Lush flowerbeds packed with colorful blooms make beautiful bouquets that last in the vase for weeks after you pick them. Establishing your own cut flower garden doesn’t need to be complicated – simply add rows to existing vegetable or ornamental planting beds!
Find a sunny location with deep, rich soil that drains well. Consider adding organic matter, like compost, to the mix to improve soil quality and help retain moisture levels.
Cut flower gardens require sunny locations with healthy, well-draining soil that’s rich in compost and slow-release organic fertilizer for optimal success. Before planting, work in additional compost and organic nutrients such as slow release organic fertilizers into the soil structure to improve its structure and availability of essential nutrients.
An ideal cut flower garden doesn’t need to be large; even a small bed planted with perennial bloomers like peonies, daisies and iris can yield an abundant harvest for bouquets. Add easy-to-grow late bloomers like asters, Grape Crush phlox and Rudbeckia as late season bloomers for even greater yield.
Plant your flowers in wide rows to make harvesting simpler, and add filler plants such as sweet peas and coleus that produce attractive foliage without needing cutting.
When we think of cutting flowers, our minds often conjure images of rows of daffodils or tulips or beds of rose bushes. While these classic arrangements are beautiful and classic, you can create your own bouquets using perennials and annuals instead.
At the heart of successful cutting flower gardening is selecting soil with ample sun exposure and excellent drainage properties. Aim for an area in full sun where rich, well-draining soil exists.
Flowers, herbs, and fillers that you plant can also be dried for long-term arrangements. Add fragrance by including fragrant peonies or fragrant lilacs alongside sage, lavender, or eucalyptus foliage as part of the arrangements.
For cut flower plants to thrive and produce bouquets that last, ideal conditions include rich, well-draining soil with at least six hours of full sun each day and protection from wind and rain exposure – tall plants may need additional support, especially during periods of strong wind gusts or heavy downpours.
Plan your garden for ease of watering, weeding and harvesting. Arrange plants by height and bloom sequence so it is easier to access individual stems; select a site where there is easy access to a bucket of water so you can immerse harvested stems into flower preservative.
Organic fertilizers like compost, animal manure, bone meal or rock phosphate are much better choices for cut flowers than chemical ones. Use just a light dose at planting time before continuing regular applications throughout the season as necessary.
Consider including perennials with long-lived perennial blooms as well as annual varieties to increase harvest and bouquet speciality. Flowers with intricate foliage add extra dimension.
For an easy arrangement, choose “thrillers” with large, bright blooms like sunflowers and zinnias as “thrillers”, adding filler flowers for color, height or wispiness as fillers. Add stems of greenery as filler while keeping blooms fresh for as long as possible.
Weeds can rob cut flower gardens of sunlight, moisture and nutrients; keeping them at bay is crucial. A stirrup hoe is a quick and efficient way to weed beds without endangering flowers or roots; mulch can also help reduce weeds while conserving soil moisture – encouraging healthier plants and more flowers in return.
Sunflowers add bright hues and colors to bouquets, and can easily be grown from seed or transplant. Single stem varieties produce single flowers on a stem while branching types provide multicolored blooms over a longer time.
Perennials with full flower clusters and long blooming seasons make excellent choices for a cutting garden, such as peonies, lupines, iris tulips sweet William delphiniums. Shasta daisies rudbeckia coreopsis perennials also are reliable choices.
Cut flower gardens differ from regular beds in that you aim to cultivate flowers that can easily be cut for bouquets. Opt for prolific varieties that won’t suffer as much from frequent cutting and consider adding fragrant plants with attractive blooms or foliage to give bouquets added fragrance.
Some flowers require staking or support; it is best to place these in areas where they can easily be reached in order to harvest blooms without damaging the plants themselves. Pruning, pinching and deadheading may also help improve appearances while simultaneously increasing production levels.
If space is an issue, consider planting cutting flowers within existing garden borders. Choose multitasking varieties which look good both as garden borders and bouquets; combine these flowers with foliage plants like ferns and ornamental grasses to complete your display.
Maintain a sunny garden while keeping in mind that some cut flower blooms also thrive under partial shade. Plan the layout to simplify watering, weeding and harvesting of similar requirements plants together – for instance placing taller ones at the back with shorter ones at the front, as well as grouping perennials with similar bloom times together.