Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Cutting Garden

It's nice to have something that is "starting" in this season of "ending", so working on the cutting garden has been especially satisfying.
An old photo, but you can see plenty of empty space.
Inspired by Belinda (Wild Acre) to jump off and create a new space, I am stretching my gardening limits for next year.  Long dedicated to perennials, I am trying my hand at annual cutting flowers.  Obviously, I do cut my perennials, but this is a major change in focus.  Adequate sun was my first concern, so I looked to the only  place - well, other than smack dab in the middle of the front yard - that gets significant sun most of the year.  It's a long straight strip of yard on one side - a strip we call the "bowling alley".  With no entrance to the house on that side, it's somewhat forgotten.  You know, the part of the yard that you only visit because you want to go there.   My office overlooks it, so I will be able to keep an eye on this experiment as it grows.

In September I laid out a bed and killed the grass.  It's about 25 feet long and 4 feet wide.  I used the existing Japanese maple and camellia bush as anchors.  There is plenty of room to expand next year.  Yes, I am already thinking I need more space. 
Once all the grass was dead and gone - "gone" involving digging it all out by hand, since I couldn't get my tiller started! - I started planting in mid-September.  Love-in-the-Mist, Bachelor's Buttons, larkspur, and poppies in many four-foot rows.
After a month, I do have plants.  Not as many as I had hoped in some areas, so I have replanted more nigella and larkspur.  I think the poppies are not supposed to be up yet.  I think they were planted in the fall so that they could germinate in the earliest warm days next spring.  Belinda told me that they would look like weeds are winter, but I think their fairly neat rows make it clear that they are invited.

The next step is to build a raised bed for sweet peas.  Maybe next weekend...


  1. Very fun to be looking at plants emerging at this time of year. It keeps one hopeful :).

    I wish I could grow sweet peas, but they don't even do well in the garden. They are one of my favorite flowers, next to freesias, another "cannot grow".

  2. Anneke Why is it that we only want to grow what we cannot - freesia, ranunculus, delphiniums, and maybe sweet peas. This is a work in progress!!