Floral Dance

The flowers are certainly thriving now that the sunshine has arrived, in fact, we’ve been over run with poppies! I’ve cut the seed heads off the poppies before they can spread further. I do think they’re pretty but I want to limit where they’re growing at the moment so I cut their heads off (how cruel) before they can set seed. I’d like to dry them in the hope that the seeds can be scattered in the paddock… the problem is that seed heads are usually left on the plant to dry. Has anyone managed to dry them from the green?

Dead heading is great therapy and a good snipping session always makes me feel better – especially as I know the reward will be further flowers!

There are several stars in the floral department and most of them have come from Sarah Raven. I am a huge fan and I’ve been very impressed with her plant selections, reliable service and customer care. The small sunflower Vanilla Ice is such a pretty lemon colour and compliments many other plants. I still love the Cosmos and will definitely be growing more next year.

Helianthus “Vanilla Ice” and Cosmos “Antiquity”

In the herb bed the Curry Plant is a clear winner… I love the smell if this plant so much and, although it’s not the edible variety, the flowers are pretty enough to use in bouquets and aromatic enough for a pot pourri.

Curry Plant and Agastache

Three Agastache plants were carefully labelled as, until they flowered, I had the urge to weed them out thinking they were dead nettles! The insects certainly love them, especially the bees, so they have earned their place in the nectar bar.

Despite the floral dance that happens this time of year there has been a distinct lack of butterflies. I assume that this was due to our very soggy weather this year – any ideas? I’ve seen the odd Cabbage White trying to access the netted brassicas or the odd Fritillary or two. In your experience, apart from Buddleja, are there any other plants that butterflies go particularly mad for? I want the Flutter-By’s back x

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25 thoughts on “Floral Dance

  1. I have tons of butterflies! They love lantana, Joe Pye, Verbena bonarensis, and Zinnias. Lantana is also a hummingbird magnet. Today, it is 101 degrees in Maryland and I do all my work in the garden early. Where are you located ?

    • I’m in England so it’s much cooler and the Butterfly’s find it hard to come out in the rain!
      You are so lucky to have Hummingbirds… they’re the most amazing little birds. I don’t envy the heat though :-)

  2. Not many butterflies here either – they’re saying it may be the worst year on record for butterflies in the UK. Last summer the buddleja, sedum and rudbeckia were attracting lots of commas, small tortoiseshells and red admirals. Just have to hope next year is better!

  3. I love spending time deadheading.. it’s satisfying to see everything neaten up so quickly! I’m guessing that the poppies should be able to dry out on their own. A paddock full of poppies sounds wonderful!

  4. I haven’t seen the butterflies yet here in London either, lots of bees but no butterflies. Usually they go for my Echinacea Purpurea, but it hasn’t flowered yet, very late this year! As for poppy seeds, not sure if you can ripe them after they are cut, it doesn’t work well with a lot of other plants, but it might be worth just trying!

    • You’ve reassured me as I thought I’d not planted enough lovely flowers for them! The sun was lovely here over the weekend and I saw quite a few more butterflies thankfully.

  5. Few butterflies here either – I don’t think they like either wet or windy weather so they haven’t stood a chance this summer. We plant lots of Verbeba bonariensis, Marjorams of all sorts, Nepetas, Salvias, different Sedums, but best of all is probably Linaria purpureum, which is easy to grow self-seeds, cross breeds to give all sorts of colours and will flower again when you dead head it. Oh, and it is a good cut flower too.

    • Thanks – lots of plants there that I haven’t yet got in my garden. I like the sound of the Linaria as surprise colours are always fun and repeat flowering a bonus!

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