Black Country Bugle
The pick of the bunch for floral arrangements
If you’ve managed to keep your flowers blooming in the heat, you may want to cut some now to enjoy indoors.
From fragrant sweet peas to blousy dahlias and zingy yellow rudbeckias, there are plenty of blooms which are ideal for cutting in late summer.
Here are five of the best.
These impressive blooms are the ultimate growyour-own cut flower – the more you cut, the more flowers they seem to produce. Cutting a handful of blooms every few days is like deadheading early.
They have fairly soft, hollow stems and some last longer than others once cut. The single and semi-double types tend not to last as long as fully double forms, but good bets include stellar, cactus, balls and pompoms, so if the outer petals start to go brown you can just pick them off.
Cut them early in the morning, making a diagonal cut so the surface area is as big as possible when in contact with the water. The flowers you pick should be almost fully open, as if you cut them as buds they may not bloom.
Put them in water as soon as you cut them, as they’ll soon start to wilt in a trug without moisture. Display as stand-alone specimens in everything from jam jars to jugs, or in a more ornate decoration, or float the cut flowers in water in a shallow bowl.
These dazzling yellow daisy-like blooms with deep brown centres come into their own in late summer and autumn, their cheerful flowers brightening up indoor displays. They can spread to fill large areas of the border and will last up to two weeks in a vase if you change the water regularly. A good choice is the yellow variety ‘Marmalade’ paired with the more unusual ‘Cherry Brandy’, which has deep chocolate-burgundy flowers.
Again, they are really easy to grow – you can buy both annual and perennial types – and are particularly suited to prairie planting schemes, preferring moist but welldrained soil in full sun.
You can’t help but love these climbing beauties, which are richly scented and flower profusely throughout summer and into autumn if you cut them frequently. I grow them in among climbing beans, as the fragrant sweet peas attract pollinating insects, so you’re likely to get a better harvest of beans if more bees arrive at the scene.
Cut them at the base of the stems soon as the blooms appear – if you don’t cut them regularly, their flowering season will be much shorter because the plant thinks that it’s time to set seed. Put them en masse in an informal bunch in a shallow jug or vase for best effect. They may be fleeting, lasting only a couple of days, but the more you cut, the more will come back which should give you plenty of richly scented blooms into mid autumn.
These annuals are long-flowering and come in an abundance of colours, from white to pink and purple, with delicate feathery foliage. Keep them well watered in pots and in the border throughout the warmer months and they won’t disappoint. The attractive, open-faced flowers are also a magnet for bees and other pollinators.
Tall cottage garden favourites include C. bipinnatus, which will happily fill gaps in borders and the more you cut, the more will come. Their wispy foliage also means that you won’t have to add an awful lot more to a vase.
Also known as the Peruvian lily, these late-flowering beauties are easy to grow and can last up to two weeks in a vase. Grow them in shades varying from purple and pink to white, orange, yellow and rust and they will give you clusters of delicate trumpet-shaped flowers off a single stem.
Alstroemerias are easy-to-grow hardy perennials, coming back year after year although they do prefer a warm, sheltered spot in sun or partial shade and may need some winter protection. Plant them in spring or autumn, in free-draining soil with added organic matter, or if you are planting them in a pot, use John Innes No 2 compost with added grit.
When picking mature plants, hold the stem low down and pull it upwards, which will sever it below ground and stimulate another bud to encourage more blooms. Then cut the stem to the desired length.