my mini cut flower garden

As soon as I completed Willow Crossley's guide to floristry course, I just knew I had to start a small cut flower garden so I could create my own bouquets and floral arrangements with home grown blooms. 

Growing cut flowers is completely new to me; of course like every kid growing up I planted sunflower seeds, over the years I've bought little pots of spring flowers from the supermarket and have grown lettuce on my windowsill, however this is the first year I've had my own garden and grown flowers from seed. And what a rewarding journey it's been!

As I live in a rental house with zero maintenance grass, I'm limited to growing plants in pots only, so after a little research in the early spring, I decided that the best blooms for me to plant would be sweet peas, cosmos and poppies. 

Sweet peas are long-flowering and trail upwards which is a space saver, cosmos are known for producing a large amount of flowers in a small space, and poppies, well, their petals are so beautiful I knew I wanted to include them in my arrangements! 

I sowed my cosmos and sweet pea seeds in early April, letting them germinate inside in the warmth and under cling film in little pots, before transplanting the seedlings into bigger pots outside on the sunniest side of my garden four weeks later. 

For the sweet peas, I used bamboo canes and twine to create support for them to trail up - though next time I probably should use longer sticks as they've taken over! For the last two weeks I've had a non-stop supply of sweet pea flowers that now sit in small jars and vases around my kitchen, filling the room with the most delicious scent. Same for my cosmos - over the last two weeks I've lost count of the amount of flowers I cut! I'll definitely be planting these year after year. 

Growing poppies has been a learning curve... I initially planted far too many seeds in a pot (have you seen how small the seeds are!?), so they didn't have enough space to grow, to the point where I couldn't even successfully thin them out. Luckily I had a second pot that I managed to germinate four seeds in, which are now successfully blooming! So far I've cut three poppy flowers, but right now I can see another six heads ready to open, and more little ones popping up. In June I also planted a few more seeds, in the hope I'll get some more popping up in a couple of months.

I've learnt so much about sowing, growing and harvesting flowers so far this year. I've made mistakes, I've stressed about the weather, checked on them multiple times a day, taken far too many pictures and created so many mini floral arrangements for my home and for gifts.

I'm planning ahead, now thinking about what seeds and bulbs I'd like to plant in pots this autumn/winter ready for next spring and I'm dreaming about the day I can buy my own home and create the most beautiful, blooming garden. Ahh, one day! For now, I'll stick to planting in pots, knowing that wherever we move next I can easily take them with me. 

Having these plants to nurture has been wonderful for my mental health; I'm more mindful, more present, and have something to look after that's not just me. And now every morning I'm rewarded with an endless supply of fresh flowers bringing me more joy than I could have ever expected.  

You can see more of my gardening journey on Instagram and my 'growing' highlight!

Love Jazz x

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