Happy Sunday and happy bank holiday weekend! I recently subscribed to Garden News Magazine and, as a gift for subscribing, received the Really Good Cut Flower Seed Collection by Sarah Raven. I spend more time than I care to admit to browsing on the Sarah Raven website so was more than excited to receive this free gift. The collection includes 13 packets of seeds in a reusable tin, sowing instructions, a month by month sowing and harvesting chart and a colour planting plan designed by Sarah to help you when planting your cut flower patch.
The tin itself is lovely and I can definitely see myself using it for many years to come, plus it’s in my favourite colour! Inside the tin the seed packets came wrapped up in purple crepe paper with a matching purple bow keeping them all together. It’s little touches like this that I think would make this collection a perfect gift from a green-fingered friend, or even just for yourself.
Also included are information sheets containing all the information you need to get sowing and planting. There’s even a design plan to help you make the most out of the collection.
The collection itself features 13 different packets of seed eight of these are flowers and five are complementary foliage plants the aim being to give you enough variety in a small cut flower patch to create stylish displays for your home.
The cut flower and foliage varieties, along with their packet descriptions, are:
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’ – “Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’ has large, open flowers of pure white, with delicate apple-green foliage. The classic cut flower and a supremely lovely garden plant, which no one should be without.” A half hardy annual that prefers full sun. Vase life: 7-10 days.
Calendula officinalis ‘Indian Prince’ – “Calendula officinalis ‘Indian Prince’ is a deep-orange, with buds and backs of petals in crimson.” A hardy annual that prefers full sun. Vase life: 5-7 days.
Sweet Pea ‘Matucana’ – “Sweet Pea ‘Matucana’ is a bi-colour magenta and purple. The strongest scented sweet pea in the world! 10/10 scent. This variety is an heirloom grandiflora type, and is often confused with Sweet Pea ‘Cupani’. The origins are unclear, but it may have originated in Peru.” A hardy annual that prefers full sun. Vase life: 4-5 days.
Zinnia ‘Giant Dahlia Mix’ – “The flowers are spectacular, huge and long-lasting; a wonderful mix of oranges, reds, pinks and yellows.” A half hardy annual that prefers full sun. Vase life: 7 days.
Sweet Pea ‘Painted Lady’ – “Sweet Pea ‘Painted Lady’ is a beautiful bi-colour pale and darker pink sweet pea. A very highly-scented, old-fashioned type. Also the earliest-flowering of the highly scented varieties, so excellent if you need sweet peas for May, 9/10 scent.” A hardy annual that prefers full sun. Vase life: 4-5 days.
Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Tall Double Mix’ – “One of the longest-flowering and glamorous hardy annual cut flowers. This pack contains pinks, mauves, whites and crimsons.” A half hardy annual that prefers full sun. Vase life: 7 days.
Papaver nudicaule ‘Party Fun’ – “A scented poppy – handfuls of crumpled silk – with a spicy, delicious scent. Papaver nudicaule ‘Party Fun’ also makes one of the loveliest cut flowers, unravelling from tight buds and lasting surprisingly well in a vase. This mixture flowers in a wide range of colours, from white to yellow, orange, pink, and even scarlet and bicolours.” A biennial that prefers full sun. Vase life: 5 days.
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Dazzler’ – “Cosmos ‘Dazzler’ has large, open, buttercup-like flowers of carmine-pink with delicate, feathery foliage. Beautiful, tall and airy.” A half hardy annual that prefers full sun. Vase life: 7-10 days.
Euphorbia oblongata – “Euphorbia oblongata is the all round best-looking, longest-flowering foliage plant you can find anywhere in the world.” A short lived perennial that prefers full sun. Vase life: 7-10 days.
Moluccella laevis (Bells of Ireland) – “Moluccella laevis (Bells of Ireland) has tall spikes of fresh apple-green bells arranged all the way up the stem. An outstanding foliage plant.” A half hardy annual that prefers full sun. Vase life: 7 days.
Amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis’ – “Amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis’ has long, soft tassels of pale, fresh acid-green. Perfect for mixing with dahlias and sunflowers, or arranging in a large vase on its own.” A half hardy annual that prefers full sun. Vase life: 7-10 days.
Salvia viridis ‘Blue’ – “A hardy salvia, with minute flowers but enlarged and brilliantly coloured flower bracts of purple-blue.” A hardy annual that prefers full sun. Vase life: 10 days.
Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ – “Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ (Honeywort) has silvery leaves with purple hanging bells, one of the best annual foliage plants.” A hardy annual that prefers full sun. Vase life: 7-10 days.
All-in-all I think this is a lovely collection from Sarah Raven and can’t wait to get all my new flowers sown. Unfortunately I received the collection a little late in the season to have flowers this year so this might have to be stowed away till later in the year. It’s probably for the best as I have far too much on my to do list already!
The Really Good Cut Flower Seed Collection is available from Sarah Raven and retails at £29.95.