X – Xeranthemum or Xerophyllum

Xeranthemum or Xerophyllum? I think I mentioned earlier in the month that I’m giving over a third of my allotment to cut flowers or just flowers this year. Reason? I use a lot of cut flowers in the Holiday Homes.

B&B , Norfolk, Flowers
Sunflowers at Meadowside Barn B&B

In these times where our lives are blended, work, rest and play all in together, so my Allotment reflects this; a place for work (flowers) rest (outdoor living) play (trying to produce crops) big emphasis on the trying on my behalf.

I was going to attempt a typology for genus of cut flowers but am mostly following the advice of some rather good seed producer I follow on twitter @higgledygarden creative and amusing author of the associated blogs ‘Benjamin Ranyard’

Now X, Y & Z I have left over to cut flower types that I can use, to be honest the other aspect ‘Produce’ never got off the ground I had two takers for a ‘Guest Blog’ this year! Hopless.

Xeranthemum and Xerophyllum are two flowers I’ve not seen advertised anywhere so I thought lets try and be unique at Barn & Beach.

Xeranthemum – Xeranthemum ‘Lumina’ is a hardy annual, one of the prettiest of everlasting flowers; they are simply charming in borders with an abundance of 1 to 2 inch wide, dainty blossoms in four distinct colours of white, rose, crimson and purple. (from http://www.seedaholic.com/xeranthemum-lumina-double-mixed.html)

Xeranthemum
Xeran-themum


The attractive double crested paper-like blooms stand gracefully aloft strong stems of silver-green foliage and have a papery feel. They are excellent for cutting, and if dried are useful for winter decoration. (fromhttp://www.seedaholic.com/xeranthemum-lumina-double-mixed.html)

Xerophyllum – Is probably not going to fit the bill, as lovely as it looks it takes to much space and is probably to slow for the cut flower garden (comments?) It has a charming common name of ‘ Beargrass’ and is easy on the eye, bit not native or practical.

My challenge for X will be Xeranthemum, must ask Ben if he can supply some..


 

 

 

 

R – Rotation, Radishes and other Red things

Back on the plot last night, I managed to plant second early Potatoes, fifty Onion sets and turn over a rather tricky piece of previously uncultivated earth, it had been a path to access two rows of Raspberries.

The Raspberries were divided and are now beginning to re-establish the old path is going to have lots of compost/manure added and when it warms up its going to be my Squash and Pumpkin bed.

Serendipity shone as I realise now two thirds of the ‘Lotty’ is turned and ready to plant that I have created a complete Rotation of the crops to be introduced;

Rotation; Group plants by family, then soil type, for example, potatoes & tomatoes on an area (after manuring) in year one; peas & beans, carrots, parsnips, onions, shallots, leeks and garlic in year two; in year three the cabbage family. Other crops that suffer fewer problems can be grown where convenient.

I have decided, some of the above, adding a corn grid, pumpkins and squashes and then lots of flowers from seed from the delightful ‘Higgledy Garden‘ range;

Higgledy Garden Seeds, Higgledy, garden, flowers
Higgledy Garden seeds

A little trick I picked up from a neighbour, sow a line of Radishes by your flower rows the Radishes come up quickly and help you identify the slower growing seedlings alongside, kind of extension to ‘Catch Cropping’.

Today’s work is done, Rotation, Radishes and other Red things, being lots of flowers for cutting and displaying in my Holiday Homes tomorrow I can begin S – Sowing.