Flowers bring splashes of colour to your garden and allotment and it’s a great feeling being able to present your
fresh, home grown, beautiful flowers in your favourite vase. On my allotment I have created a flower patch that I think gets the most attention from visitors to the plot. From early spring on wards, I try to keep it as bright and colourful as possible. In this post I’ll be sharing some ideas about growing flowers.
Adding flowers to your allotment or garden is a great way to attract natural pollinators such as bees and butterflies that will ensure the best harvest of your fruit and vegetables from your plants. With the current decline in bee population, I think is more important than ever to make sure we are growing the things that they love best, which is flowers. If you’re wanting to grow flowers that bees will love try Alliums (large headed show onions), Antirrhinum (snap dragons), or sunflowers.
Growing flowers between your crops creates a natural target for pests such as slugs who would be happy to munch on your marigolds rather than your cabbages. I have seen many allotments that have marigolds placed between their cabbages, not only do they give a sunny yellow glow to the brassica patch but also create pristine cabbages.
Bulbs and Tubers
I love bulbs; I find growing flowers from bulbs convenient, cheap and low maintenance. From early spring I get to
enjoy the fresh bold colours from my daffodils and tulips. Some of my favourites are tulips, that I planted a few years back in the autumn. In the spring they developed a pale pink bloom with beautiful tattered edges. The tulips I plant reappear each year and always bring a smile to my face. There are so many attractive tulip varieties to choose from I’m sure you will find something you will fall in love with.
Summer flowering bulbs that I really enjoy are Gladioli; their tall upright strong stems add exotic colour to your garden and are superb for cutting and displaying at home. I have more recently become a fan of Dahlia’s, in particular dinner plate varieties as they create massive colourful flower heads.
I’m all for easy gardening that yields the best results of beautiful blooms and for this, I highly recommend perennials. Perennials are a type of flower that come back year after year. I currently have a perennial variety of forget me knots in bloom on the allotment and they are a mass of beautiful blue flowers. In my garden at home I grow a perennial called Lathyrus Latifolius that are variety of sweet pea in gorgeous purple-pink tones. They have been coming back year after year providing me with masses of fragrant blooms to fill the house.
Perennials can be bought as young or mature plants from garden centres, but a cheaper more rewarding way to grow perennials is from seed in a greenhouse or you start them off on a sunny windowsill. Currently coming along nicely in my greenhouse at home, is a perennial called Aquilegia 'Magpie' that were sent to me by a friend. When in bloom they will have striking black and you’ve guessed it … purple flowers. Sometimes perennial flowers can seem like they take ages to get going, but I assure you the time and effort you put into looking after them as young seedlings will pay off for years to come.
I try to grow a variety of flowers from seed and choose ones that are particularly good as cut flowers. This year I have sown Larkspur, Asters, Sweet William, Cornflowers, Sunflowers and of course we must not forget Sweet Peas. If you decide to only grow one type of flower for your garden it has to be Sweet Peas. These stunning climbers are easy to sow in early spring and produce masses of fragrant flowers. The more blooms you cut the more flowers they produce. They are great for covering up unsightly walls or fences and come in loads of beautiful and fun varieties. My favourite of course is the purple shaded blue shift.
I hope you have found this post useful in helping you choose some stunning blooms for your garden. Until next time happy growing…