Saturday, 4 August 2012

Clarkia ‘Apple Blossom’

I have been growing this hardy annual for several years now and I wouldn’t be without it in the cutting garden.  I always sow it directly into the ground in spring with several repeat sowings throughout the season. The germination can be a bit hit and miss and consequently I end up with strange gaps in the rows, but once established, it becomes a beautiful free flowering plant.

It is definitely worth growing as a cut flower with it’s pink powder puff quality and the individual blooms evenly spaced along a tall stem.  Each bloom can be a sumptuous 3cm in diameter and the plant stems grow to over a metre in height.

When cutting for the vase, I make sure most of the flower heads along the stem are blossoming, any sooner and the tips will droop in the vase.  The flowers open at the base first and the top last.  You need to strip back the lower stem which includes stripping back both leaves and the flowers as they bloom almost to the base (save the discarded flowers for drying).

I take the individual flower heads and lay them on a tray then place them in the airing cupboard.  They have a gorgeous fluffy quality to them when they fill a tray.  The size reduces greatly after just a few days but more exquisitely, the colour intensifies resulting in an almost Barbie pink. A few of the flowers will go a little brown and I’m guessing this is some of the blooms revealing their true age at the time of picking.  So the fresher the flower the truer the colour after drying.



They are perfect for confetti and also threaded on a piece of cotton,  a little fiddly but great to use for decoration.

Clarkia ‘Apple Blossom’ will ALWAYS be on my list of desirable annuals in the cutting garden!


  1. These are frilly gorgeous! I love what you do to your places.

  2. Beautiful photos. Many thanx. I've just seeded some clarkia in my vegetable garden to perk it up.