July has brought amazing flowers to our garden and you really need to try these new favourites of mine.
It’s been a wonderful year for growing a cutting garden. I have learned a lot along the way and will use that knowledge for years to come. I thought I would show a few of my favourite annuals that I started from seed this year. Above is Phlox Blushing Bride with its pretty pale pink and white flowers. Its growing almost too well and crowding out the Gomphrena planted next to it. I have been cutting this phlox for bouquets every week but should really do up some bouquets to sell. It grows to about 15″ high and has about the same spread. I have never had to deadhead this plant as it keeps sending up new buds continually. It can be grown in containers, raised beds or in the ground and likes a spot in full sun.
As our daughter’s wedding approaches I am working on flowers to go on an archway. Above is my first attempt using Hydrangeas, Phlox, Skimmia and Artemesia. Today I will make one more as its hard to say if the Hydrangeas will still be in bloom three weeks from now. I love being able to use flowers from the garden for special events.
I struggled to get Iberis umbellata to grow from seed. It’s best planted directly where you want it to grow. I planted the seeds outside in late April when the soil had warmed up. I think it may have been too warm for the seeds to germinate so I made sure to not let the soil dry out. That meant watering daily. I am happy to see this blush shade of Iberis or candytuft appear. It also comes in pure white and a light purple. Most brides love this blush colour so its a winner. It’s great used as a filler flower in a vase.
Calendula Strawberry Blonde is finally in bloom after sulking in the garden for weeks. It’s July and I have only two plants with flowers along an eight foot row. Right next to these the ordinary orange Calendula are loaded with blooms. Sometimes we have issues with plants and their growth and there are no answers. I love the perfect symmetry of the petals on this flower. Nature is so amazing!
I have flowers everywhere this year, in containers, raised beds and in the ground. Some of the plants I am growing are new for 2020. If you haven’t tried out the new line of Euphorbias from Proven Winners, you must. The dainty white flowers are a wonderful filler for containers as shown with Supertunia Bordeaux, another Proven Winners plant.
When I first ordered my flowers seeds from Floret Farm I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am am vegetable grower and don’t normally grow so many annual flowers. After this years experience with flowers how can I not continue? Just look at the Amni above with its perfect spiral. Amni is commonly known as false Queen Anne’s lace. As this flower matures it will have tiny white flowers and the blooms will span up to 6″ across. This flower also dries well so you can use it all year round in crafts and bouquets.
Amaranth Love Lies Bleeding has grown by leaps and bounds since I last wrote. I cut one of the flowers last week and it measured almost 30″ long. I grew these plants from seed I saved a few years ago. Amaranth is a popular flower to use in bouquets as a spiller. It definitely adds some drama to a vase.
Now the garden hasn’t been without pests this year. I wondered how things would be with no vegetables in the garden. I don’t have the usual vegetable pests like cabbage butterfly or carrot rust fly but aphids are a real problem across the lower mainland this year. This is a Zinnia stem covered in black aphids. Thankfully they seem to be under control now. I hosed them off the plants daily and removed stems that were too infested to be saved. With annual flowers you can cut them back and it helps encourage new growth. What really mystified me was the white bug near the aphids. Was it a good bug or a bad one? I posted this photo in a local garden group and it turns out this is a white ladybug larva. I haven’t seen one of these before but it’s a good bug and was chowing down on the aphids.
Do you grow your flowers from seed? I find there is way more selection when growing from seed. I am now starting seeds for fall flowers. Cool season flowers like snapdragons, violas and pansies can be started now and transplanted to the garden in September.