Here's an idea: turn a tired area of your garden into a cutting-flower patch and you'll be picking blooms all summer
If you don’t have green fingers, start with long-lasting perennials and shrubs from your local nursery or garden centre. A trio of scented ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ roses underplanted with pincushions of astrantia, daisy-like echinacea, and the foliage of bronze fennel all make good picking and will supply dozens of fragrant bunches. While autumn is the time for planting daffs and tulips, spring is good for getting gladioli and allium bulbs in the ground, as well as dahlias, with their stunning cactus and anemone shapes.
For everyday bunches of loveliness, sow sweet peas. They’re easy to grow, and so benevolent with their blooms, you can pick every day of summer. There’s a wide range of colour, too. Build a hazel or bamboo wigwam for them to twine around and plant at the base of each strut. As seedlings appear, encourage them to clamber onto the frame with twine. Tender seedlings are a gift to molluscs, so sprinkle some wildlife-friendly slug pellets, too.
Turn to page 118 for more cutting patch advice, including how to do the groundwork, growing from seed and how to arrange your blooms.