- Author: Michael Bains
I've read many a blog post explaining how to go about doing something, prepping something, etc with explicit instructions, but then never saw a follow up post on how things were going. Which leads me to believe that the poster never did what they proposed to do or it all went pear shaped and they'd rather not talk about it. It's entirely possible that life just moved on, but I like some follow up. Good, bad or indifferent.
Back in April I did a post on planning a cut flower garden. It was a garden I was going to put in my own yard using 2 4x8 foot raised beds I had previously used to grow vegetables. I did fail to mention that one of the reasons I was abandoning the vegetables was that I was fighting a losing a war against the Squirrel Hoards of Chino Hills. And my secret weapon, a Labrador Retriever, turned out to be completely useless in the fight.
I direct seeded six different flowers. Here are the results:
Sweet Peas Lathyrus odaratus – You don't see these. They were on the far right. They popped up about 6 inches and just quit. Didn't die. Didn't grow. Just sat there. So, I ripped them out.
Sunflowers Helianthus – These are doing just fine in the back of the left bed. Get about 2 flowers per week.
Larkspur Delphinium – A few popped up. I got about 25% germination on these. Again, I get a couple of flowers per week.
Cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus – The ball of orange in the left bed. I get about a bunch a week from 2 plants.
Zinnia – These fill most of the bed on the right. I get a bunch or two per week and the more I cut them, the more they grow.
Globe Amaranth Gomphrena – Got absolutely zilch to come up. These do prefer to be started indoors, and I guess I just ended up proving that. Lesson learned.
The only variety I continue to plant are sunflowers, these can continue to be planted until the beginning of August. Any later and you run the risk of cold weather setting in before the sunflowers have had a chance to bloom. I will start to turn the garden over in September and begin preparations for next spring. As noted in the previous article, I got a very late start this year, but hopefully this shows that even with a late start you can get some good results.
One change I did make to my original plan was to plant some basil, which I did in place of the Globe Amaranth. You can see the basil in the front of each of the two beds. Why basil? Because life without pesto just isn't worth living.