Why not try growing vegetables alongside flowers - you will be amazed at the results.

We have put two unlikely planting partners together on the veg patch this weekend. And I wonder if anyone else is growing onions along side roses in their garden?!

Unfortunately we haven’t stumbled across an undiscovered symbiotic relationship between the two, no, this marks the first step towards a change from veg growing, to cut flower production.

We are taking a good two thirds of the veg patch out of production next year – we will still be growing greenhouse toms, peppers, chillies and aubergines, and outside I’ll grow some courgettes and French beans – but most open soil will be planted with flowering plants, whose blooms will be used inside the house.

We will be choosing plants for this purpose over the winter months, all annuals and half hardy annuals, but until they are planted out in late spring/early summer I’ve filled the ground with onion sets – ‘Troy’ and ‘First Early’ (Both Unwins).

Before these were set out in rows, we first planted out three bare root roses. These will be the only permanent plants in my cut flower bed, by planting them now they’ll get off to a great start in spring, ready to produce lots of fresh blooms for vases through the season. I’ve chosen the Hybrid tea variety ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’ from Pococks Roses. They long stems produced by hybrid tea varieties make them ideal for cut flower production. If you are looking to fill vases for free next year make sure you plant at least one hybrid tea rose this side of Christmas.