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Coneflower
Rudbeckias make truly wonderful, very long-flowering cut flowers. Belonging to the sunflower family, they come in a sumptuous mix of mahogany, nutmeg, yellow and burnt marmalade colours. Rudbeckia ‘Cherry Brandy’ is one of my favourite flowers, with
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Planning Your Flower Patch
As tempting as it might be to simply toss a selection of seeds into the soil for a random, ‘country meadow’ patch, a little planning will let you maximise the amount of flowers you can harvest, and will also keep your plants happy by ensuring they ha
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Make Natural Confetti
Fresh petal confetti is a fantastic alternative to the shopbought, paper variety. It’s equally effective with a mix of shades and shapes or with just one colour. Flowers that work particularly well are roses, individual delphinium heads and sweet pea
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Cosmos
Cosmos is one of my absolute favourite plants. It gives you the highest square-inch productivity of any cut flower, so for every square foot that you plant, you’ll get more buckets of cut flowers from that square foot than you will with any other pla
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A Sample Flower Patch
Think in manageable squares as even a small piece of ground can make you feel unsure where to start. For the sake of easy maths, I divide my patch into squares of 25x25cm. So my 2x2m plot becomes a grid of eight by eight squares. I draw this out on a
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Dahlia
Dahlias are the highlight of the late summer. Keep picking them and one dahlia tuber will produce hundreds of flowers. I grow dahlias in nearly all their shapes and forms, from delicate singles to the gravity-defying ‘dinner plate’ varieties. Dahlias
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Make Origami Seedling Pots
Cultivating a flower patch is inexpensive and eco-friendly, so replacing plastic seedling pots with recycled paper versions is sure to appeal. Each pot takes less than two minutes to make, and when it’s time to plant out your seedlings you can simply
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Flourishing Notes
This pretty ‘Wellesley Blossom’ tablet cover comes in Cath Kidston’s trademark (and oh so practical) wipe-clean oilcloth – perfect if you’re out in the garden taking pictures, surfing the web for planting advice or typing up some notes for next year’
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Honeywort
Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ (Honeywort) has silvery leaves with purple hanging bells, and is one of the best annual foliage plants. I absolutely love this plant, and it gently self-sows, so after your initial investment you never need buy it again.
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The Making Of A Flower Patch
It’s the wettest day of the winter when we visit Hartley Farm near Bradford-on-Avon. We’ve come to meet Grace Farrimond, co-owner of Young Blooms, a gem of a florists adopted by the renowned farm shop. Almost there, we pass Grace’s growing patch, the
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The Joy Of Roses
Roses are arguably some of the best (I would say the best, of course) of all garden plants. After all, what else can potentially have a beautiful flower, a wonderful fragrance, be easy to look after and flower for five or six months of the year? I ce
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Love Lies Bleeding
One of my favourites, Amaranthus caudatus produces long, soft tassels. You may have seen the widespread crimson version that gives it its common name but try the fresh, acid-green ‘Viridis’ as a much better mixer – it subtly enhances whites and blues
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Arranging Notes
Beautiful and practical, this woven tote bag is just the thing to take into your flower patch to transport freshly picked blooms back to the house ready to be arranged. Sturdy and spaciously designed, each bag is individually handmade so no two are t
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Find Your Perfect Workshop
Floristry courses and workshops are the best way to expand your skills, and they come with the bonus that you’ll meet others who share your new obsession. Learning comes in all sorts of formats, so we called on the expert help of Rachel Wardley, foun
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Marigold
the marigold is many people’s least favourite plant for some reason. I admit I used to be a subscriber to the ‘anti orange and yellow in your garden’ club, but once I was arranging flowers regularly I joined the opposite camp – the more bright, easy-
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The Elements Of Floral Design
The process of making a flower arrangement involves many of the same principles that go into making fine art, and that’s why the term ‘painterly’ is how I like to describe my style of arranging. I can remember standing, transfixed, in front of Monet’
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Inspiration For Your Bookshelf
By Louise Curley Frances Lincoln Limited Through years of experience on her own cutting patch, Louise (AKA blogger ‘wellywoman’) is able to advise with confidence on the flower varieties that are most abundant, easiest to grow and which last well whe
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Panicum Elegans
Panicum elegans is a beautiful, airy grass that forms great puffs of green. It’s one of the most productive foliage plants you can add to your cutting patch and one of the best upper-storey foliage plants for cutting. Just add three to five stems to
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Choosing The Right Vase
The vases we use for our arrangements are as important as the flowers we select to put into them. We look for containers, vessels and vases all over the place – car boots, charity shops, eBay, the flower market, antique shops, flea markets… When we w
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Pincushion Flower
If you’re thinking of choosing scabious seeds (also known as pincushion flower), the mauves, dark oranges, whites and pinks of a collection such as ‘Tall Double Mix’ are pretty for informal bunches, but it’s the deep crimson form I like best. They li
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Your Guide To Vase Shapes
Your choice of container is going to add so much to the look of any flower display you create. There are no rights or wrongs here – it’s good to go with what appeals to you and fits with the scale of your flowers. You’ll only need a few shapes to sta
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Learning The Basics
Your flower patch will be beautiful to look at but you should think of it as a place to harvest a crop. To maximise your haul, you’ll need to consider these points when choosing where to plant… * A sunny situation is a must, with a minimum of six hou
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Snapdragon
Snapdragons are invaluable for their full flower spikes, which last well over a week in water. Look out for the elegant, single-colour florist’s varieties and avoid dwarf forms (often sold as bedding plants) as the stem won’t be long enough for cutti
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Creating A Fan Display
What’s so lovely about arranging in this shape container is that you can make the display quite low and place it as a centrepiece on a table, but also go taller and use it on a mantelpiece, bar or windowsill. We particularly like adding a splash of c
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Troubleshooting Your Flower Patch
Gardening clubs are a way to share plant knowledge locally. Search on rhs.org.uk to help you find one. Growers are a friendly bunch and enjoy sharing their knowledge and experience. If you need a little extra help, try visiting gardenersworld.com/for
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Spider Flower
Cleome seeds can be bought in a variety of shades. ‘Colour Mix’ has elegant flowers of white, pink and purple, which look rather like daddy long legs on a stem. These look good in the garden and mixed up together in a jumble in a large vase, or you c
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Recording Your Flower Journey
As a flower writer and photographer, immersing myself in the incredible array of beautiful floral images on Instagram is something I just can’t resist. And to follow the personal stories of my favourite Instagrammers, week by week, is such a privileg
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CUTTING & CONDITIONING FLOWERS
Cutting a stem does cause a flower a certain amount of shock but there’s lots to do to give it a happy indoor life. One of the most helpful tricks is to gather your flowers early in the day, while it’s cooler and the bloom is full of energy. The cool
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