In July, the garden is at its peak, and if you want to grow your own cut flowers this is the month when you’ll have the most choice about what to cut and bring inside. I always feel like I should leave the vast majority of the flowers outside for all the insects to enjoy, but quite a few snapped off in a recent storm, so I’ve put them in vases, including this Russian giant sunflower and Dahlia. Maybe one year I’ll grow so many flowers I won’t feel bad about cutting a few on purpose!
In the garden – an abundance of flowers!
Last year I grew miniature sunflowers, and this time I tried giant ones. As you can see above they haven’t all been successful, but I’ve got two still standing at over 8ft tall! I’m hoping they’ll survive so that I can collect the edible seeds. You can see the casualty that ended up in the vase on the right in this picture… But a bit of bad luck not withstanding, they were actually pretty easy to grow from seed, and grew incredibly quickly. I had to invest in some taller bamboo canes!
I’ve also successfully grown lots of smaller favourites from seed in containers this year, including cosmos, zinnia and poppy.
Some of the flowers have finished, but some, like poppy and love-in-a-mist, leave behind their attractive seed pods, which add a different decorative effect to the garden (or cut flower arrangements). On this photo, you can see both the flowers and seed pods of love-in-a-mist.
I have six surviving pumpkin plants this year – I’m trying to grow the Jack O’Lantern variety for the first time. I’ve only had two female flowers so far, so they’re definitely nowhere near as easy and reliable as the miniature pumpkins I tried last year. The first female flower wasn’t pollinated, but I have high hopes for the second one as its opening coincided with the opening of many of the male flowers. Fingers crossed!
In the craft room – paper and pom pom flowers
As well as enjoying all the real flowers, you can create some of your own to brighten up inside the house, if like me you prefer to leave the real ones in the garden!
To make these pom pom flowers, fold a piece of craft foam in half and draw out half of a flower template, then cut round it.
Then just make an X-shaped incision in the middle of the foam flower and push a pom pom inside.
Paper flowers are also fun to make, and you can even make your own vase to put them in. For the vase, find a recycled glass bottle, and gradually pour acrylic paint into it, swirling it around so that it sticks to the edges of the bottle. One colour is easiest, but you can use different colours and swirl them together for a nice effect. Centsational Girl has a great tutorial.
The paper flowers look pretty effective given how simple they are to make! Instructables has a full tutorial. The great thing about these is that you can make them in whatever combination of colours you like to match the room or occasion. And no guilt about depriving the bees of their pollen! 🙂