Seeds: Get Saving

Triptych of image showing seed pods of lupins, poppies and nigella.

Foxlgoves (Digitalis), lupins (Lupinus), honesty (Lunara annua), sweet rocket (Hesperis matronalis), poppies (Papaver) – all of these will be forming seed heads right now and if you have them in your garden or plot, it’s well worth saving and drying them to plant for another year. Over the next few weeks, these will be joined by sweet peas, sunflowers, Cosmos, … Read More

What do you call it again?

Name the flowers shown above…. The one on the right you’ll most probably have called a bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta).  On the left? Campanula rotundifolia – the common harebell. Or… if you live in Scotland, ‘bluebell’ or ‘Scottish bluebell’. In New Zealand Wahlenbergia Saxicola is also commonly called ‘bluebell’, as is Phacelia whitlavia in the USA. There are many plants around … Read More

Cut Flower Farmers: Get ready for the UK Border Target Operating Model

Who’s fed up with hearing about Brexit and whether or not things have got better or worse since the UK formally separated from the EU?  Probably most of us!  If it doesn’t affect you on a daily basis, you’ve almost certainly started tuning out when the latest update on tariffs and border controls is announced. However, if you’re a flower … Read More

Back to basics: planning your cut flower plot – part two

A female gardener tends flowering plants in a raised bed.

In part one of this blog post, we looked at what to consider when selecting a site for your cut flower beds.  If you’ve not already read part one, please do as it includes basic considerations when starting out. Our 7-month cut flower growing course Seed to Vase will take you step by step through the growing season. Join the … Read More

Back to basics: planning your cut flower plot

The foot of a gardener is seen pushing a spade into soil to be dug.

Whether you have a garden, an allotment, a small plot or a large area of land that’s destined to be a flower farm, you need a plan to get started. This two-part blog post will cover the basics of planning your plot.  For step-by-step tuition on setting up a cutting patch, our 7-month Seed to Vase course will run again … Read More

Flowers suitable for drying

Close up on orange strawflowers growing outdoors.

Drying flowers is a wonderful way to preserve their beauty and enjoy them for an extended period. If you’re running your cutting patch as a business, it’s also the perfect way to extend availability of blooms and open up opportunities for selling dried flower arrangements and running workshops on how to do this. Not all flowers that you grow for … Read More

Foliage for floristry

Trio of photos showing Cotinus (smoke tree), a bridal bouquet and 'Dusty Miller'.

Main image: Cotinus, Eucalyptus in a bridal bouquet, ‘Dusty Miller’ A successful floristry bouquet is usually made up of three parts: Focal: Your main blooms. Filler: Smaller flowers or sprays to complement the focal flowers. Foliage: The backbone or foundation of the arrangement. Whilst we’re busy growing beautiful flowers for cutting, we often neglect to think of foliage. Foliage provides … Read More

Our Top Seven cut flower varieties this year

Trio of photos showing Achillea millefolium 'Summer Pastels', Cosmos bipinnatus 'Kiiro' and Sweet Rocket in a bouguet with tulips.

Subscribers to my newsletter (if that’s not you, sign-up here), will have heard me talk about some of the varieties of flowering plants we’ve tried for the first time this season and how they’ve fared. On your own plot, this is a great time of year to bask in successes and review things that didn’t go so well. If you’d … Read More

To lift or not to lift?  What to do with your Dahlia tubers over winter.

Close up of a gardener's hands holding dahlia tubers. Inset photo shows a peachy-pink ball dahlia.

Dahlia foliage will die off in the first frosts of late autumn/early winter. At this point you need to take steps to protect the tubers over winter.  You have two main choices: dig them up and store them or cover them snugly to sit out winter in the soil. For more information on caring for Dahlias, my Dahlia Masterclass is … Read More