Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gardening: The Cutting Row

So, we've declared that one of the long rows in The Farm will be devoted to cutting flowers. That's eighty feet by four feet of space, all of it with at least half day sun.


I've already started planting perennials. Two each of a few kinds of Japanese anemones, including Honorine Jobert, my favorite. I'd tell you what the others are, but, um, I forget. I'll have to make a note when I get out there.

Two plants each of a single-flowered and a double-flowered coreopsis. (Cultivars, you ask? I avert my eyes and promise to go make that note, too.) Two Magnus coneflowers. Two black-eyed Susan plants. Eight assorted columbine. In case you're wondering what the unifying theme is, it's that I went to the Grange and bought two of every plant that (1) I like, that (2) wasn't rootbound, and that (3) at least one source claimed was suitable for cutting. Not exactly systematic, but there was bare space out there!

I also bought some unsatisfyingly short things - squat little dahlias and, even worse, squat little sunflowers. I refuse to buy the sad, short cosmos seedlings. Why won't nurseries sell the tall ones? I suppose it's because people who aren't me like "bedding" annuals. Plus, people like to buy annuals that are already blooming, and it's hard to get a blooming four-foot-tall soft plant home without breaking it in half. So if I want the tall stuff, I have to seed it myself. This year I seeded Art Deco zinnias and Double Click cosmos, with delightful results; I'll repeat both next year, plus more kinds of  cosmos and zinnias, plus sunflowers.

I'm busily hunting online nurseries for more perennials. Vintage Gardens is going away in 2013 (noooo!), so I'm making lists of roses and possibly hydrangeas to buy from them--and Himself and I are discussing the possibility of devoting another long row just to roses. And every year I regret my failure to plant dahlias and chrysanthemums, so I plan to finally correct that error, though I haven't begun to narrow down the hundreds of options. I like the whacky ones that look like they need to comb their hair, or they're ready to blast off for Alpha Centauri, or they're waiting for you to get a little closer so that they can shoot spores in your face. That kind.

Then there are bulbs. Tulips, of course. At six inches between bulbs and a four-foot-wide row, that's sixteen bulbs per linear foot of row. That's a lot of bulbs, and enough space to offer at least a chance that they'll come back next year.



My brain just stopped. Maybe those short squat little dahlias successfully aimed their spores.

First vase photo: By trish. Wikimedia Commons.
Second vase photo: By Patrick.Charpiat. Wikimedia Commons.
Third vase photo: By David Palterer. Wikimedia Commons.
Dahilia photo: By Vulkan. Wikimedia Commons.

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