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My Favourite Flowers

Written by Carolyn on November 17th, 2017.      0 comments

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This week I am sharing some of my favourite flowers.  Most of my favourites are growing in the garden right now so this morning I spent some time outside with the camera, and here is a photo essay of some of the flowers that are filling our garden with colour.  Every day the garden is getting pretty and more colourful, and there are some more treasures still to grow and begin flowering.  This time of year is beautiful and we also have the summer flowers to look forward to.  Here are some of my absolute favourites.

 

Aquilegia

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These pretty spring-blooming flowers are just lovely, and have been in bloom in our garden for a while but are still going strong. 
 
Aquiligias 1

The tall varieties add some height into the garden and I love the cottage garden look.  Aquilegias are lovely to grow from seed - because they are a perennial plant you can sow a few seeds each season and add variety to your garden, as they will flower again each year.  It's lovely that the first plants we planted out into the garden a few seasons ago are now big and strong and flowering beautifully.  
 
Aquiligias 2

The smaller petticoat-flowered dwarf aquilegia are just stunning, hiding among the taller flowers.  Each year we get some more self-seeded seedlings but I usually sow some more seed as we haven't yet reached aquilegia saturation!


 

Antirrhinum

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We have tall antirrhinums in flower in our garden at the moment, and there are more antirrhinum seedlings planted out to enjoy later in the season.  These flowers are robust, flower for absolutely ages, and are great for picking and adding to bouquets.  The ones we have in the garden are a deep burgundy red and seem to have stuck around since last season.  Snapdragons bring back memories of picking the individual florets with my grandmother and making them "talk" by squeezing gently on the back of the flower to make the flower open and shut.  Then later I showed my little sisters and then my own children the same trick.  There's always a place in my garden for these pretty cottage flowers.


 

Calendula

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Calendula bright cheery brightness into our garden every season - they seem to be the first plants to begin to flower, and the last to leave off flowering.  We have quite a few of these deep orange flowers around the garden pond and I have to remember to keep deadheading them regularly.  Gorgeous, and with edible petals so these are often picked and brought into the kitchen to brighten up our salads.


 

Poppies

Poppies 2
We have iceland poppies flowering in the garden at the moment.  The orange ones are a startling, glowing flame colour. The pink ones are a beautiful shell pink, opening up as the sun hits them to show the peach colours inside.
 
Poppies 1

I think that all the poppies we have growing came from a packet of Poppy California Jelly Beans.  My absolute favourite this season is the pretty cream coloured poppy - absolutely stunning!



 
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Nasturtium

I never want to be without nasturtiums in the garden.  I love their cheerful, bright colours.  With their edible flowers and leaves adding that peppery zing into salads they are a lovely addition to the garden.  I also pickle the immature pods each year and always keep a jar of these "fake capers" in the fridge.  Last year I tried the Nasturtium Purple Emperor for the first time and really liked the changing burgundy-purple-pink flowers, so I am growing them again this year and they have just started to flower.  I still like the plain clear orange flowers, and the whirlybird varieties however.  Just all the nasturtiums actually.  Bring them on!


 

Borage
Borage

Borage has sprung up everywhere and we hardly have to sow it any more, although we wouldn't like to be without it so we still sow some seed every spring. The star shaped flowers are so popular with the bees that it wasn't easy to get a photo of a flower this morning without a bee flying in to the shot!  This is another edible flower which often ends up in our salads.  You may notice a pattern here - most of my favourite flowers are also edible.  It would be nice to have the white variety growing as well.




 
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Chives

We have chives everywhere in the garden and they definitely qualify as a favourite flower.  They are planted under all the trees in the orchard and I split a few clumps in early spring and spread more around.  I love the purple flower, which again are edible, with a definite chive flavour.  You can pick the flowers and steep them in vinegar to make a beautiful pink-coloured chive vinegar which makes a lovely Christmas present.  If you have lots of chives in flower, you have time to do this before Christmas this year.   Strain out the flowers before putting in a pretty bottle to give away.  The colour does fade as time goes by but the flavour remains, and it is great for making salad dressings.



 
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Lavender

I am so proud of my clumps of lavender, which just two seasons ago were tiny seeds in the palm of my hand. 
 
Lavender

They are just breaking into flower now and I love the delicate flower heads.  This is English lavender - delicate and fragrant.  




 
cosmos

Cosmos

Another variety I sow every year is white cosmos.  It brings light airy bright white into the garden and I wouldn't be without it.  This years seedlings are just beginning to flower - the plants are still small, with just a single flower on each one, but I know they will grow bigger and flower for ages.  They will be in the garden every season!



 
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Violas

There are lots of other flowers that are growing in the spring garden and you may have seen that almost every photo of the garden (unless it is heavily cropped) has a viola  or two, or a hundred, lurking somewhere in the background. These are such as favourite of mine!  I've sown some, bought some seedlings, planted them out over the last few years, and they have self-seeded everywhere.  They flower early in spring when its still too cold for everything else, and they flower in autumn when the summer flowers are over.  They provide ground cover and a natural mulch to keep the soil moist, and they are so pretty.  You can see we also have alyssum in flower as well and this is another welcome self seeded flower.  



 
Others

The Supporting Cast

There are plenty more flowers beginning to show themselves in the garden who deserve a quick mention.  Last year we grew Asperula Sweet Blue Woodruff for the first time and it is really pretty so I sowed some more this season.  It is just starting to show its first flowers and I'm looking forward to the plants bulking up as the season goes on.  We have white dianthus in bud - these are plants we planted last season.  There are beautiful blue cornflowers in flower and there are more seedlings planted out in frosted shades of white, blue and pink, so I am looking forward to those.  We also have some really beautiful cream coloured Foxgloves in flower.  I love the height they bring into the garden.  

And its not over yet.  There are plenty more seedlings still to grow bigger and begin to flower!   What am I looking forward to the most?  Echinacea Green Twister!  Can't wait to see what the flowers of that variety are like.  I have planted them out and now just have to wait!




 
 

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