Monthly Archives: September 2016

Finally some well needed rain arrived today, thus giving me a little time to write. We have been in drought conditions for months here and I feel like a horticultural fireman with a garden hose always in my hands.

I always wanted a cutting garden, fresh flowers in the house is a wonderful thing and is very important to Jan and I as we are always cutting flowers from the gardens for Acorn Cottage.  All the while saying don’t cut all the color or show from the garden, we’ve worked so hard to get it that way. So with the thought of fuller arrangements and bouquets of greater interest I have decided a cutting garden it is.

To start with I needed to find the right spot for the garden, one that got plenty of sun and protection from the wind yet close to the house for quick access. I also knew I needed enough space or in this case length to provide room for a large variety of flowering plants. September is a good time to start a new or redo garden project because fall cleanup hasn’t come on in full tilt and the perennials and bulbs are on sale for clearance at the nurseries. The Shire Garden still had a few unclaimed spaces and one was on the north fence which was all shade up to about four years ago when we had three tall trees removed to open the garden more for our daughters wedding.

The North Side Cutting Garden as it is now so named is strange, because when you think of north side you think cool and shade. But after the trees were felled it became one of the warmest and sunniest spot in the entire Shire. With the south side of the fence in full sun all day. This spot would also protect the taller flowers from the wind and will also promise an early start to the spring. I began removing the odd perennials from the front of the  fence and measured about 75 ft. along the fence and about 4 ft. out for depth, any thing deeper and I would have to step into the garden to cut the flowers, something I didn’t want because of flower breakage.

I added some landscape timbers to frame the garden and filled it with about 3 yds. of horticultural compost to a depth of around 10 in. Then I put in drip irrigation so that no overhead water would get on the flowers, only the rain when ever that comes. This would assure years of good flower conditions with strong root growth.

Now comes the fun part the flowers what would they be, with so many to decide from, I know I wanted Oriental lilies, Dahlia’s and Gladiolus and Snapdragon’s there would have to be iris and Campanula of many types plus Sweet peas and a large stand of Delphinium’s with the many shades of blues and white. Dianthus is important as well, with the many new colors of Echinacea ( cone flower ) Gypsophila ( babies breath ) Liatris ( gay feather ) and of cause Peony’s and tall Phlox to name just a few. All make for great cut flowers. When choosing your flowers for the cutting garden keep in mind the combinations that bloom at the same time so to ensure beautiful bouquets. Plant also for seasons of bloom to stretch it as long as you can.

Always deadhead your plants and cut flowers often to ensure constant flowers if you let them go to seed your plants will slow down or stop blooming altogether.

Cut your flowers in the morning while the air is cool and cut them on the slant for more water intake and place the stems in warm water for quick up take. A small note, the more complex the flower is, the warmer water helps to keep them hydrated, wilting may happen sometimes but the flowers will spring back in an hour or so. When they have hardened off, ( about an hour ) they will be ready for your vases.

When placing flowers in the home think of the spots or rooms you find yourself in most of the time, the kitchen, TV room, bedroom or bath. Flowers are meant to be seen and enjoyed, so bring some beauty into your world, even a little goes a long way.

A thought; When life delivers a quite moment, don’t forget to smell the flowers, unless you have allergies than pictures will do.