Firstly, tulips. Yes, mine are still flowering on 21st May. Plant late, even January, in the shade, and also those varieties that flower later. An absolute favourite here is Blue Aimable, a heritage variety from 1910 that we first grew back in the day when Pantone colour of the year was ultra violet. I plant mine next to north facing walls in our cutting garden to delay them even more.
Aquilegias are another staple of May here, not the least because the rabbits never ever nibble them. I adore the common purple Granny’s Bonnet but I am growing Black Barlow, a lovely white, William Guinness and Yellow Queen this year too.
Finally hesperis. It took me years to found out what this beautiful flower was, and now I have it everywhere. Something that grows like a weed and will stand out in the Northern winter, and in our solid clay soil, hesperis is a keeper! beautiful purple and white flowers, it’s only disadvantage is that it is a biennial. Sow it right now for flowers next year.
Bouquets that can be created entirely from my cutting garden is why I grow flowers. Sustainable, seasonal, scented, and with no road miles. I grow the things I love, that love my soil and that I love to arrange with. What’s the point fighting with your garden? And more to the point, those who grow already know it’s quite hard work, that’s a British “quite”! So, grow what you love for sure, but I can highly recommend these flowers for a May bouquet tested in my Cheshire Canalside cutting garden.
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