Summer, summer where are you? Anyone else seen it? Its disappeared. We had a plan, lets buy some proper nice garden chairs we said, then we can sit and enjoy the warm summer evenings and relax with a book on the hot long summer days? I’ve sat on them once! Its been warm but we’ve had a lot of rain, it’s just so changeable from one day to the next. I pack my bag for working at Bluebell cottage nursery and have sunhat, cagoul, fleece, suncream, shorts and waterproof trousers! Prepared for all weathers. But it has to be said that the garden is loving it. Everything has been growing well (including the weeds!) and at least there hasn’t been too much watering needed.
I like to try a couple of new things each year and this year I sowed some Amaranthus red, and they grew so well, I just planted 4 on the edge of a raised bed, they grew and grew and I staked them and they have started flowering this month.
I wasn’t completely sure what to do with them as they are really quite different, but they look so dramatic draped over the edge of an arrangement. They go well with the Dahlias ‘Rip City’ and ‘Bacardi’. They need some big statement flower to go with it I think. Here also with Ammi visnaga, Phlox ‘Creme Brulee’, Cosmos ‘Apricotta’, Scabiosa ‘Beaujolais Bonnets’ and Panicum ‘Sprinkles’.
The Amaranthus looks very dramatic in the garden too! Plus I’m surprised how much of a cut and come again flower it is. Now I need to investigate how to dry some for winter.
As a bit of an antidote to all the pinks and peachy colours in my bouquets at the moment. I put together a bright and cheerful zingy mix of yellows. A sunshine of yellows from Rudbeckia ‘Marmalade’, Helianthus ‘Valentine’, a perennial sunflower H. ‘Lemon Queen’, Inula hookeri, Ammi visnaga, Burpleurum falcatum and Nicotiana ‘Starlight Dancer’.
Just a quick mention for the hidden characters in many a bouquet at the moment. Ammi visnaga. Its such a great plant for foliage. I think I prefer it to Ammi majus as I love the ferny foliage as well as the flower heads which are a bit more compact. Just planted a row of 6 plants and staked them well they are big chunky plants. They are really a true cut and come and again annual. Great value plant. It was used in both bouquets above.
The other flowers doing so well are the stalwarts of my cutting patch in August, the Cosmos. As long as you keep picking them or deadheading them they will keep flowering till October. I can’t tell you how much I love these flowers they bring me so much joy. they mix well with other flowers but sometimes just a big bunch of them is all you need.Cosmos ‘Purity’
As you will have seen if you have read Higgledy Gemma’s blog post now is the time for planning for next year whilst everything is still fresh in your mind. Especially if you want to get ahead of the game and sow some of your hardy annuals in autumn. Ben has released a fabulous new bundle of hardy annuals that are good to sow from now into early autumn. Have a look at his blog post with lots of tips for sowing.
I’m planning on sowing mine in September, I have a big list but my key favourites, that did great this year, are Cornflowers, Corncockle, Daucus carota and Ammi majus. But will do a separate post about what I’m going to sow in September. Meanwhile I’m making the most of all the late summer flowers and keeping picking to keep them going for as long as I can.
Anyway that yellow ball in the sky has just returned and I’m off out into the garden before it rains again!