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Cut flower patch

I have four beds that I have reserved for cut flowers. I have planted lots of bulbs - daffs and tulips (and crocus, but that’s just for early colour). I also have plenty of dahlias that I plan to put in the beds later in the year. 
My question is - what can I plant as the tulips are dying down to cover the period until I put the dahlias in? I’m hoping to do some successional type planting. They don’t have to be strictly cut flowers, but the beds are near the house so I’m hoping for masses of colour. Any ideas would he appreciated. 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    There are many plants that would fill that gap. Unless you are looking at cut flowers only, I would go with early long flowering plants that may just need a small prune back in mid-summer to prolong further flushes, and they make great ground cover too. Take a look at Diascias, Nemesias, Viola Cornuta and Parahebe 'Snow Clouds' . They are reliable flowering plants that should do well in any reasonable free draining soil. Many will start flowering as early as mid April.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,097
    For cut flower advice I would look to Sarah Raven. This is an area she specialises in.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,439
    My tulips are surrounded by forgetmenots. Unless you intend buying new bulbs each year, you feed the tulips and let them die naturally. At the point when it all looks a mess, I pull out all the forgetmenots, the tulip bulbs get lifted and the dahlias which have been coming along in buckets in the greenhouse, go out. When the dahlias get cut back by frosts, they come out and bulbs go back in the place.
  • @fidgetbones. Thanks for that. I’m planning on leaving the tulips in and have bought perennials for that purpose. Will the tulips keep going until the dahlias are ready to be planted do you think? You don’t need an interim flower?
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,439
    The alliums (purple rain or similar) follow the tulips. They multiply up, so as well as those in the flower bed, There is a row adjacent to the veg patch I use for cutting. They do look a bit like covid on a stick, but last May I was giving away bunches to neighbours , and I recently gave some bulbs away do they can grow their own this year.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,846
    @Robmarston it depends on your tulips.  Some flower quite early whilst others can just be getting into their stride in late May/early June.  The deeper they are planted the more likely they are to survive from one year to another if you want to leave them in for years.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Calendula, Ammi majus or Ammi visnaga, Orlaya grandiflora, consolida (larkspur) and nigella are hardy annuals that will fill the gap. 
  • Oh good. I’ve already got some consolida seedlings growing. 
  • MarranMarran Posts: 191
    I've grown chrysanths the last couple of years - for a bit of colour to pick later on ... have a look at Woolmans website :-)
  • FlinsterFlinster Posts: 883
    Sorry to jump in, but would anyone have some suggestions for a small shady spot- get a little sunlight at start/end of the day but for the most part is in the shade of my blowaway greenhouse. I usually have flowers dotted around my patch for cutting but would be great to make use of this shady spot too! 😬
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