Why not bring the beauty of your garden inside – Consider planting a cutting garden this year so you can enjoy all the lovely flowers in your home as well as the garden. Here are some suggestions for creating and harvesting your own cutting garden.
Don’t be limited by traditionally used flowers. There is a whole world of interesting botanical textures out there. Twigs and branches can be especially nice to create line and form in a bouquet. Grasses and ferns can add a wispy soft texture. Vines with their twisting airy form can add movement and whimsey. There are also tons of beautiful forms after the plant has faded – seedpods and the dried bits of previous seasons blooms. Not all plants will last as a cut flower but experiment and see what might hold. Below are some tried and true perennials that you might already have planted in your garden:
And don’t forget about all those old classics:
Once you have decided to put in a cutting garden, consider planting seeds which are much more cost effective than starts, below are some great examples:
Amaranths caudatus (Love Lies Bleeding)
Bells of Ireland
Celosia (Many varieties)
Centaurea (Bachelors’ Button)
Cleome (Spider Flower)
Columbine (Many varieties)
Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth)
Gypsophila (Baby’s Breath)
Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco)
Nigella(Love In A Mist)
Poppies (Annual varieties)
Salvia (Many varieties)
Sunflower (Many varieties)
Sweet pea (Many varieties)
Zinnia (Many varieties)
Some perennials are best grown from starts, and the larger the start the sooner you can enjoy their blooms:
Coreopsis (Many varieties)
Dahlias (Many varieties)
Dianthus, deltoids (Pinks)
Digitalis (Foxglove) (Many varieties)
Echinacea (Many varieties)
Huechera (Many varieties)
Hydrangea (Many varieties)
Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker) (Many varieties)
Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco)
Peony (Many varieties)
Phlox (Many varieties)
Poppy (Perennial varieties – the flowers don’t hold up but the seeds are fantastic)
Roses (Many varieties)
Rudbekia (black eyed susan)
Veronica (Many varieties)
Tips on harvesting cut flowers
– Be sure that the flower beds have been well watered before picking. Dry or stressed plants will produce poor blooms.
Pick flowers early in the morning before the heat of the day.
Use sharp clean tools. A dull knife will damage the stem and keep the flower from drinking.
Immediately plunge the stems into cool water.
Remove extra foliage so the stem will put all it’s energy into maintaining the blossoms.
Trim any foliage below the water line, leaves and plant material submerged will decay and decrease the lifespan of the bouquet.
Keep all the blooms out of the sun in a cool dark place. Once flowers are picked they will continue to grow but if you can slow this process by denying them light they will last much longer.
Flowers are a hedonistic bunch and they love vices like sugar so a bit of sweet soda, a spoonful of sugar or an aspirin to keep them going.
Thicket offers classes on flower arranging – sign up for our mailing or stay tuned to our blog and facebook to learn about our next class series.