I’m picking so many flowers at the moment I’m not quite sure what to do with them all. At the last count we had 12 vases full, dotted around the house last week. At the moment, it’s very pleasurable wandering up to the allotment with my bucket and snips. It’s too early in the season to need to deadhead which can be therapeutic, or a pain in the proverbial, depending how much time you have on your hands. Even if you pick every day there are always some flowers that escape the snips, especially if you’re growing flowers like cornflowers which produce such a mass of blooms and it’s important to keep on top of the deadheading if you want to keep getting new flowers.
I’m loving the sweet williams and nigella at the moment, flowers that are difficult to find in a florists and both of which are loved by pollinators. The cornflowers are just starting to flower and there aren’t many plants that can match them for the blueness of their petals. One disadvantage of them is that the colour does fade to white. However, I’ve found that if I pick them when the buds are just about to break, rather than when they are fully open, it extends their vase life by several days, giving you some extra time before the flowers fade. Several years ago I did grow the dark burgundy coloured cornflowers ‘Black Boy’, alongside the blue variety. One day I was stood watching the multitude of bees buzzing around the flowers and noticed that the bees were hardly touching the dark cornflowers, in comparison to the blues ones, which were covered in bees. Since then I’ve only grown the blue ones. If I’m going to grow flowers I might as well do as much as I can to grow ones the bees will love as well.
There were a few early gladioli tantalising nearly ready to open and I’m hoping they don’t open till I get home from my holiday. I haven’t tried growing them before and to be honest it hasn’t been the greatest success so far. The early spell of warm weather in March encouraged them to surface much to quickly and then in April some of them were damaged by the colder temperatures. Only 9 of the 15 planted have produced flower stalks.
A couple of my autumn sown scabious were also poised. Another new addition to the cutting patch, I always get excited when something I haven’t grown before is about to flower.
I did a quick trip around the plot last week before setting off for my holiday, picking flowers so that there weren’t any that might go to seed whilst I was away. The plan was to give them to someone at the plot but the miserable weather has meant I’ve seen hardly anyone up there for quite a while. Just as I was leaving, wondering what I was going to do with the armfuls of sweet williams and nigella, I spotted someone. He was delighted with them saying he was just about to go out to buy some to put on his wife’s grave. On the way home I also bumped into another plot holder and his wife, out tending their garden and they too received a bunch of flowers. It’s nice to be able to give some of the flowers to others. It’s a lovely feeling to see the flowers I’ve grown make someone smile.