Throwback Thursday: Cornflower

Throwback Thursday: Cornflower

Last year I had one garden bed at the side of the house that was designated for winter squash, but it never got planted.

I realized that I really don’t like staying too long on that side of the house because it is near the road.

Seaweed or Woads, 2 months old.

I have this silly cat, Woads, that was abandoned by his mom at three days old, that I subsequently, bottle fed and raised. Now, when I’m outside, he’s right at my feet. If I’m on that side of the house, he’s too close to the road, because when he gets scared, he climbs me.

Now do you see the dilemma?

Every time a car goes by, I become Pepito from Madeline. (If you don’t understand this, you really must read the Madeline books by¬†Ludwig Bemelmans. Go now, I’ll wait.)

So, this year, I tripled the size of the bed and planted flowers. The idea was to be able to attract pollinators, beautify the public side of the house and have a bed that I could plant and let be. It was such a good plan.

Three days after I planted, we had torrential rains. While the rest of the beds loved the rain, the flower bed with it’s tiny seeds, took a beating. The result?

The seeds washed to the middle of the bed leaving gaping holes and few survivors, except the Cornflowers.

 

Cornflower! My favorite color!

Cornflowers, also called Bachelor Buttons, Bluebottle, Hurtsickle, Cyani Flower are rather small flowers on long stems. My favorite is the traditional blue, but I also grow red and white (how patriotic of me, right?).

 

 

 

Cornflowers are so called because they were often found in grain and feed fields (barley, wheat, oats, and corn are all called Corn fields in the UK) They would come up in the fields with the crops. Because of overuse of herbicides, the cornflower was almost wiped out from the UK, nearly extinguished. This would have been a shame.

Luckily, some botanists got on the ball and started an effort to save the Cornflower by introducing it as a garden flower, and we’re so glad they did. I don’t think the world was in much danger of losing Cornflowers, but it had gone from being found in 297 fields in England to being in only 3. That’s a disturbing statistic.

Cornflowers are really easy to care for, you can pretty much fix and forget them. They have pretty, silvery green foliage and make excellent cut flowers. What they lack in fragrance, they more than make up for in rich, saturated color.

So, where can you get some?

Eden Brothers has all three, red, white and blue. They also have great customer service.

Baker Creek sells them as Tom Bouce (Tom Thumb, a dwarf version) and Blue Boy.

Seedland.com has them in bulk, and I think this is how I’ll get mine next year.

Cornflowers are so beautiful and easy to have. This Heirloom flower deserves to make a comeback especially in our cutting gardens.

Cornflowers, Bachelor Buttons, Bluebottles, whatever you choose to call them, just make sure you grow some. You won’t be sorry you get this Heirloom flower.

Have a paisley Thursday!~KeriAnne

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