Cut flower corner - what to pick in August

The garden is full of high summer flowers to bring into the house – it’s such a lovely thing to do and helps you really appreciate the detail of your flowers up close.  I’ve been cutting my Japanese anemones, which has made me notice their golden stamens, which look great with other orange-hued flowers such as crocosmia.

Other highlights at the moment include hydrangeas, which make such beautiful cut flowers.  The same several different varieties look wonderful together, with their rounded shapes and harmonising cream, white, pink, purple and blue hues.  Their stems contain a sticky substance, so it’s worth searing the stems for 30 seconds in freshly boiled water before you do your arrangement.

If you are growing dahlias, you’ll be spoilt for choice for stunning colours and shapes.  You could make an arrangement with fashionable coffee and cream colours or peaches and pinks, adding a contrasting darker or brighter colour for contrast.  Or go for clashing brighter colours such as orange and limes.  It’s a matter of personal taste, but it helps to narrow down a range of colours, adding some foliage such as zingy euphorbia or Alchemilla mollis to give it a lift

Other flowers that look good at this time of year are gaura, which looks pretty with darker flowers such rich chocolate cosmos.  Scabious also add a delicate pop of colour – different hues look great together.  And annuals such as cosmos, tagetes, zinnia and nicotiana are all getting into their stride.

As with other flowers, cut them in the morning and ideally put them straight into a bucket of water as you go.  A spoonful of sugar can stop them drooping, but make sure the vase is clean otherwise it will feed any bacteria that’s lurking.