First Cut Flowers

This year I wanted to really focus on growing my own cut flowers in the garden.  I always took this for granted in England but Florida can be a little tricky because of our almost nonexistent winter and long, hot and humid summer.  I have had to experiment about what to plant and when for the best results and I think this experiment may be ongoing as I continue to learn about what works and which boundaries I can push!  One thing I have definitely learned is that many flowering plants are not responding to warm temperatures when they flower but from the lengthening daylight.  The Ammi Majus I planted last fall to be used as a filler flower for arrangements has finally decided to flower despite growing healthily and to epic proportions all winter!

 

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I love its frothy flower heads and it looks lovely on its own or mixed in with other pickings from the garden.  It reminds me so much of England too!

 

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The lone daffodil is the last one of the forced bulbs I tried this winter.

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Cosmos Bright Lights self seeded itself amongst the Larkspur I sowed in January and as it grows should look really pretty mixed in there.

 

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In early February I planted another raised bed with different varieties of Cosmos and Zinnias.  I am amazed at how they have taken off.  These Cosmos look almost ready to flower too.

 

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The Zinnias have responded to the warmth, sunshine and liberal compost tea and are about 10 inches tall.  After a lot of research I am trying the Benary’s Giant Series and they are looking strong and healthy.  The garden twine is my eco friendly attempt at keeping them straight and upright!

 

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Around the garden, the Azaleas are almost finished.

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This little garden is filled with different colors from the Azaleas in the spring but only the white G.G Gerbing are flowering abundantly now.

 

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Looks like a little nest is being built in here but I haven’t seen its owner yet!

The roses should really come into their own in the next month.   Somehow Le Vesuve always seems to get a mention here but it is still churning out a seemingly never ending supply of blooms.  The advice on this rose, I have read, is not to prune but to let it do its thing for the first few years….which is probably a good thing as I don’t want to fight with those prickles.  I have to forgive its thorny threats though because it is very beautiful despite only being fairly young.

 

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Bermuda’s Anna Olivier flowering with the Lake View Jasmine

Another fairly new rose is the little Carnation rose which although quite small, has some very pretty and quite unusual blooms.

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Just beginning to flower now are the Nun’s Orchids which are another terrestrial orchid I grow.   They do really well here as long as there is not a severe freeze and make large clumps in part shade.

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I’ve often wondered what they would be like as a cut flower and as I have plenty now I decided to cut some for an arrangement.  I’m trying to get better at doing flower arrangements.  I realize just how much practice it takes and just how talented people are at it!    At least in Florida there is always plenty of foliage to fill out a vase and these orchids lasted surprisingly well.

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Enjoy your weekend and as always I am so grateful for your visit!

Kate x


31 thoughts on “First Cut Flowers

  1. What an interesting post! I loved the photos of growing plants in your gardens and of your flower arrangements.

    I have a baby ‘Carnation’ rose, had one bloom so far and am looking forward to more. This rose was part of my 8 ordered for my bday. 🙂

    I love your Nun’s orchid. What a beauty. Some of my orchids are in bloom too, other that the reed orchids and the Vanda orchids that bloom a lot.

    It is always a treat to see what is growing in your gardens, I am inspired each time.

    Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you so much Lorraine! I’m glad you stopped by and you are always so kind. I’m happy that you have a Carnation rose too. I really love it and its cute little flowers. It seems to be a very healthy one too.
      Have a lovely week in beautiful Plum Cottage!
      – Kate x

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  2. such a glorious array of flowers, Kate! Your Cosmos/Larkspur combination reminds me of a similar one I had last year with Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ and Calendula together – quite visually striking. I think your flower arrangements always look stunning, but I do agree that it is not as easy as it looks. It will be an interesting adventure finding out which flowers do/don’t grow well in your garden.

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    1. Hello Ann! Thank you so very much for your very lovely comments. That combination of the Cerinthe and the Calendula sounds gorgeous. I need to look into sowing Cerinth perhaps in our drier season. Amy also has a lovely one I believe, which I have been admiring. It definitely is an adventure trying different plants but fun too when something finally works!

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  3. Your garden looks so beautiful Kate, it must give you a great deal of pleasure. I have tried a couple of times to grow Ammi majus, but am deterred by the amount of black fly they attract, yours looks so beautiful I am inspired to try again. Interesting observation about light levels, I think you are right, although here we have slumped back into chilly weather again and the Spring forecast is cool, but our longer days will mean I can expect to see signs of life, although nowhere near as beautiful as yours. Thats a lovely Cosmos, I’ve noted that down, I love the orange hue. I’m growing Larkspur too this year, I really like its form.

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    1. Hello Julie and thank you very much for your kind comments. That is very frustrating about the Ammi getting black fly…I have actually forgotten completely what black fly are but am thinking they are an aphid? The funny thing is that I was trying my macro lens on some of the ammi flowers and when I looked at them in such detail I could see tiny aphids! Horrified that my long awaited flowers might now be eaten, I rushed out there and ran the hose over the flower heads to wash them off! The next day a couple of Ladybirds were on the plants so hopefully they will take care of the rest. Its amazing how they just knew exactly when to show up in my hour of need!! Hopefully you will have some luck with the Ammi this year. Glad you like the Cosmos too – its a very dainty one but very prolific!

      – Kate x

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  4. Kate, your cut flowers are just beautiful! Your foresight looks like it is really going to pay off bountifully. I’ve started a cutting garden, but it’s far behind yours. And those roses… I just love that Carnation bloom! Your Nun’s Orchid arrangement is perfect too, with all the lovely greenery. I recognize a piece of gardenia in there, one of my favorite shrubs. Enjoy our beautiful Florida weather in your lovely garden. _Janice

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    1. Hello Janice! Thank you – your comments are always so kind. I am sure you will have lots of success with your cut flowers as you are such a great gardener. We will be able to compare results with different flowers which is the wonderful thing about following different blogs. I noticed you were sowing some Tithonia and I ordered some seeds too as they look really lovely. Hopefully by next year I will have a better understanding of when to sow for the best results! Look forward to seeing your progress. Have a lovely week…I think we will be cooling down a bit which is quite nice!
      – Kate x

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  5. You have such a beautiful garden and so much expertise too! I hope you can solve the problem of flowers for cutting this year. I often think I should plant a cutting garden but I am such a fool when it comes to picking flowers! I had to take a few daffodils along to the church today as there will be a baptism tomorrow and I heard myself apologising to the flowers for picking them.
    I am glad you photographed your Ammi majus as I saw some last year and couldn’t identify them. They look so delicate and would seem to fit in anywhere.
    It is cold here (as Julie said) and we haven’t seen the sun for a few days – just drizzly rain. The snowdrops are still hanging on and the daffodils aren’t at their best yet. After a mild winter and bulbs flowering early, all has slowed down now and we are about normal for the time of year.
    It will be some months until we see our first roses so seeing yours is such a treat! Thank-you Kate.

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  6. Hello Clare! I always enjoy your comments and laughed out loud about you apologizing to the flowers because I do the exact same thing!! So ridiculous of me considering I have gone to all that trouble to grow them for picking! So sorry that it has turned chilly over there. However, maybe that’s a good thing in a way as things can be normalized after your very warm winter.

    – Kate x

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  7. I really appreciate your comments about day length with the annuals, Kate! It’s been very confusing for me as well… Your Cosmos looks lovely and quite graceful. It’s another one I should think about trying perhaps!
    And please keep us posted on the zinnias!
    La Vesuve appears to deserve every bit of praise it gets 🙂
    Happy Spring!

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    1. Thank you so much Amy! I think it is so wonderful to connect with other gardeners, such as yourself, and share knowledge. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this daylight thing before but I have a feeling that certain plants are more dependent on it than others. If I can find out more info it should help me determine which annuals will do better for me during the winter months. I know there is a sweet pea which requires less daylight hours which will do better for me in winter. I will definitely keep you posted on the zinnia progression! As always, I so enjoy your desert garden adventures and our sharing of gardening endeavors!
      xx

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  8. You have a beautiful garden! I am up in the Pacific Northwest, western Oregon area. The weather here is still on the cooler rainy side. Plum, cherries and pears should be blooming here in the next week or two. Almost 70 here yesterday.

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    1. Hello Lavinia! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I love your site and I am looking forward to reading more about your gardening adventures in such a beautiful part of the USA. Spring must be absolutely beautiful there!
      – Kate x

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  9. I am grateful for my visit, too! What a joy to see your garden with its lovely flowers. I think I am going to plant more annuals, especially cosmos, this year for the charm and color they lend to the garden. I adore your little bouquet in the glass vase.

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    1. Thank you so much Deb! Very kind of you. I’m really enjoying all the different annuals and people keep telling me about all the different Cosmos types to try, so I think I am going to have a Cosmos filled garden over the next year!

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    1. Thank you! A yellow cosmos sounds lovely..it seems most them are shades of pink and white so I will have to look into finding a yellow one.
      Orchids are a bit addictive… 😉
      xx

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    1. Hello! Thank you so very much for visiting. I am going to pop over to your blog to so I can read and follow. I’m so sorry to hear that your ammi is not doing well. It’s funny how year on year things do well and then not another. I have recently learned there are so many different varieties that I think I am going to try some other ones too. I think my main problem has been building strong enough supports as they get tossed about if we get a bad storm :-{ Thanks again for visiting and your lovely comments
      – Kate xx

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  10. Chère Kate, Enfin un peu de temps, en ce jour de Pâques, pour laisser quelques mots et vous dire combien j’ai apprécié votre dernier article ! Superbes photos, comme d’habitude, qui illustrent à merveille vos réflexions de jardinière super douée. Votre jardin est une merveille ! J’aime beaucoup les Ammi Majus (que je ne connaissais pas) et me demande si cette plante pourrait s’adapter dans la terre lourde et humide de notre jardin du Nord de la France !? Vos petits bouquets sont absolument adorables et je trouve que vous avez un réel talent pour associer fleurs et couleurs ! Merci pour ce beau partage Kate !
    Virginie xx

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    1. Hello Virginie! You are always so very kind. Thank you so much for visiting and for your lovely comments. I know that you are very busy so I really do appreciate them. I’m glad you liked the Ammi Majus. My sister grows it in her garden in England so I know that it would grow well for you. You could start some seeds now and I bet it would grow well for this summer. Another similar and even prettier plant is Orlaya Grandiflora. I am growing that too so I hope it will do well. I believe that she gets a lot of her seeds from Sarah Raven in England so I am sure you could too. I think you can even get them as seedlings. I’ll put the link here for you.

      https://www.sarahraven.com/flowers/plants/cut_flower_seedlings/ammi_majus.htm

      Thank you so much again. I have been thinking so much about poor Brussels recently. So many happy memories there. I hope there is a resolution to all this soon.

      Kate xx

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  11. Hi Kate! I’ve been “away” for awhile, and it’s so nice to come back and see your lovely post! I think you arrange flowers beautifully! My mother worked at a greenhouse when I was a kid and I would often go there after school and watch her and the girls put together arrangements for all the orders. Your blooms and yard are looking gorgeous, as always!!!

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