New Year in the Cutting Garden

We have had some lovely sunny weather in Central Florida recently and the temperatures have been perfect for working outside.  I have been busy trying to get ahead of my gardening chores and doing a major tidy up.



It is a time to enjoy all the lovely Camellias that are flowering now…






……and the lovely yellow Cassia that is absolutely covered in flowers



The real stars this winter have been the Dahlias I am trying and they have produced an amazing number of lovely flowers to pick.


This is Dahlia Cafe Au Lait with some variegated Gardenia and the lovely David Austin Rose  Munstead Wood which I grow in a big pot.





This one is Dahlia Seattle.


A cactus variety  but I am unsure of the name as it came mislabeled!





The color range on these Cafe au Laits is amazing and they are such a striking flower.  The pollinators seem to think so too!




This wasp is actually a moth known as the Polka Dot Wasp Moth



Along with the Munstead Wood roses which have been lovely I have also added a Koko Loko rose for its lovely beige-pink coloring.



After  a large building project at my home I finally got my cutting garden put back and some new planter boxes installed.  It all took a lot longer than I thought so I was a bit late in sowing some of my regular seeds.





Some have been waiting in seed trays and I have finally got them all planted out.


My list so far comprises

  • Stock
  • Giant Snapdragon
  • Ageratum
  • Orlay Grandiflora
  • Ammi Majus
  • Chocolate Lace Flower
  • Bells of Ireland
  • Gypsophila
  • Winter series Sweet Peas (early flowering)
  • Larkspur (pre chilled in the fridge for 2 weeks)
  • Statice
  • Strawflower

Most of these I have grown from seed before but a few are an experiment, such as the Bells of Ireland and the Statice.  I have also sown some bulbs of Freesias, which did well for me last year, and some Anenome and Ranunculus.  These have all been responding well to the mild temperatures





We had torrential rain last night and I was happy to see that nothing had been washed away this morning….I was even greeted with my first sweet pea flower!


Hopefully we won’t get any frosts to knock everything back.  Once we get into February it becomes less and less likely but I still keep my fingers crossed just in case!





38 thoughts on “New Year in the Cutting Garden

  1. Oh Kate, I have missed your posts! This one is gorgeous! All those beautiful blooms in wonderful colours and a sweet pea in flower in January! We have had frosts almost every night since Christmas which I am pleased about as I hope the nasty bugs and some of the moulds and diseases might be knocked back a little. It has meant that there is very little colour in the garden though.
    I am glad your building work is all finished now and you have your garden to yourself again. I wish you success with all your schemes in the garden this year
    Best wishes,
    Clare x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Clare! You always leave me the loveliest of comments and I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. I have seen some lovely frosty images on Instagram of England recently – although cold, I think it is great “reset” button in the garden so I hope for you that it will get rid of some of those nasty bugs!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Kate, As we go through a night with a Nor’easter (albeit mostly rain and sleet rather than snow), this is such a welcome vision. The garden is beautiful. What a joy to have so many blooms in the dead of winter. I am not likely to leave New England, but your garden sure is a temptation for a more temperate clime. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Patti! I really appreciate you taking the time to leave such a lovely comment. Thank you so much! xx I hope your storm wasn’t too bad. Winters are generally very lovely here although when we get a freeze it really is devastating. I know you get cold winters but I really do envy your seasons and lovely summers. We used to live in North Carolina and I have to admit that I do miss that seasonal climate (well just a little bit!) 😉


  3. Welcome back Kate, and I hope 2017 is a kind year to you. Your beautiful garden in bloom is a most welcome sight! We have had an unusually cold winter in my part of Oregon. Daffodils came up and sported buds in December, but have remained in stasis through snow, sleet and ice storms, not to mention prolonged 20 degree weather. It is starting to slowly warm up now with the lengthening days. They should start blooming soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s lovely to see all this: camellias, dahlias, roses, even a sweet pea 🙂 All my attempts at seeding have gotten along very slowly; I think our overwarm and very dry autumn made the trouble, but I’m not sure… Your Polka Dot Wasp Moth is fabulous – perhaps doubly nice, as I’m sure it won’t sting 😉 It’s wonderful to see your blog again – I’ve been slipping over here to check every so often as I do enjoy your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amy thank you so much! Our winters are pretty nice here I have to admit. Thank you for checking in to my little space. I have re-signed up to yours too so hopefully I will get notifications. I struggle sometimes just to keep up with Instagram so I need to come up with a better way to stay on top of everything as I do enjoy it! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your garden is looking beautiful Kate. How lovely to have such gorgeous flowering shrubs. Looking forward to seeing your cut flowers develop and grow this season and getting quite excited about mine too! There’s nothing like growing your own plants from seed is there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Gillian – much appreciated! I get a lot of inspiration from reading all your expertise although I know our climates are very different. I’m not always successful but as you say there is nothing more satisfying than growing your own! xx


  6. WOW, what a great post about your lovely garden and blooms! I’m wondering if you would share some seeds from your cassia tree? I love that Koko Loko rose. Where did you get it? I loved seeing different areas of your gardens, just wonderful and inspiring.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would be happy to share some seeds Lorraine – as they dry I will collect some for you! The Koko Loko rose is one that I saw pictures of but was unable to find locally. I got it from K and M Roses in MS not sure if this will make a link but I’ll copy it in anyway..

      They have quite a nice selection of roses on Fortuniana rootstock. Hope you can find one there. xx


  7. We’ve missed you and your lovely garden and photos so much, Kate!!! So glad to see all is well and get a glimpse of your lovely successes, especially those dahlias! ❤ Please don't be a stranger! I literally felt JOY when I saw you posted lol Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kate, this is such a lovely post, your garden looks so inspiring and uplifting. I love all of your selections for cut flowers too. Over here we have had some wonderful Winter hoar frosts, its been very pretty. But seeing your Spring garden is a real tonic. I hope the frosts stay away for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was so kind of you Julie – Thank you very much! I like to try flowers that remind me of England and they actually do fairly well before the hot weather sets in. Those frosty mornings are so beautiful in England. I probably wouldn’t mind one or two here if i didn’t garden. If we get a freeze my garden looks ridiculous because I literally cover everything up! I read your post the other day from my phone but I am popping over there now to leave a comment! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Kate, so lovely to read about what you’ve been up to in your beautiful gardens! The weather sounds heavenly, and your flowers look so beautiful, especially those camellias and roses. Roses in January — amazing! Reading your post has been (almost) like taking a trip to warm Florida — thanks! 🙂 Best, -Beth

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Kate, it is great to see you again! The blooms in your garden are a wonderful sight for winter-weary eyes. I love the bouquets you put together. The rose and dahlia combinations are so romantic! The variegated gardenia foliage is striking; I am always a sucker for variegated foliage and am unfamiliar with this one. The Polka Dot Wasp Moth is delightful. I hope he is good guy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am delighted to find this blog as there is so little out there for subtropical (humid summer) gardening. I have enjoyed reading through the archive pieces. It is such a pleasure to see plants that grow in my garden instead of those in cooler or Mediterranean climates. I look forward to seeing and enjoying more of your garden. I live near Brisbane in subtropical Queensland Australia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Lyn! How lovely of you to look through my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I have another follower from your part of the world and we follow each other on Instagram too. It is always so interesting to see how similar our climates are and the plants that we both grow. We can commiserate with each other too about the heat and humidity of summer! I enjoy growing plants that like the heat but I have really enjoyed experimenting with cool season annuals too. I have grown sweet peas for the first time this winter and that is a first for me! Thank you so much again and look forward to comparing notes!
      – Kate


  12. Hi Kate! I’m once again late to the party, haha! I truly loved this post – so full of beautiful blooms and the anticipation of spring. I want to come and live in your garden! I’m so glad to see you blogging again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Lynn! I really do enjoy doing the blog and aim to keep going but I find it difficult to keep up with both blog, Instagram as well as the garden too. I need to find a way to pack it all in! You are so kind. I hope that you are enjoying your new home. I always love to see your lovely photos on IG xxx


  13. Bonjour Kate !
    Quel bonheur de te retrouver et de pouvoir à nouveau se promener dans ton jardin ! J’ai découvert ton nouvel article ce matin en prenant mon petit déjeuner alors que dehors la neige tombait ! Autant te dire que le contraste entre tes merveilleuses fleurs et les nuages de flocons était saisissant. Je n’ai pu réprimer des “oh !” et des “ah !” d’émerveillement devant ces fleurs aux couleurs de printemps. Tellement belles que l’on a juste envie de croquer dedans (j’ai un faible pour les dahlias cactus et les camélias). Tes photos sont absolument superbes, comme toujours. Tu as su admirablement capturer et restituer la beauté de ton jardin.
    Très beau projet que ton jardin de fleurs à couper dans des caissons ! Ces graines et petits plants ne pouvaient trouver meilleur endroit pour croitre et s’épanouir et meilleure jardinière attentionnée et artiste !…
    Je me répète mais, oui, Kate, tu es une magicienne !
    Bisous du nord de la France sous la neige
    Virginie xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Virginie thank you!! I always love to read your comments and I know I repeat myself but they truly are like poetry! I really appreciate your very kind and generous words and I’m glad the flowery pictures brightened your snowy day. I am very late replying but I hope the weather has improved somewhat. Spring can’t be too far away for you and you have some lovely spring flowers to look forward to – all those bulbs that I can’t grow here! xxx


  14. Sorry I missed this post, Kate! Your flowers are beautiful, and your gardens always inspiring. I used to have a Camellia here, but when the house was rebuilt, it got destroyed by accident. They were supposed to dig it up for me, but that didn’t happen. Someday I will get another one. They do well in my climate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lavinia and never any need to apologize as it is so difficult to keep up sometimes! I hope you can start again with camellias as they are such a rewarding plant especially if they love your climate! xx


  15. Hi Kate! I’ve been catching up with my favorite Florida blogs today, and of course, that includes yours. It seems like I’m not the only one to be putting up less posts – other Florida bloggers seem to also be taking breaks. I enjoyed all of your gorgeous photos. Your dahlias are just beautiful! _Janice


    1. Thank you so much Janice! Took me a while to reply back to you – so sorry. Time just seems to fly by when Im busy outside and I am sure you fine that too. It is always my intention to post more but I think I need to schedule time for it or it just doesn’t happen!!


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