If you enjoy fresh flowers in your home, planting a cutting garden may bring a new level of pleasure to your arrangements.
Cutting fresh flowers from your own garden is more rewarding than buying cut flowers from the store. Knowing you grew the beautiful bouquet on your table, can make it just a little more special.
Not all flowers are meant to be used in arrangements. Some flowers are better suited to tall vases, while some have shorter stems and make lovely arrangements in shallow dishes. Others are best enjoyed on the plant. Peony for instance, is beautiful and has long stems that look nice in both tall vases or cut short for low arrangements. However, the blooms will drop their petals within days, making a mess on your table and leaving your arrangement sparse and ugly. Here are a few of our favorite varieties to get you started growing your own cutting garden and will bring fresh blooms all season long.
The carnation is a staple of floral arrangements. With a variety of sizes and colors, this long-stemmed flower enjoys vase life and is long-lasting in arrangements. A species of Dianthus, the carnation is easy to grow and can add a touch of formality to a wildflower garden without overpowering it. Florists Carnations are specially grown in greenhouses to produce the large full flowers we see in purchased arrangements. These are a bit difficult to grow in a home garden, but there are many varieties available that are just as beautiful and long lasting that can be grown at home. Border Carnations are a favorite home garden variety. Carnations require a well draining soil and prefer a drip watering system to avoid leaf rot from overhead watering.
Lilac is a garden favorite that was introduced into the U.S. in the 18th century. They are common in yards and gardens and many bushes can be found that are decades old. Early bloomers for spring arrangements that will fill your home with a sweet scent of spring. Comes in a few different colors from white to deep purple. Prefers full sun and does best in well draining soil.
The Black-eyed Susan is an old fashioned favorite. Native to North America and one of the most popular wild flowers grown in gardens today. Long lasting in arrangements, the daisy like flower is a member of the sunflower family. Blooms from mid-summer to early fall and is a favorite in fall arrangements. Comes in shades of yellows and pinks. Enjoys it’s own space and can crowd out other plants. Attracts butterflies and bees. Prefers full sun but will do well in partial shade. Makes a lovely border plant.
Roses come in a variety of sizes and colors. Choose a rose that is suitable for cutting. Some roses have fuller blooms than other varieties, so choosing the right one is the first step. With the wide range of colors and types available, it may be confusing at first, but cutting roses are readily available in the form commonly known as Hybrid Tea. These long-stemmed roses are typically what is found in wedding bouquets. Roses are a bush and enjoy full sun and well draining soil.
Often, we remember the Daylily from grandma’s garden. This old fashioned flower has been a favorite among gardeners for over 400 years. Native to Asia, the Daylily was introduced to Europe around 400 years ago. They are possibly the most easy bloomer to grow, not being particular about soil conditions nor sun/shade. They produce long hearty stems that do well in arrangements and come in a vast variety of colors.
The Chrysanthemum is a fall favorite due to the array of warm fall colors and interesting blooms it exhibits. Found in colors ranging from white to dark pinks, yellows to deep oranges, tan to dark browns and deep crimsons, Mums can warm up any home when used in arrangements. With a shallow root system, they make wonderful potted plants or can be planted in the garden or flower beds for late summer/early fall blooms.
The Daisy is an old-fashioned classic. Simplicity is at it’s best with the Daisy, also known as Common Daisy or English Daisy. With delicate white petals surrounding a large yellow center, these beauties will bring charm to an indoor arrangement. Although not long lasting as a cut flower, Daisies can invoke a sense of simple innocence. Easy to grow for season long blooms.
The Sunflower can be an addictive hobby for some gardeners. This fast growing plant produces stalks up to 10′ tall topped off with large blooms that can span up to a foot across. The enormity of the plant and blooms can make them seem larger than life but the heads can vary in size greatly down to about 2″. Sunflowers will bloom when they are ready, regardless of height and depend heavily on water for producing optimum blooms. In arrangements, it doesn’t take many to make a strong statement. There are many varieties, from dwarfs to the classic and mixing several varieties in one garden makes an interesting show. Easy to grow, produces blooms in about 2 months.
Cutting gardens are a great way to enjoy your blooms both outdoors and indoors. So when planning your garden, don’t forget a little something to fill your vases.
Until next time, Happy Planting!
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” ~Audrey Hepburn