Cath’s cutting patch

This week I wanted to introduce you to my cutting patch. I wanted to show you what it looks like now in the middle of winter when it is just the bare bones of a garden. It is amazing how this bare ground will change over the next few months into a field of beautiful flowers, grown from tiny seeds.

Last year I started to dig up the field and put in some flower beds. I chose it as my cut flower patch as it is south facing, so the plants will be able to make the most of any sunshine we get. It is also good fertile soil and in the past it used to be the site of the kitchen garden for the house. It was then laid to grass by previous owners and it is nice now to return it to a productive space. We have built five raised beds for our own vegetables which sit alongside the flower garden. I am trying hard not to take these over completely for flowers but this year might just borrow one for some sweet peas!

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Also new this year are my rose beds all fenced off from those hungry rabbits! It doesn’t look  much at the moment with just the tops of the bare root roses showing above the ground, but in a few months these beds should be full of beautifully scented roses.

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The cutting garden does look very bare at this time of year but some plants have survived the winter that I planted as seeds in the Autumn. By doing this the plants have a head start when the warmer weather arrives, they will be stronger and produce earlier blooms. Here are some pictures of corncockle, cornflower and nigella that  have endured the snow, frosts, wind and wet and will take off in a few weeks time.

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As well as sewing some hardy annuals outside in the autumn I have also grown some from seed in the unheated conservatory and left them to overwinter. They are looking strong healthy and a good size now and will be ready to get planted out for earlier flowers when the weather warms up. The pictures show honesty, sweet rocket, wallflowers, larkspur, sweet peas and sweet william.

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Also in the cutting garden this week I have been excited to watch a lot of my seeds in the heated propagator germinating! Once the seeds have germinated I move them out of the propagator to grow on in cooler conditions. When large enough to handle I will take the seedlings in trays and transplant them into larger three inch pots with more room to grow.

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As well as sewing seeds and potting on the plants the next few weeks are going to be all about getting the beds outside ready for plants to go in. This is where the hard work starts, finish cutting any extra beds, extra mulching, removing weeds and stones and raking the soil to get it fine enough to sew seeds. Better roll my sleeves up, get on those wellies and hope for some good weather!

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