Getting Started with Cut Flowers

By Derek Brooks FNVS, edited by David Allison FNVS

This 76 page A4 guide to growing cut flowers from your allotment or growing space by Derek Brooks, edited by David Alison provides an introduction to this fascinating hobby. Packed with information and colour photographs.


This is not a book about floral arrangement although this subject is mentioned occasionally in the text.It is an attempt to encourage anyone who likes flowers to grow their own, either in the garden or greenhouse or on the allotment to put in vases to decorate the home. Cut flowers are expensive to buy so you can save money by growing your own.

Also, I know that many people who read this book have an allotment and flowers are very important on allotments to attract beneficial insects that we need to pollinate our crops. For example, I grow sweet peas on the same structure of canes as my runner beans for this purpose. Half of my allotment is devoted to flowers.

I have included the flowers that I think are most useful for these two purposes, those mainly used being given the most space. It is not a complete list by any means and you can probably think of several that I haven't mentioned.

Although the book is mainly about flowers, in the chapter about shrubs I have included a few that are grown for their foliage and some that are grown for their berries as well as flowers. Berries of course provide welcome food for birds.

In chapters 6 and 7 I have included the suppliers of seeds from which some of the flowers can be grown. However there are several well -known perennials for which the seeds are not readily available. There are scores of firms, though too numerous to mention here, that sell the plants. I suggest you look at the R.H.S. plant finder which will tell you where you can buy these plants, or you may find them in garden centers.

The seed suppliers I have quoted for each variety are correct at the time of writing, but varieties change. New varieties are introduced each year and other varieties are deleted. Therefore, if you are reading this book in a few years’ time you will have to check if the supplier I have quoted still lists the particular variety.


A message from the Editor

Welcome to this, the fifth title in the series of “Getting Started” series of publications, of which Derek the Author has penned three. Derek Brooks gardens in Worsley, Greater Manchester. He has had his garden for fifty-nine years and an allotment for twenty years. He has two greenhouses, and as well as flowers, he grows pot plants and a whole range of vegetables. He exhibits much of his produce at horticultural shows and has won many prizes, trophies and medals. He writes in the quarterly bulletins of the National Vegetable Society, and monthly in the Garden News. He also writes his garden diary on In 1984 he won the title of “Garden News Mastermind of Gardening”, and is a Fellow of the National Vegetable Society.

As well as providing useful information on growing a variety of plants for cut flowers and foliage in this publication, there are many specialist societies who, if you need more specialist information, would be pleased to make you a member, indeed of you intend showing your blooms at specialist society shows, you usually have to be a member of that society to enter. Information on how to join is available on their websites.

Do enjoy this excellent reference book, which I hope will encourage many of you to grow flowers for cutting or exhibition on your growing space, in addition to the fruit and vegetables we all enjoy growing and eating.

The National Vegetable Society, as publisher, and myself in particular, are indebted to Derek for his skill, time, and endless enthusiasm, in providing most of the material for this book.  Thank you, Derek, top man. 

David R Allison FNVS, Editor. 

                CHAPTER 1                          Chrysanthemums                                                           

                CHAPTER 2                          Dahlias                                                                                 

                CHAPTER 3                          Roses                                                                                  

                CHAPTER 4                          Carnations and Pinks                                                     

                CHAPTER 5                          Sweet Peas                                                                       

                CHAPTER 6                          Annuals                                                                                    

                CHAPTER 7                          Perennials and Biennials                                              

                CHAPTER 8                          Bulbs                                                                                    

                CHAPTER 9                          Shrubs                                                                                 

The articles are written in a very easy to understand format, and intended primarily for members to exhibit initially at local shows, which is where most exhibitors dip their toes into the showing game, some subsequently becoming experts in their particular fields, others becoming qualified Judges. Its just one more aspect of our hobby which some find totally absorbing, growing and showing  cut flowers, for the exhibition tables, or just for a vase in the home.

To purchase please contact David Allison, 18 Sandholme Drive, Burley in Wharfdale, Ilkley, West Yorkshire,  LS29 7RQ . Cost £5.99 plus £2.00 P&P. Cheques payable to “The National Vegetable Society"


Written on Sunday 4th March 2018 by Emily Plumb


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