Author Archives: Lydia Bushby

Zany Zinnia Sept 1st

I can’t quite believe it’s September already, with the lovely summer we have had it seems quite impossible that we are now into Autumn, and with it the downward turn in the season. Nevertheless, there is still plenty a blooming. A flower I have always grown predominantly for flowering later in the season is the zany Zinnia. An annual flower ridiculously easily grown from seed, starts to flower just as all other high summer annuals are becoming rather tired.

Zinnias fell out of favour for a while with home gardeners, but they are now back in fashion with a vengeance.

ZinniaI grow a variety called Tetra Flowered “State Fair” which is a lovely old series of giant dahlia-flowered zinnias from the 70’s. A time tested winner that performs well in the garden and in the vase, and is great for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden.

The semi-double blooms are large and long-lasting. The blooms grow to around 10 to 15 cm (4 to 5in) wide and come a full range of bright uniform colours including scarlet, pale rose, orange, bright pink and dark pink.

State Fair is a tall and sturdy plant and an excellent choice for garden colour when all else starts to look drab. They have greater tolerance to diseases than other cut flower zinnias. The thick stems are less likely to bend when being cut and the blooms have a longer vase life.

Zinnias are the perfect flower for beginners, they are extremely easy to grow from seed and provide colour from mid-summer to first frosts, keep cutting and they keep reappearing, an absolute ‘must have’ flower in the garden is the old fashioned Zinnia.

I can’t quite believe it’s September already, with the lovely summer we have had it seems quite impossible that we are now into Autumn, and with it the downward turn in the season. Nevertheless, there is still plenty a blooming. A flower I have always grown predominantly for flowering later in the season is the zany Zinnia. An annual flower ridiculously easily grown from seed, starts to flower just as all other high summer annuals are becoming rather tired.

Zinnias fell out of favour for a while with home gardeners, but they are now back in fashion with a vengeance.

ZinniaI grow a variety called Tetra Flowered “State Fair” which is a lovely old series of giant dahlia-flowered zinnias from the 70’s. A time tested winner that performs well in the garden and in the vase, and is great for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden.

The semi-double blooms are large and long-lasting. The blooms grow to around 10 to 15 cm (4 to 5in) wide and come a full range of bright uniform colours including scarlet, pale rose, orange, bright pink and dark pink.

State Fair is a tall and sturdy plant and an excellent choice for garden colour when all else starts to look drab. They have greater tolerance to diseases than other cut flower zinnias. The thick stems are less likely to bend when being cut and the blooms have a longer vase life.

Zinnias are the perfect flower for beginners, they are extremely easy to grow from seed and provide colour from mid-summer to first frosts, keep cutting and they keep reappearing, an absolute ‘must have’ flower in the garden is the old fashioned Zinnia.

how to keep cut flowers alive as long as possible

How to keep cut flowers alive as long as possible – hints and tips

So the question I get asked most frequently is how to keep cut flowers alive as long as possible, there are some strange ideas out there as to what one should do, here I have put together what I know and believe works.

Tips for keeping your flowers fresh for as long as possible!

how to keep cut flowers alive as long as possibleWhen you get home with your delicious bouquet……

Recut the ends of the stems, if the stem end get dry it forms a scab like we would, so cut off the ends and place straight into their vase.
Make a solution of flower preserver (this really works, promise!), for every litre of water add 2 drops of household bleach, 2 drops of lemon juice or vinegar and a pinch of sugar.

Hairspray! Stand approximately 2ft away from flowers and give them a light spray.

Don’t over crowd the vase, they don’t like being squashed so give them a vase they can relax in.

Keep their water clean, change it every day if you can. (This is unrealistic for most people but do change their water when you can).

Flowers fade at different rates, so as one or two flowers start to look sad just pull them out, keep doing this as they fade, you can reduce the size of your vase as your bouquet reduces.

And most importantly avoid high heat. Flowers HATE heat. If possible place your flowers in a location that doesn’t get direct sunlight. I know everyone wants to see their flowers so there is no point in placing them under the stairs. If the location you wish to place your flowers is a rather warm spot perhaps consider putting them in the fridge overnight if you have space between the sausages!

So the question I get asked most frequently is how to keep cut flowers alive as long as possible, there are some strange ideas out there as to what one should do, here I have put together what I know and believe works.

Tips for keeping your flowers fresh for as long as possible!

how to keep cut flowers alive as long as possibleWhen you get home with your delicious bouquet……

Recut the ends of the stems, if the stem end get dry it forms a scab like we would, so cut off the ends and place straight into their vase.
Make a solution of flower preserver (this really works, promise!), for every litre of water add 2 drops of household bleach, 2 drops of lemon juice or vinegar and a pinch of sugar.

Hairspray! Stand approximately 2ft away from flowers and give them a light spray.

Don’t over crowd the vase, they don’t like being squashed so give them a vase they can relax in.

Keep their water clean, change it every day if you can. (This is unrealistic for most people but do change their water when you can).

Flowers fade at different rates, so as one or two flowers start to look sad just pull them out, keep doing this as they fade, you can reduce the size of your vase as your bouquet reduces.

And most importantly avoid high heat. Flowers HATE heat. If possible place your flowers in a location that doesn’t get direct sunlight. I know everyone wants to see their flowers so there is no point in placing them under the stairs. If the location you wish to place your flowers is a rather warm spot perhaps consider putting them in the fridge overnight if you have space between the sausages!