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A Year in the cutting garden with Sows & Grows

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

2023 was our first full year of offering online Sows and Grows courses to grow beautiful cut flowers with fellow gardeners, florists and allotmenteers! The weather gave us a few challenges this year but then it always does! As growers and gardeners, we are always looking at the weather forecast aren't we?

The 2023 flower growing year started the previous summer with the sowing and growing of biennials. Biennials are plants that put on growth during their first season, to flower in their second. During our first ever course we grew a wonderful collection of biennials to include foxgloves, hesperis and canterbury bells.. As this was our very first sows and grow course we had a super intimate group of growers. However, the summer was extremely dry and hot. Keeping the seedlings alive did prove a challenge but seeing them all flower during early summer this year was worth all it! The stars of the show were hesperis, honesty and a sweet little, yellow aquilegia called 'Chysantha' which we've later found to be a short lived perennial!

During the Autumn course of 2022, we grew hardy annuals from seed to include pink cornflowers, a delightful mix of scabious, ammi majus and a larkspur mix. As expected, the orlaya and larkspur decided to be divas to germinate but with some sows & grows tricks and helpful hints to help with germination, we soon all had healthy and thriving seedlings! We then had a sudden and brutal cold snap which proved tricky but we got through that with fleece and the groups support with up and coming frosts! This is when sowing and growing in a group really helps as we could all remind each other when there was a frost due!

The Winter course saw us sowing and growing ranunculus, anemones and some various annuals and perennials that needed an early start such as phlox, bells of Ireland and gaura. This was a course for gardeners with a little experience and a greenhouse due to the cold temperatures. Sows & Grows had lots of small techniques to enable the trickier seeds to germinate and we helped our course members to grow some things for the first time. Some of this group had previously grown with us on other courses so a real community started to develop.

During the Spring course, we wanted to enable absolute beginners help to grow a cutting patch of their dreams! We helped them to plan their plot before sowing any seeds to enable them to think about their needs rather than their wants! This proved a popular approach which we later added to our Autumn 2023 course. During the Spring, we also offered a zoom one day course enabling growers to prepare for an event such as a wedding. Growing on this scale is quite different from growing cut flowers for the garden so enabled our course members to think about timings and quantities in greater detail.

And then it was time for the summer 2023 course again!

Now that we have finished out Autumn 2023 course for flowers in 2024, it is time for Sows & Grows to add a brand new course. We are sowing and growing perennials for cut flowers as our Winter course which is an exciting addition. Our Spring course is due to start in March and we planning on growing half hardy annuals with some new varieties that may excite you!

If you'd like to come and start your cut flower journey with us, please visit the link below.

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