Cutting Garden new year’s day

The William F. and M. Kathleen Church Cutting Garden (I love using its whole name) went full circle yesterday – from spring’s tulips to spring’s tulips.  Last Tuesday, after cutting buckets of bouquets from the still blooming garden, the Deadheads made quick work of clearing out the beds.  Toni, a volunteer who claims to be older than God, said, “We may not be good gardeners but we sure are good at tearing it apart!”  I disagree with her assessment of the group’s gardening skills but I think she’s absolutely right about the Deadheads knack for tear down.  They had the garden emptied (except for dahlias which ought to be hit by a frost, and a few perennials); the fence cleaned of spent summer vines; and the long row of peonies all cut back all within about two hours.

Way back in early August, while I was on vacation, Gail and Lilah placed a massive tulip order.  And I’m so glad that Lilah made notes (collages actually, complete with cheeky comments and pictures cut from the catalog) about which gardens they were all intended for.  Do you ever place bulb orders and then wonder what the heck you were thinking by the time they arrive?  Not having to stare blankly at the boxes while scratching my head in search of a memory made bulb sorting so much easier.  Thank you, Lilah!  In the Cutting Garden we’re trying a bunch of new-to-us colors and a few combinations that, if they are gorgeous (I’m pretty sure my combo choices will be especially stunning, Lilah!), might make it into the North Garden next year.  And again, the Deadheads made quick work of a tedious job.   We’ve got-it-good in the Cutting Garden though –  the soil is soft and crumbly and there’s not even the challenge of roots and rocks to break the zen trance of planting in rows.

Fred and Dan took most of the vine fence down this week too and with that gone and the beds mostly empty (looking), it’s just like a blank page for fresh thoughts.  Or maybe a new year’s resolution or two.  I enjoyed that garden this year but for next I’d be inclined to say it needs More.  More color.  More rows filled to busting.  Maybe because some of the other Display Garden beds were so exhuberant and bright, the Cutting Garden seemed almost pale and empty in comparison.  Our list of cut flower favorites keeps growing – I’m not ready to give up our favorite asclepias (you know the one), and it’s not possible to grow that garden without zinnias, dahlias, gomphrena and scabiosa.  I’m pretty sure it just can’t be done!  But there’s always room for new tries and who knows, maybe some of the cutting garden favorites will find their ways into other beds…  It is a new year after all.

Are you thinking about new year’s resolutions yet in your garden?  Do you grow any flowers to cut?  Are there any you would love to recommend?

3 thoughts on “Cutting Garden new year’s day

  1. Try sowing two double asters together: Lady Coral Salmon Rose, and Lady Coral Brilliant Rose. Seeds of Distinction in the UK sells the seeds, and they are well worth getting. I saw these growing together in a cutting garden and they were breathtaking. They provide an unusual late-blooming color that I adore. Just don’t plant them near chrysanthemums; I always think double asters are playing copy-cat.

    Susan, Thank you for that recommendation! Lady Coral Salmon Rose looks, at least in the catalog picture to be a very similar color to our mystery dahlia – there is something so entrancing about that color this time of year… They look like must haves to me too. If anyone else is interested you can check them out here. -kris

  2. I love the tall annual blue ageratum. Like its’ shorter sister but with an elegance and weaving ability that signifies ‘cottage’. Also, can’t beat a bit of blue, as you know so well, in the garden.

    I (we) love the tall ageratum too and it has gotten star status in the North Garden for a few years running. Maybe it’s time to showcase it in the Cutting Garden… -kris

  3. I need a cutting garden and a host of volunteers. :) I finally gave up on tulips because of the squirrels. I love the long shot of the house and gardens.

    Donna, Thanks! It’s true, cutting gardens are a ton of work. And we’re hoping we don’t ever have to give up tulips because of deer – our fingers have been crossed for a few nibbled years now… -kris

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