A cutting garden…

I love flowers. I love flowers arranged in jam jars, all mix matched and messy looking, none of that neat primped looking arrangements here.  Just artfully chucked in the jar!  Bouquets of wild hedgerow flowers perhaps they have just been picked by your beau or your eager child wishing you love.

My Great Grandmother, Elsie, had a bouquet of wild flowers on her wedding day.  Picked that morning by my Great Grandfather, Lenny, before the ceremony.  My mum has an old sepia photograph of them standing there, just wed, with this gorgeous bouquet of ox eye daisies, cow parsley and red campion.  So romantic isn’t it?  I have always wanted the same for my own wedding… one day!
I know it’s naughty to pick wild flowers, so I have a solution.  Every Winter, I dream of having an abundance of blooms to pick and arrange, filling the house with colour and scent.  In reality I tend to fail at this miserably.  My garden, a tiny courtyard, has a couple of rose bushes, several clematis, ferns, hostas, geraniums… but no room for the wild meadows I long for.
At the allotment this weekend, I looked at the space in different eyes.  Why am I trying to fill it with potatoes, when I can sow masses of wild flower seed mix?  Flowers for me, the birds and the bees too.  How amazing will that be?… and how beautiful will it look too!
I’ve done some research and Sarah Raven does some wonderful mixes, that include Cosmos, Love in the Mist and Poppies.  I plan to sew the mixes down the side of our plot and to give over a bed entirely to flowers.  For the garden, I am going to plant a couple of peonies and plant another pink Dicentra (as it died last year in the snow).  And perhaps poppies, ranunculars and dahlias too.
I’d best get on with it!  Not long til summer and picking time! I will show you the results….  all ready for our Nature in the Home.  Soon my lovelies, soon!

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Lou Archell, a writer, photographer, stylist and founder of Littlegreenshed.  A UK lifestyle & travel blog

Lou is also a busy mum of two amazing boys and the founder of Sisterhood Camp – an annual creative retreat for recharging and empowering brilliant ladies, Lou is passionate about supporting and inspiring others whether through her workshops, writing, photography or lifestyle hacks.

  • yes I’m with you Lou! we’re hoping to build raised beds this weekend and some cut flowers will definitely be on the list of things to plant. I love cosmos and am planning sweet peas too x

  • don’t forget sweet peas! essential cutting garden flowers (in my opinion!), I always grow cosmos, verbena bonariensis (although I’ve never actually cut it, it looks too lovely in the garden), cornflowers make lovely cut flowers, also perennials such as astrantia, catmint or alchemilla mollis and echinops or sea holly which give a lovely spiky contrast.
    You probably already know but be careful with wildflower mixes, they are notoriously hard to grow and generally like really poor soil, and certain flowers only grow in certain areas.
    I overheard an exhibitor at chelsea last year saying to someone ‘ you should never let anyone tell you they can create a wild flower meadow, it is one of the hardest things to do as they like such specific conditions.
    I hope this helps!

  • Really looking forward to joining in with Nature in the Home – Higgledy Garden do wonderful seeds, I had an incredible cut garden from Benjamin’s packets last year. He does a special ‘Bee Mix’ too!

  • Hey Lou,

    I have a narrow strip at the side of my house, in which I grow flowers to pick. It works really well. Can I suggest Calendulas? They are cheap as chips to buy, and make for lovely cut flowers. I have also found cornflowers to be a lovely flower to bring nto the garden. Both pollinator friendly too! Looking forward to the next NITH.

    Leanne xx

  • Sarah Raven is great isn’t she? And Perch Hill isn’t fair from sunny Bexhill on Sea. I would love to do one of her courses.

    Looking forward to next serious of Nature in the Home. Elinor x

  • I think I might join you in this, we tried just throwing a packet of seeds around the garden a few years ago and nothing, not one single one came up. Maybe I need to plant them properly this time. Will have to go and have a look at the ones from Sarah Raven.

  • Cosmos & poppies are some of my favourites!
    Have you planted sweet peas?, they keep growing if you pick them – the smell is so sweet. We have a small collection, almost everyday in a small vase for the whole summer. x.

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