Flowers for mum

Gorgeous scented daffodils in mum's special Portmeirion vase have made life in a nursing home a little bit better. 

I've referred to my Flowers for mum project a few times, but not really explained what it's about. Since she's been in a nursing home, I've vowed to keep mum in fresh flowers for as long as she stays there.

It also means I'm going to grow cut flowers for the first time. Until now, I've preferred to view my flowers in my garden, particularly as they bloom for longer that way. However, I received such a strong reaction from mum when she had her first bunch of flowers, it's seems a simple yet effective way to make her life a little bit better.

She also reacts strongly to bright colours and scents, so that's informed my selection of what to grow for her, along with lots of hints and tips gleaned from Georgie when she gave a talk at Bath University Gardening club late last year.

My growing list for this year:

  • Lavender
  • Sweet peas - the more scented the better
  • Alstroemeria - already grown at the allotment
  • Cosmos
  • Cornflowers
  • Dahlias - some growing already, with an extra supplement of pink/purple cactus blooms I like the look of
  • Calendula marigolds
  • Foliage and herbs from the garden - whatever's to hand and in abundance
Most of these will be grown on the allotment and until I can pick my own from my cut flower patch, I'll have to improvise! I've decided on a relatively simple yet productive list for this year, whilst I acquire - I hope - some cut flower growing skills. How to extend the season beyond summer/autumn will be my next quest. 

Note I won't be growing any daffodils... I love buying them from our British flower farmers who have the space to grow the hundreds of blooms needed to cheer both me and mum up during the dark winter months.

What special projects do you have under way this year?

Comments

  1. What a beautiful thing to do for your mother
    Have a great week!

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  2. What's about some cornflowers . They are easy and last a while in a vase? Then there are the out of fashion gladioli.

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    Replies
    1. Cornflowers were on my initial list and may still make an appearance. I've decided to restrict what I grow this year, then add in others as my experience grows. Finding time for everything is still quite a challenge (I've just learned mum needs extensive physio every day and it's not available on the NHS), so I've gone with a list that's achievable rather than going for everything and then beating myself up for failing to deliver.

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    2. Just realised - I have cornflowers on the list already. I am a bear with a very little brain at the moment ;)

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  3. Wonderful idea and way to give your mother a little bit of beauty and your heart at the same time!

    One of my favorite cut flowers, and so easy to grow, are shasta daisies. 'Becky' or 'Alaska' perform great for me here in Baltimore, MD, US, not sure if those are good in your climate. They last a week or so in a vase and have strong, straight stems. And are so bright and cheery! no scent, unfortunately.

    Good luck with your project!

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    Replies
    1. I have shasta daisies self-sown in my back lawn Jenny! I may pick these... the season's not that long over here, and as I've restricted the list quite a bit, I've gone for flowers with a long picking season.

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  4. I would also think about some sunflowers especially multi headed which I can send you some seeds for, or zinnias, both have interesting texture as well as very bright varied colours... They are also both late season flowers, here I still have them in the cutting patch in November..

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Lorraine - they're on the possibles list for next year :)

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  5. A lovely idea and a good list of flowers. I would add sunflowers too. xx

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  6. What a stunning idea. We are growing some flowers for my husband to take to his fathers grave as it feels personal. I look forward to see how it goes. Flowers are amazing xx

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    Replies
    1. That's exactly it - it feels personal :) There is so little I can do for mum, so it's good to have something that's positive

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  7. Hello, a brilliant and lovely idea. It will bring you both joy. I've been growing flowers for cutting for quite a few years and the two I would recommend as staples are Cosmos and Rudbekia. Both easy to grow, flower for months and last well in a vase. 'Rustic Dwarfs' are my favourite rudbekia. I see you have a plan but these are such good value I had to mention it! Good luck.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Alison, welcome to Veg Plotting! I don't seem to have much luck with Rudbeckia as it doesn't last that long in my garden. My allotment neighbour grows lots of fab cosmos, so I'mhoping I fare better than I did with Xanthos last year :)

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  8. Oh that's a shame, it's a stalwart here. Having said that my seeds are very slow so far. Fingers crossed for your cosmos.

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  9. A lovely project Michelle which will give both of you much pleasure. I think that flowers are also easier for the staff at the home to manage. My mum's pot plants suffered from too much watering when she was in residential care. Stocks are hard to beat for scent.

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    Replies
    1. The home gave mum bulbs for Christmas and they soon ran out of steam due to lack of water!

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  10. Extending the season is going to be a tough one as your mum likes bold colours but it's such a lovely idea and I imagine fresh flowers will cheer up the staff as well as your mum. Would you have room for some perennial asters? I was given Aster var. pringlei 'Monte Cassino' last year, it flowers right up to the frosts and is good for repeat cutting. It would save on having to spend time tending seedlings. I wish your mum well with her physio. xx

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    Replies
    1. I already have perennial asters in the garden :)

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