An elegant cut flower garden can be both challenging and rewarding to maintain. Select an open area with sun light for planting and prepare the soil. As plants get taller they may require support or staking while others should be pinched back frequently throughout the growing season.
Focus on cultivating a mix of perennials and annuals that attract pollinators while boasting long vase lives.
Find an area for your cut flower garden where the flowers can receive plenty of sun, while being easily accessible for cutting. Consider water sources nearby as this will require regular watering and weeding of the area. Raised beds will help improve soil health while making planting, weeding and harvesting easier.
Ascertain the individual plant requirements in your cutting garden and group plants with similar needs together to ensure you provide exactly what each needs, without over or underwatering them. This way you’ll ensure they get what they require without giving too much or too little.
Plant perennials and annuals that bloom throughout the season, or add in flowering bushes as accents. You could also scatter cut flowers among existing vegetable gardens and landscape beds for added color.
Most people envision their ideal cut flower garden as being composed of rows of daffodils or tulips and rose bushes, along with some nontraditional plantings like alstroemerias. While these classic plantings certainly have their place, there is much more available if you are seeking more color and diversity in their landscape.
Choose a sunny site with rich and well-draining soil. Work in several inches of organic matter before planting to promote soil health and enhance root development.
Planning the layout on paper involves keeping track of varieties, bloom times and heights for easier harvesting and arrangement-making. Plant blocks of like flowers together to facilitate harvesting and arrangement-making; divide up plants that need staking (like dahlias) from those which benefit from trellising ( like sweet peas and climbing nasturtiums). Water only specific areas using drip or soaker hoses to avoid spreading water across an entire garden surface and reduce weed growth and soil erosion.
Your cut flower garden needs at least 6 hours of sunlight every day in order to thrive, with garden beds that provide easy accessibility for planting, weeding and harvesting – long linear designs are best since this allows you to easily walk across them without disturbing the soil.
Consider using a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to water plants directly at their roots, rather than a sprinkler system which may oversaturate soil and lead to fungal diseases like powdery mildew.
An ideal cut flower garden should feature perennials and annual flowers in equal measures, along with flowering shrubs like hydrangeas and fragrant herbs like lavender. When selecting plants to include, be mindful that those that dry well will add depth and prolong vase life for winter arrangements.
An essential element in creating a flourishing cut flower garden lies within its soil. A fertile, weed-free surface with good drainage is necessary. An annual application of organic compost helps enhance soil quality and retain water more effectively while providing additional nutrition to blooming flowers.
Grouping plants according to their cultural needs makes them easier to manage and harvest. Furthermore, this keeps shorter ones from becoming overwhelmed by taller ones, making it harder to access their stems for harvesting purposes.
Stagger your planting of blooming varieties so as to extend the picking season and prevent dead patches in your garden from plants fading and being replaced. Flowers such as peonies and clematis require support so planting them near a trellis or raised beds would allow easy access for picking.
Ease of access is key when planning a cutting garden, so plant in wide rows so you can harvest flowers without stretching too far, and provide plenty of paths so you can carry vases and buckets of water around easily, advise Betsy Hitt from Peregrine Farm and Cathy Jones from Perry-winkle Farm.
Consider which flowers require staking or support, such as tall annuals like zinnias and sunflowers, when planning your garden design. Group together plants with similar growing conditions and flowering times together – for instance tall medium-height flowers or short and tall perennials as focal and filler flowers.
Don’t forget to add foliage, seedpods, and branches to enhance floral arrangements. Not only can these embellishments add color and depth, they may also extend vase life and vase-life of cut flowers.