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Flush with Sweet Peas

August 28th, 2017

I have never grown sweet peas in the past, they’re just not something that has been on my list. This year, a friend and I ordered seeds together and she wanted to grow sweet peas. We split a large pack of seeds and I seeded a 40 foot long row of sweet peas along the back of the main vegetable garden. They started blooming a month or so ago and have been blooming profusely ever since. These are ‘Mammoth Choice’ sweat pea mix from Johnny’s Seeds.

I have so many that I’ve been picking bouquets and sending them to work with Mr Chiots and giving them away to friends. Will I grow them again, I’m not sure. I have yet to see any pollinators hovering around the blooms and that’s one of the reasons I grow flowers. They are nice for cutting and gifting, so maybe I’ll let a few set seed so I can save a few for next year.

What are you favorite cut flowers to grow?

Summer Bouquets

July 20th, 2017

The cutting garden is providing a lot of flowers for both our home and for the homes of friends. Every few days I head out and cut annuals and perennials.

The cosmos, dahlias, and cerinthe started blooming last week. There are a few annuals I want to add to the garden next year just for cutting, especially bupleurum.

Along with the annuals I seeded for the vase, a few climbing and spray roses are starting to really start blooming. The speedwell is also really putting on a show this year. But really, it’s the cosmos that are the queens of the bouquet at the moment.

What’s your favorite annual flower to grow for cutting?

Memorial Gardens

June 14th, 2017

My mom was an avid gardener, her gardens were always full of blooms (and vegetables too). For her celebration of life service, we decided that we wanted to use flowers from her garden to decorate the church. Her gardens are large, thus we had plenty of blooms. There were four large arrangements and four smaller ones. Here are some photos (some cell photos, some real ones, some mine, some my brother’s). They were lovely and just what we wanted, not the typical funeral arrangements. My mom was adamant about her service not being like a normal funeral, including the flowers.

It was nice because some of the flowers we used in the arrangements were from plants that my mom had gotten from her mom’s gardens. The white peonies and the sweet peas were both true heirloom flowers. My mom didn’t have a dedicated cutting garden, but she certainly had plenty of flowers to cut throughout the spring/summer/fall.

In lieu of flowers for her service, we had friend/family make donations to the charity my parents started. The funds will be used to build a memorial garden in at the camp facilities in Colombia. We figured this was fitting, it allows the funds to be used for something that will last. The garden will also be a place for all the people in Colombia to remember her and the work she did there. My dad and I are now starting the design process for this garden, I may be traveling to Colombia in the next year or so to help with the plan/implementation. It’s exciting to think about a lovely garden that will provide a peaceful place at the camp.

What’s your favorite flower?

The Cutting Garden

August 19th, 2016

The cutting garden area in the main vegetable garden is a riot of color. Oddly enough, I’m not really one of those gardeners that likes all the colorful flowers spilling out of a border. My tastes tend to be more controlled and very monocromatic. I’m a fan of white, green and purpler in the garden with lots of green and only a few flowers. This area is quite lovely in its own respect, the pollinators are big fans.
The cutting garden 1
The cutting garden 2
The cutting garden 3
The cutting garden 4
The cutting garden 5
The cutting garden 6
The cutting garden 7
I only planted a few packets of seed, which is amazing when you stand back and look at the display. $10 can really get you a lot of color when it comes to a cutting garden!

What’s your favorite cut flower?

Unusual Cutting Garden Options

July 28th, 2016

While flipping through the Johnny’s Seeds catalog this spring, I noticed ‘Black Tip’ wheat and thought it looked interesting. Definitely an unusual item for the cutting garden, which is something I’m always looking for.
black tipped wheat
I’m hoping I will have enough from one seed packet to make a wreath for the house. So far it’s growing nicely and fattening up well. I’m really interested to see the color in the final seed heads. If I don’t have enough for a wreath, I think they will look lovely in a vase. Overall, this is a winner for a cutting garden in my book.

Have you grown any unusual cutting garden items?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.