Everyone on Bek’s Grow Your Own Cut Flowers course last Saturday had come for different reasons. There were two people who who wanted to start their own businesses, one in England and one in France. Another lady had come on our Complete DIY Wedding Flowers course last year, and now wanted to grow flowers for her sister’s wedding. Then there was a lovely lady we had met on our wreath course at Sissinghurst.
Sowing annuals direct was a favourite activity, made all the more interesting by the fact that Bek had made up some lovely seed mixes: Cornflowers, chrysanthemum Polar Star and bupleurum, as well as nigella, cornflowers and clary sage. It’s nice to get creative when planting in simple rows. If one thing doesn’t come up, another will, so there’s a pleasing element of surprise — and some reassurance that you won’t have a bare bed.
The groups also looked at some of Bek’s autumn sowing, and thinned out rows, to give the remaining plants a better chance. As Bek says: “It may seem brutal, thinning with a hoe, but it will leave you with bigger plants, with longer stems”. The students also sowed seeds under cover — sunflowers, calendula and clary — and were able to take these home with them, along with other goodies.
In the spirit of “getting something for nothing” the group then looked at splitting perennials such as solidago, Michaelmas daisies and echinacea. “If your friend has something wonderful in their garden, this is a great way to get hold of the same — with their permission of course!” says Bek.
When it came to potting on, the group practised on Briza media (quaking grass) and agastache — a must-have in any cutting garden. By the end of the day, everyone was itching to get home and start planting. Perfect, as now it the perfect time of year for getting started.