If you want a spectacular garden display for early summer then you can’t go past the beautiful Godetia (Clarkia Amoena). It’s silky, satiny petals are gorgeous and hence it is sometimes called the Satin Flower or Silk Flower.
Common as a cut flower in Europe and native to Western North America, it is not often seen in Australia. I absolutely love them and I love the joy they bring when you hand someone a bunch of these beautiful flowers. This year I handed a posy of Godetia to a woman who was so taken with them she danced happily around the room like a little girl saying “they make me feel like a bride”. It made me feel fantastic that I had brightened her day so much.
Godetia was named after the Swiss botanist, Charles Godet and is also called the prairie rose because of where it occurs naturally and ‘Farewell to Spring’ because it flowers with the first of the summer heat.
Godetia is an annual growing about 30 to 50 cm high and comes in a range of colours such as pink, lavender, cerise, white and salmon. It is easily grown from seed and will self-sow if there is not too much competition.
Plant the seed in spring as the ground warms up. Godetia love the heat and will grow rapidly as summer approaches. Choose a well-drained soil with lots of compost. Dig in some good old chook poo, but not too much or they will grow lots of foliage and fewer flowers. Make a shallow drill and sow your seeds thinly and cover lightly with finely tilled soil. Keep moist but not soggy until they germinate. If conditions are right with warm weather they will flower in about 10 weeks.
Then fill your house with amazing fresh flowers and sit back and watch with delight the joy they bring to everyone.
By Heather Gillespie, Organic flower grower