Saturday, 24 January 2015

The Cut Flower Plots at Hall Place

Have you been watching The Big Allotment Challenge? I watched the first series and felt a bit disappointed with the format - it seemed to be doing too many things at once. But this series, I am used to it, and I'm enjoying it for what it is much more. Maybe it's less about the process of growing (and there are programmes like Gardeners' World that show you how to grow, in more depth), and more about watching plants develop over a summer, and seeing what can be done with them. I've no interest in making jam or chutney (I live on Tiptree stuff, which has the bonus of providing me with pretty jars for flowers), and I don't care if my tomatoes are the same size and colour. I don't think allotmenteers need to have distinctions in floristry; as long as they can grow the flowers, they can just sell them to people like me! But it is interesting for me to see the difference in the results in vegetables and flowers, especially when some of the growers have chosen the same variety. And it's wonderful to see the different varieties.

Last summer I took my sister to Hall Place in Bexley, Kent a few times, and we walked around the cut flower plots. They are a florist's dream! There were different kinds of rudbeckia, dill reaching the sky, sunflowers, statice, cosmos, dahlias, rainbow-coloured chrysanthemums, asters, gypsophila, solidago, sweet peas, everlasting peas, cornflowers, and nigella (followed by pretty seed pods).

I am growing "Miss Saigon" hyacinths, so you can see why I was taken with this ruffled Antirrhinum "Madam Butterfly".

Yellow is the sunniest colour!

And I admire anyone, like the gardeners last night, who can grow rudbeckia. I've tried and failed twice, so I've given up for now.

If you like to grow vegetables and herbs, there is also a vegetable plot. I've not heard of anyone growing soya beans locally - will this trend take off? It'd be nice to have milkshakes made of Kent soya beans and strawberries!


  1. I love the idea of a cut flower garden. Maybe one day!

    1. Me too, Debs. For now, I make do with patches and containers here and there!