Our Flower Patch

Inspiring a new generation of growers

Win a copy of ‘The Cut Flower Patch’ by Louise Curley


The Cut Flower Patch By Louise Curley front cover.

The Cut Flower Patch

I’m one of those people with a pile of books on my bedside table at various stages of being read. At the moment I have a couple of crime novels from the library, Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’, which I’m adapting for the stage for a local theatrical group, ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ by Rachel Joyce, a business mentoring manual, Sarah Raven’s Christmas book and one which has been a constant source of inspiration and advice on the plot since I picked it up several  months ago. That book is Louise Curley’s highly readable and beautifully photographed insight into the home (or school) cut flower patch and is destined to grace my bedside table for many months yet. Louise is a regular columnist for the Guardian newspaper, Grow Your Own, The Simple Things and Gardens Illustrated magazines. I first came across her in her informative wellywoman blog and was delighted when I heard she was writing a book, telling the story of her cutting patch and offering inspiration to others.

Statice flowers perfect for drying.

Statice growing in a cut flower patch, perfect for drying.

Aspirational as well as inspirational Louise’s book is an enchanting yet  practical guide for anyone who wants to start a manageable cutting patch on their allotment or in the garden. She begins with a rationale for growing flowers both for pleasure and for wildlife and explains just how much can be grown in a relatively small space. There follow chapters on planning your patch (with top tips on what makes a good cut flower and suggested planting plans for beds), getting started, caring for your patch, cutting and arranging your flowers along with detailed notes on more than thirty annuals, biennials, bulbs, corms, tubers. There’s even a dedicated section on growing your own wedding flowers.

A bucket of freshly picked flowers.

Freshly picked blooms.

Louise also shows you how to supplement your patch with a spot of responsible foraging so that you’ll never be without something beautiful in your vase throughout the seasons. For those who like their advice in bite size visual chunks there’s a handy sowing and planting calendar and plot maintenance calendar included at the end along with a comprehensive list of Lou’s favoured resources. The book is liberally sprinkled with fantastic photographs by Jason Ingram, which really highlight the beauty you too could create at home or in your school garden.

Autumn collection, dried flower material and foraged berries.

Autumn Bounty. Dried stems and foraged goodies.

I can’t think of a better more readable book for novice flower growers who have been inspired to devote a bed or two to make a cutting patch or those who want to provide themselves with a vase or two of flowers every week for the home or to give to friends. Even more established growers will, I’m sure find plenty of handy hints and advice, and keep coming back for reference. Home grown flowers are in vogue. Rachel de Thame has been showing us how on Gardener’s World recently, an increasing number of flower farmers are growing and selling their blooms on a commercial scale and there is some indication that there will be a revival in local, seasonal flowers in the way there has in respect of local, seasonal food in the past few years. Sara and I have been spreading the flowery love around primary schools who are now preparing to supply parents and grandparents with blooms next year, as a clever and enjoyable way to raise funds for their school garden group.  Why not join the flower revolution?

British Flowers in a funky cardboard vase.

Fabulous vase! Gorgeous flowers.

Frances Lincoln have very kindly given us a copy of the book to give away to one lucky follower of our blog who is resident in the UK or Ireland. It’s a perfect early Christmas present for you or a friend (if you can bear to part with it).

All you need to do is subscribe to this blog, via WordPress or follow by email and leave a comment telling us the name of your favourite flower.

We’ll put all the names into a gardening hat in two weeks and get one of our young growing apprentices to draw out the name of the lucky recipient. We’ll publish the name of the winner here on November 18th.

If you can’t wait till then to get your hands on The Cut Flower Patch, you can buy it online and through independent bookshops, or via the RHS shop.

30 thoughts on “Win a copy of ‘The Cut Flower Patch’ by Louise Curley

  1. Would love to win this book as I am planning a cut-flower bed on my allotment for next year. So difficult to choose a favourite flower but I think it would have to be the Tulip, especially ‘Ballerina’ with its’ scent of fizzy sweets.

    • Good luck with your cut flower bed next year. You will find it very rewarding, both in terms of beauty and biodiversity. Extra pollinators to help your veg crop! Ballerina tulips are delicious aren’t they! Thank you for entering.

  2. Looks like a good source of information and inspiration.

  3. hard choice but rudbeckia always makes me smile

    • Great choice Gill. I have a love of the cherry brandy rudbeckias for the deep tones they have. The sunny yellow rudbeckias are just so lovely, they just light up a vase of flowers, they are one of the seeds that Our Flower Patch member schools receive when they join our educational programme. Thank you for entering.

  4. I would love this book to guide my developing flower patch! British flowers are fabulous. My favourite at the moment is the humble sweet pea. So scented and delicate but they just keep giving…cut and come again and again!

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  6. Sweet peas are always a favourite for me but this year scabious have been wonderful especially Chat Noir it’s such a gorgeous dark colour.

    • Ahhh, scabious, such an unfortunate name for such a glorious flower! Another one of the seeds in our members seed pack, top pick. I have loved my scabious more than ever this year. So bountiful, and their seed heads are so good to use in a vase too. Chat noir is such a wonderful colour isn’t it. I picked some to go with orange berries for Halloween arrangements, stunning! (If I do say so myself!) Thank you for entering the competition.

    • Congratulations Linda, you have won the copy of The Cut Flower Patch. Please email me sara@ourflowerpatch.co.uk with your address details so that I can get it posted out to you. Well done!

  7. I’d love to win this book, it looks as though it’d be an excellent source of information for me as I’m planning cut flower beds for next year at the house we’re moving to. I have so many favourite flowers but I’d have to say the classic English Rose. I’m particularly looking forward to adding ‘jude the obscure’ amongst a couple of others to an existing flowerbed 🌹

    • It is indeed an excellent source of information. Ahh the beautiful scented English Rose! Such a classic. Good luck with your new cut flower beds, just a warning, its quite addictive growing flowers! 😉 Thank you for entering our competition.

  8. Would love to win a copy of this book. Have decided to more or less abandon veg growing next year in favour of flower for cutting and giving.

    • I am more or less at that point too! I think I will allow some climbing french beans on my own flower patch, but the rest will be all mine for flowers!! You will not regret it I’m sure. Do you have a favourite flower?

  9. What a difficult choice! I think it has to be the rose for the amazing variety, scent and colour. Would love a copy of this book as I adore having flowers indoors and am desperately trying to conjure space in our new-ish garden for cut flowers.

    • You can always find space to squeeze in a few flowers for cutting Sarah! Especially when so many are cut and come again! You are not dead-heading, you are live-heading to promote more blooms! Roses are pretty stunning aren’t they.Thank you for entering the competition.

  10. I’m going to go for the Rose ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’. Sumptuous apricot colour, and lovely fragrance.

  11. What a lovely choice. I wish I had more space for roses. Thank you for entering our competition.

  12. Hellebores always lovey to see when others have died off

  13. Peonies. Love your book, beautifully produced and a joy to read. Got it from the Library and don’t want to give it back 🙂

    • Not our book unfortunately, written by the fabulous Louise Curley. But yes we agree it is a joy to read. Lovely peonies, such a fleeting but beautiful flower. Thanks for entering the competition.

  14. Thank you to all who entered this book giveaway. The copy of The Cut Flower Patch has been won by Linda Clark, her name was selected using a random name picker from classtools.net. Thank you for entering. We can highly recommend The Cut Flower Patch as a worthwhile purchase. Thank you for following our blog, we look forward to seeing your comments in the future. Sara & Cally

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