My small garden flower cutting patch provides me with a continuous source of entertainment and contemplation. As we move from March into April ever hopeful for some really warm spring weather it is time to start potting on some of the seedlings which are all growing strong and well in the cold frames and on our window sills on the porch and around the house. The sunflowers which were potted on last month have already outgrown the cold frame and have now been planted into the cutting patch under the cover of a poly tunnel as they are not frost resistant and we are still getting night time frosts even here down in Devon. To get a second batch of sunflowers we will plant sunflowers directly into the ground in May.
All the Cosmos seedlings have been potted on into grow pots and will hopefully be ready for planting out in a month’s time. Last year I planted my cosmos out too early and lost the lot to a hard mid-May frost and had to start again so this year I will learn from that mistake and plant them out a little later and under cover.
Our tulip tubs are looking really beautiful, strong and sturdy in wonderful vibrant colours, and as one lot dies off then another lot start to flower giving a continuous display of colour on the front patio. The daffodils are all really lovely this year as well, the bluebells are just starting to flower and there are little yellow primroses everywhere. Our new forsythia, planted two years ago is in full flower and looks just amazing. Spring really is such a magical time of the year. All the different shades of green, as the leaves on the trees start to unfurl, so clean and fresh never ceases to amaze me.
With the weather so cold throughout most of April it has been hard to decide what to plant out under poly tunnels and what to leave in the cold frame. I have decided to grow a patch of edible flowers again this year as last year’s was such a success and so with great trepidation at the end of the third week of April I planted out three varieties of cornflowers, three varieties of calendula and four varieties of nasturtiums. The nasturtiums have been planted under polythene as they are not frost hardy and the cornflowers and calendula under netting as they are hardy. The edible flower patch is now full. The sunflowers planted mid- April have already outgrown the polytunnels and had to be removed at the end of April and I just have to hope that we don’t have any more really hard frosts.
In the annuals patch I planted Gypsophila, two varieties of Nigella (Love in a mist) and Poppies under polythene, Larkspur and Bupleurum under netting. As luck would have it, the weather then turned even colder and in one week, the last week of April we had everything, wind and rain, sleet, hailstorms and frost at night (it snowed on Dartmoor but thankfully not with us). A couple of the Nasturtiums are looking a little bit frost damaged but everything else has survived!!
My husband has also been busy with his sweet peas and has grown more varieties this year than ever before. He has planted them out all along the fence of our veggie/cutting patch and also one big sweet pea wigwam right in the middle, I love sweet peas and am so looking forward to having the house full of their lovely scent again this year. This year’s Sweet Peas, fifteen different varieties are as follows: Frills & Blushes; Leominster Boy; Summer Sizzler; Pandemonium; Rosy Frills, Beaujolais; Singing the Blues; Tall Mixed; Barry Dare; Sir Henry Cecil; Lizbeth all from Mr Fothergill’s; Erewhon; Skylark Mixed and Giant Waved Mixed from Johnsons and Old Fashioned Mixed from Country Value.