As I find it quite difficult to work out what to flowers to put where in my patch I spent some time trying to devise a simple way of planning a cut flower patch taking into account the height, spacing and flowering period for each plant. I think I have found a solution.
This tool aims to enable growers to work out how many of each flower to sow, how much space to allow for each variety of flower and where to site them in your patch.
The icons covering all the flowers we are sowing between August 2022 and May 2023 (i.e. those that will flower in 2023) are available in two scales 1:10 & 1:20, see downloads below.
The first job is to draw up your patch to your chosen scale (either 1:10 or 1:20). Simply measure the perimeter edges of your cut flower patch in centimetres and divide each measurement by 10 if you are working in 1:10, or divide by 20 if you're using the 1:20 scale.
I found this tool very helpful: https://www.ginifab.com/feeds/cm_to_inch/scale_converter.html
Cut out the relevant icons, which are coloured coded by height, and place them on your plan. Put the taller flowers at the back (the northern end of your patch) working your way towards the lower height flowers at the front (the southern end). Ideally you want a balance of flowery blooms and filler foliage as well as a good mix of colours and forms. You can of course tweak your plan to include more of the flowers and colours you like most and you can adjust it as you go along as some of your seeds might have germinated more successfully than others. The flowering months for each plant are also shown on each icon which gives you the option to succession plant if you wish.
This year, again, I am putting my cut flower patch at the front of the house. it comprises 2 beds each of which are 170cm x 170cm, and as I am working in a scale of 1:10, I have drawn 2 squares 17cm x 17cm on my plan. Ideally each cut flower bed width should be no more than 125cm deep to allow you to reach into the bed without treading on the soil. However as an urban gardener I have limited space and, although not ideal, this area is probably my best option as it's south facing and I can dedicate the beds to cut flowers. If possible it's best to create a dedicated area for your cut flowers, you can of course dot your flowers through your borders, but it's much easier to plan, organise and maintain your patch if you treat your cut flowers like a crop which you are going to harvest.
I hope Cut Flower Patch growers find this tool useful. Please come back to me with any questions and I'd love to see your plans, if you're happy to share please tag us on Instagram @the_cutflowerpatch or Facebook @thecutflowerpatch
Happy sowing, growing....and planning