The Higgledys have grown Cornflowers in their cut flower patches since before the invention of the pickled onion, and Cornflower ‘Black Ball’ has always been a personal favourite of mine. ‘Black Ball’ is of course neither black nor is it a ball but it is a flower…so it’s not all lies.
All cornflowers have a simplicity that is hard to beat. They have excellent vase life if harvested just as they are opening. And bees and other pollinators love them.
I have found that sprinkling the edible flower petals on to pale pasta with Parmesan shavings makes people think I am a renaissance man, (when in truth I am more your Lager and Bargain Hunt sort of a chap.)
Cornflowers can be sown in Spring or in late August/Very early September. Thin plants to a hand span.
Dried slowly in a dark (but not depressing) place with good ventilation will result in the flowers keeping their colour.
During my afternoon Martini break, as I sauntered around the garden prodding things with my cane, it came to my attention that I ought to harvest some Sweet Peas. As I am sure you are aware, Sweet Peas will keep on producing blooms for a hefty amount of weeks so long as you keep picking the flowers.
Sweet Pea ‘Jilly‘ is a long time darling of mine and I usually like to keep a jar of the delightful flowers on the harpsichord next to the Goshawk cage…it is an indubitable fact that Terrance has a more settled demeanor when in fragrance range of a pale Sweet Pea.
As I was cutting the ivory cherubs I spied some rather dashing white ‘Swan Lake’ blooms on a neighbouring plant…now ordinarily a chap wouldn’t be mixing stark whites with an antiquated cream palette and certainly not mid week but the Martini must have gone to my head…”Dash it! Who gives a stuff what they’ll say at the club! They’ll probably just think I’ve been listening to too much Jazz on the wireless.” …and with that I snipped half a dozen of dazzling blighters and ran into the cooling shade of Aunti Fizzy’s airship.