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Eliza Henry-Jones picking flowers in her dahlia patch.

Hooked on flowers

Eliza Henry-Jones grows seasonal bee-friendly blooms on her organic flower farm. Here's two of her favourites to add to your own garden. 

Whether growing them, gifting them, or arranging them in your own home, flowers have a certain magic to them. We rely on them to communicate things that sometimes feel too big for words – death and love and birth. We can also weave them into the fabric of our daily lives – especially if we can grow our own organically. Here are two of my favourites.

Nigella Nigella damascena

Nigella, or love-in-a-mist, is a prolific, textural annual that can be sown in autumn and spring (cool climates) and winter (warmer climates). We start our nigella in punnets in early spring, planting out once they’re about 20cm high. However, you can also sow seeds directly into beds during autumn and spring in most zones, and you might find your nigella self-seeding each season. Nigella requires well-drained soil (we’ve learnt this the hard way!), and does best in full-sun or part shade. Nigella comes in shades of blue, cream, red and purple. The fresh blooms and seed pods are excellent for cut flower arrangements, while in the garden they’ll attract bees and other pollinators.  

Our favourite varieties: ‘Miss Jekyll Blue’ and ‘Persian Jewels Mix’ 

OG 143 Nigella_istock

Butterfly bush Gaura lindheimeri

A whimsical and frost-hardy perennial that does extremely well in tough, dry conditions. Butterfly bush, also known as bee blossom or simply as gaura, is available in shades of white through to hot pink. With a long flowering time, and some ability to be used as a cut flower, butterfly bush is really a plant that keeps on giving. Beloved by pollinators (such as bees), these blooms can be grown in all zones but the tropics. We start ours in spring alongside our annual seedlings, and plant out when they’re about 15cm high. 

Our favourite variety: ‘Siskiyou Pink’

OG 143 Butterfly bush_Mel Kercheval


Eliza’s full feature on the flowers she loves to grow appeared in our Early Spring 2023 issue (OG 143).

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OG 143 cover