It's been a very wet June which, on the plus side, has meant that I haven't had to do much watering of my raised beds but at the same time it has provided optimum conditions for the hordes of voracious slugs and snails that are munching their way through the growing tips of my sweet peas and dahlias. However, as you can see from these photos, all is not lost!

There are a bumper number of flowers to cut at this time of year in my cutting garden. Over the last couple of weeks I've been cutting Cornflowers, Ammi, Candytuft, Sweet williams, Alchemilla mollis, Roses, Oxeye daisies, Nigella, Foxgloves, Linaria, Ranunculus, Sanguisorba, Cirsium rivulare, Salvia, Cephalaria gigantea and Triteleia.

My favourite flower this month has to be that of Cephalaria gigantea (giant scabious). The large pale yellow flowers (featured in this arrangement below) are stunning and I've never seen so many bees on a plant before. I counted 14 bees on just one plant! As it's growing in the border, I only cut sparingly from it so there are plenty of flowers left for the bees.

Growing flowers is good for the soul and good for the bees!

I held another 'Grow Your Own Cut Flowers' workshop this month, this time for 2 students - Mark, a garden designer who would like to incorporate cutting gardens into some of his client's gardens, and Jules, a keen gardener, starting to maintain and create gardens for others. I think we just about managed to get over Jules' fear of cutting flowers from the garden borders by  the end of the session and in Jules' own words:

"I started the working week with renewed enthusiasm and an urge to cut flowers! ... Thank you again for the delicious food, excellent course notes, jam jar posy and bonus cosmos seeds (already planted!)."

Growing Flowers workshop
Jules' jam jar posy

 

 

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I love May as it is the month that a lot of garden perennials such as Aquilegias and Oxeye daisies begin to bloom and there is suddenly a lot more material to cut. However, June is the month when the hardy annual flower seedlings - Cornflowers, Sweet peas and Ammi, which were sown back in March and have been cosseted since then, finally all start to flower. These annuals really do flower their socks off for months if you keep picking the flowers or dead-heading any that you leave on for the bees and other pollinating insects.

May cut flowers
May perennials

I vary the annuals that I grow each year, as I like to try new varieties, and there will always be some new amazing flower that I will see when browsing the seed catalogues  which I simply must have! This year I'm growing Phacelia campanularia (with bright blue flowers), Cornflowers 'Polka Dot' (a mix of blues, whites and pinks) and 'Black Ball' (dark, wine red),  Godetia 'Crown Double Mix' (pink tissue-like flowers), Ammi majus 'African Queen' (the classic white umbellifer which makes excellent filler material), Candytuft 'White Pinnacle' (with sweet scented, white flowers), Amberboa muricata (a pale pink, shaggy thistle type flower) and Malope trifida 'Vulcan' (a trailing plant with magenta flowers with a green eye).

 

All these annual flowers will be featuring in arrangements this month which I will post on my Facebook page in order to demonstrate the wide variety of cut flowers that anyone could grow in their own back garden, in combination with garden perennials, shrubs, bulbs and herbs. Herbs like Mint, Lemon balm and Oregano all provide useful foliage or filler flowers this month to mix in with your annuals.

Flowers end June
Sweet peas, Amberboa, Lupins and Cornflowers with Lemon balm foliage in June

 

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