I first started growing cut flowers for myself over a decade ago and my passion just grew and grew. My collection of vases also grew year on year without me even noticing, I would just find more space in my dining room cupboard to squeeze them in. When my sister came to visit from Australia and gained access to this cupboard (us sisters have to have a nose in each others cupboards, drawers and handbags, it’s a given) she commented, “Does anyone need that many vases?!” Up until then, I think I had tried to rationalise that everyone had that many vases in their possession, apparently, according my sister, I couldn't have been more wrong. It was at that moment that I suddenly realised I needed to channel this passion for flowers into a business. Anyway, in the early years of growing annuals, zinnias really didn’t appeal to me, I found them a little artificial looking and they lacked the movement of other cottage flowers in the garden. However, one year I thought I would give them a go as I had read an article about how reliable they were. Well, now I’m hooked!
Zinnias are half hardy annuals and do not like being moved so are perfect for direct sowing into my seasonal cut flower garden in Suffolk. All zinnias I have grown in the past have never let me down. My favourites of the moment are, (1) 'Queen Red Lime' for their breathtaking exquisite antique colouring, (2) 'Envy' just because they’re green and (3) 'Art Deco' for their elegant height and range of pinks.
'Queen Red Lime'
|Each bloom is quite different and this one is slightly distorted but all the more beautiful for it. Pictured here with 'Pygmy Torch' Amaranthus|
|Envy with aster 'collars', Ammi Visnaga and nigella seedpods|
|The arrangement with a lovely art deco tin I found at the Denton May Day Street Fair several years ago.|
|'Art Deco' zinnia with 'Dreamland Pink' zinnia, larkspur and 'Frosted Explosion' Grass|
I have also grown a new variety this year called, 'Giant Wine Bouquet' they are gorgeous but more pink than the burgundy I was expecting.
|A little Verbena Bonariensis added just to keep those 'colour wheel' colours close together.|
I will most definitely continue to add to the range of zinnias I grow in my Suffolk seasonal cut flower garden.