliage produced by Nigella damascena ‘Double White’, and I adore its white ruffled flowers. The flowers are followed by attractive green seed heads, which increase in size as they develop towards maturity. The seed heads look wonderful in a vase and they dry well too, but don’t cut them all – leave some to self-seed for next year.
Chiltern Seeds stock Nigella damascena ‘Albion Green Pod’, which as its name suggests, produces white ruffled flowers, followed by green seed heads, and Nigella damascena ‘Albion Black Pod’, which produces white flowers followed by dark maroon coloured seed heads – consider growing both varieties to compliment each other, although you may opt for Chiltern Seed’s pack of Nigella species and forms mixed, or Nigella damascena ‘Persian Jewels’ mixed.
Lagurus ovatus ‘Bunny Tails’ is a super hardy annual to grow; happiest when sown directly onto sandy soil, this lovely grass produces soft, silky panicles, which are green at first, and fade to cream as they age. These pretty panicles, which resemble cute bunny tails, are easily dried and last indefinitely.
Chiltern Seeds stock every colour of Centaurea cyanus, also known as cornflower, from white to darkest maroon, pink, purple, and of course every shade of blue. Ideal for poorer soils, cornflowers will flower from June to September, if you pick the flowers regularly.
Also favouring slightly poorer soils, Gypsophila elegans ‘Covent Garden’ is a delightful, single flowered Gypsophila that can be sown directly during April and May.
Sunflowers, also known by their botanical name of Helianthus annuus, are real bringers of joy! Available in a range of colours and sizes, including dwarf varieties for containers, the tallest strains for world record attempts, and multi headed varieties for cut flowers, you can sow every type of sunflower this month.
Scabiosa atropurpurea produces large flower heads in colours from almost black, purple, pink, red, blue, and white. Sow directly from the end of April and throughout May.
Dahlias produce fantastic cut flowers! Whatever your favourite Dahlia, you can plant their tubers outside from the middle of April onwards. Since I first saw Dahlia ‘Café-au-Lait’, I was smitten with its sumptuous, creamy peach coloured blooms. However this lovely Dahlia is rather shy at flowering, only producing flowers sparsely and on occasion, so if you’re short on space and want to grow an abundance of blooms, opt for another more floriferous Dahlia.
I am head over heals in love with Dahlia ‘Classic Rosamunde’ which produces utterly charming, semi-double pink flowers all through the summer until the first frosts. My Dahlia ‘Classic Rosamunde’ plants are always much admired for their dark bronze coloured foliage and beautiful rose pink blooms, which are so popular with butterflies and bees.
Another of my firm favourites is Dahlia ‘April Heather’, a fabulous collarette type Dahlia which features soft yellow petals bathed in blush pink, it’s a real delight!
This article was first published in the April 2017 edition of Vantage Point Magazine.
Other articles that may interest you………..
To see the results of my Slug and Snail Trial and discover the most effective methods to protect your plants from slugs and snails, please click here.
Daffodils make great cut flowers, to read about daffodils, please click here.
For information on where you can see beautiful carpets of bluebells, please click here.
To read the results of my 2016 Peat Free Compost Trial, please click here.
For information on how to save money while gardening, please click here.
For information on gourmet vegetables you can sow in April, please click here.
For a 2017 calendar of Specialist Plant Fairs, Festivals, Sales, and Swaps, please click here.
For information about daffodil gardens and events in 2017, please click here.