Tag Archives: Helianthus cuc Italian White

In a vase on Monday – long stems at last!

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As I mentioned in my Cutting Garden post yesterday the stems on many plants are getting longer and longer as the season progresses,and so today I thought I’d splash out on a rather bigger arrangement than normal.

I’m again using my lovely sister-gifted Orla Kiely vase which is proving incredibly versatile and has a good heavy base so it won’t topple over, even when heavily laden!

As well as my sunflowers, H. cuc Italian WhiteIMG_8894

and stalwart Salvias, Salvia horminum Oxford BlueIMG_8898

I added some quite long branches of the shoo fly plant, Nicandra physaloides, a member of the potato family.  I’ve grown this from seed in the past and in fact have a couple of self seeded plants in the garden, but these branches were cut from my neighbours’ plant which is shrub sized at about 5ft tall by 4ft wide!IMG_8895

I like the way the dark buds picked up the dark centre of the sunflowers.  Meanwhile, the Salvias were supposed to pick up on the purple blooms of the Nicandra, but the two Nicandra flowers I had fell off in the arranging.  Oops.  But here’s another one peaking out…IMG_8896

With thanks as ever to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden who hosts our IaVoM meme.

PS.  Hey, look what opened up as soon as my back was turned:

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The Cutting Garden – September 2015

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In my Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day post for August I mentioned how I couldn’t tell the difference between my two Cutting Garden pale sunflowers, Helianthus cuc Italian White and Helianthus Vanilla Ice.  Well I can now – the one above, H. cuc Italian White, is now about 7ft tall, a good 2ft taller than Vanilla Ice. They’re both still going strong and highly recommended, but I think I prefer the taller variety for cutting.

Below the Salvia horminum ‘Oxford Blue’, is also still flowering profusely.  The stems are getting even longer and it’s a brilliant, long lasting cut flower.IMG_8842

This is one of the few Ten Weeks Stocks still flowering.  As I mentioned last month I don’t think I’d grow these again.  They never seem to have more than a couple of flowers blooming on the stem at any one time, and although they smell gorgeous, the flowers look rather mean and a bit tatty.  I think I’ll keep looking for alternative varieties as there must be better ones and I adore the scent of stocks.

I have already planted some more Matthiola Incana seed for next year, but if anyone knows of other stock seed worth growing I’d love to know.

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The two Cosmos varieties, C. Double Click Snow Puff and C. Double Click Cranberries are starting to look rather exhausted, but they have been pumping out blooms for months so I’m not complaining.  Interestingly the two different varieties I have at home, Cosmos Purity and Cosmos Dazzler, both single, are both still flowering well.  Do you think making double flowers is more exhausting?

Meanwhile the Antirrhinum, A. Orange Wonder, seems to have gone rather more pink as it’s aged, very strange!  There are still plenty of flowers coming and, as with the Salvias, the stems are lengthening, making them even better for cutting – and there’s very little rust which was definitely a problem last year. IMG_8848

The Zinnias are also still producing well, with Z. Giant Scarlet, IMG_8844

Z. Giant WineIMG_8843

and favourite Z. Raspberry Cordial.IMG_8845

I’m also still supplementing these Cutting Garden blooms with various flowers from the garden, including dahlias, dianthus, molucella.  However, there’s no doubt the Cutting Garden is starting to look a little autumnal and I can’t help but wonder how many blooms I’ll still have to share by next month.

The Cutting Garden – August 2015

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I’ve been remiss in not posting about my satellite Cutting Garden (in my neighbours’ walled garden) since it looked like this at the end of May.  And now it’s producing bucket loads of blooms, like the one above.

The following photos were actually taken last week, but when I visited today it’s clear the recent rain has battered everything quite badly.  I’m never great at staking (always thinking I’ll get away with it!) but this year, when it was clear some stakes were needed, it was so dry I couldn’t get them into the ground.  Quite what my excuse was for not getting round to it as the ground softened is anyone’s guess.  Tsk!

This photos is looking in a similar direction to the one above and shows the Cosmos Double Click Snow Puff, with Cosmos Double Click Cranberries nearer the fence.  Down the slope are the Antirrhinum majus Orange Wonder  with Salvia horminum ‘Oxford Blue’ to the right.  In between are the Zinnias,

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Zinnia Benary’s Giant Scarlet,IMG_8426

Zinnia Benary’s Giant Wine,IMG_8425

and my favourite, Zinnia Raspberry Cordial.IMG_8427

Looking up the slope you can see the Zinnias are still quite small (although have grown significantly in the past week).  Between the Zinnias and Salvias are a line of Ten Week Stocks.  Although they do smell lovely, they really don’t work for cutting, so I won’t be growing them again.

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The sunflowers have been amazing this year.  IMG_8429

The large yellow ones, which were very kindly sent to me by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden, didn’t turn out to be the red flushed Ruby Eclipse we were both expecting, but now the huge central stems have been cut, there are plenty of smaller clear yellow blooms, which have that lovely sunflower cheer.IMG_8421

There are two other sunflowers, Helianthus cuc Italian White and Helianthus Vanilla Ice, but I can’t seem to tell the difference between them.  They’ve been absolutely great, hugely prolific and yet dainty and soft coloured for a sunflower.  I featured them in my ‘Moonflowers’ Monday vase and have used them every week since.IMG_8423

Back home, as well as more Zinnias, (including Z. Benary’s Giant Lime not at the satellite cutting garden) I’ve also been cutting Molucella laevis

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and another favourite, Dianthus Green Trick.  This came originally from Sarah Raven, but I’ve already taken a number of successful cuttings and this weekend have taken a dozen more. They last for well over a week in the vase and retain this lovely fresh green.IMG_8262

With many thanks to Julie at Peonies and Posies for hosting the Cutting Garden meme.

Now all I’ve got to do is decide what to choose for Monday’s vase!

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – August 2015

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Many of my current blooms are annuals grown from seed this year and the one above, Malope trifida Vulcan, has been amazing.  To be honest it probably should have been staked, but I’m quite enjoying the chaos and colour it brings.

Also in the mid century bed is my new dark rose, Munstead Wood still going strong.IMG_8211

In the other new bed, the Bronze Bed, there are Poppies, Papaver nudicale Party Fun.IMG_8242IMG_8239

Nasturtium Caribbean CrushIMG_8245

seen here through a curtain of Hordeum Jubatum.IMG_8240

together with Achillea terracottaIMG_8244

and Scabious Fata Morgana, which as feared, isn’t quite as peachy as I’d hoped, but pretty nonetheless.IMG_8241

In pots I have plenty of pelargoniums including this lovely scented one Pink Capitatum.IMG_8235

And at my cutting garden, I have these magnificent Sunflowers growing from seeds kindly sent to me by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.  We thought they were Ruby Eclipse, but they’re rather more yellow and enormous!  IMG_8249

As well as these giant sunflowers, I have also grown two smaller varieties, Helianthus cuc Italian WhiteIMG_8251

Helianthus Vanilla IceIMG_8250

Er, spot the difference?

As well, there are plenty of Cosmos Double Click Snow PuffIMG_8255IMG_8253

and Cosmos Double Click CranberriesIMG_8256

The Antirrhinum, A majus Orange Wonder which I was tempted to move back home, of course never got moved, and is having a second flush in the Cutting Garden.

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Another Cutting Garden stalwart is the Salvia horminum ‘Oxford Blue’

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This year I’ve gone a bit mad with Zinnias, planting Zinnia Benary’s Giant Lime, Zinnia Benary’s Giant Scarlet, Zinnia Benary’s Giant Wine, Zinnia Raspberry Cordial and Zinnia elegans Queen Red Lime.  Sadly the Queen Red Lime didn’t germinate  well and those that did ‘damped off’ but the rest are just starting to produce their fabulous bright blooms, on good strong stems, perfect for cutting.IMG_8259

with plenty more to come.IMG_8260

One group of flowers which really hasn’t fared well this year are my sweet peas.  They struggled with the dry weather early on, and have certainly suffered more from greenfly than any year I can remember – perhaps because they were stressed by the early drought.  But I still love them, roll on next year.IMG_8224

With many thanks to Carol at May Dreams Gardens  for hosting everyone’s GBBD.