Bloom 3.0 – review of 2014


It was been flower goodness last summer and as promised I’m here with a look back at the season the highs and lows, good and not so good.

This post set out my intentions and what I was growing for the season.

The Goods.

Far outweighing my hopes the Dianthus (Sweet Williams) were the best producers last year. These were already two year old biennials, I had sown them in the summer of 2012 planted in the autumn of that year and this was the second flowering summer. As biennials I should have pulled them up in 2013, oh so glad I didn’t. They really kicked the summer off well and I loved having so many flowers I could give bunches of them away!

Next in flower production were the Calendula, Cornflowers and Salvia. These three started early and lasted almost all summer long. True workhorses of a cutting patch.

Late to start but packing plenty of blooms into the remaining season were the Nicotiana and the Helianthus (sunflowers).

And a word about the Lathyrus (Sweet Peas). I used a new to me method of growing and supporting these plants. And both were a great success. I will be trying it again this year and hope to have twice as many plants out on the allotment patch.

Now the not so good.

The Ammi, Nigella and Antirrhinum didn’t give me as many flowers as hoped. The Ammi did give a few weeks blooms and I love it so will be trying again although in an ideal world I should have sown it last September and that would ensure bigger plants. But I didn’t.

I think the reason the Nigella didn’t produce well was my fault, I just didn’t grow enough of them and the Antirrhinum failed to germinate very well so I only planted out a few plants that took some getting going. Also not a success were the biennial Lunnaria (honesty) I try and try with this plant but can’t seem to get it to produce beautiful long flower stems like I see in the wild.


One of my favourite things last summer was finding little gems in amongst the perennials, shrubs and herbs already growing in the garden. This arrangement was only made possible because of the Borage, rose foliage and mint leaves. And this one started the season with a bang thanks to the Viburnum opulus balls. It is the beauty of having variety in the garden that allows these gems to be found right? I hope the borders do have variety and I don’t mind picking for the occasional bunch from those stocks.

I hope to learn from all these years of growing flowers, learn and tweak and produce more material to arrange and enjoy the next year.

And I can’t believe we are soon to be heading into that magical seed sowing season. Plans are being made as I type and I’ll be back with Bloom 2015 soon.