A cut flower patch on the allotment

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I’ve always loved having flowers in the house but when we bought our first home several years ago, spending money on flowers had to be curtailed as funds were diverted into replacing a bathroom and redesigning our new garden. It was a little disappointing to have our own home at last and not be able to fill it with flowers.

I had also become a little bored with the types of flowers available in the supermarket or at the florist. They looked a bit too uniform and the choice was a little samey. Where was the seasonality? I was, at the time, becoming increasingly interested in buying and growing seasonal fruit and veg. It seemed ridiculous to be buying out of season roses and other imported flowers.

I then read an article about the damage the international trade in cut flowers was doing to the planet; pollution, demands on scarce water resources and huge transport miles. All of this meant that buying flowers no longer seemed so appealing. The solution came in growing my own cut flowers on my newly acquired allotment. I don’t have a lot of space, just 2 beds devoted to cut flowers but I can produce buckets of blooms throughout the summer for a fraction of the cost of buying them. There are no transport miles, no chemicals and the bees and butterflies love them.

Bringing in beneficial insects to my plot means I have had fewer pest problems on my fruit and veg. But best of all my flowers make me smile. I get immense satisfaction from a morning picking flowers and deadheading and then walking home with my old, rusty enamel bucket packed full of cosmos, antirrhinums, larkspur and sweet peas. So far, I’ve grown hardy and half-hardy annuals, biennials and a few perennials but it’s addictive this ‘growing your own’ and I’m already planning how my small patch can produce even more, for longer, next year.

In my monthly posts, I’ll produce a posy of flowers from my allotment cutting patch, especially for Garlic and Sapphire; I’ll explain what flowers I’ve used and how I grew them. And, in the months when my plot is looking a little bare, I’ll share with you my plans and preparations for the following year.

Thanks for reading,

       

PS. Sarah Raven stocks loads of brilliant quality cut flower seeds... just in case you didn't know.