Some gardeners love cut flowers so much they plant a separate “cutting garden” where they can snip as many flowers as they want without taking from their other annual and perennial borders, leaving obvious holes in the garden. These separate flower gardens are not intended for display, but are planted for the sole purpose of being cut for bouquets and arrangements.
If you decide to do this, you might want to choose a designated, “inconspicuous” area separate from the rest of your garden, where you can plant and cut without worrying about how it will look or following a particular structure.
This gives you more freedom in planting; you can mix and match colors, textures, heights, and varieties, and can plant all your favorites by creating beds in the available space you have like stuck in a forgotten corner or behind the garage.
But, if you are like most gardeners you can also grow cut flowers in with your other ornamental garden beds, herb garden, or even in your vegetable garden.
Regardless of what you plant or where you plant them, just remember that flowers have the same requirements as vegetables. Most need full sun and fertile, well-drained soil with a neutral pH and lots of organic matter. So make sure to choose a site that receives full sun and prepare the soil so it drains well.
Here are some tips to get you started on your own cut flower garden:
- Create a cutting garden using annuals or perennials for the greatest variety of flowers for arrangements. The benefit is that every flower arrangement will be different and unique depending on what’s in season in your garden. To get the most out of your garden, try to grow at least three of the plants of each perennial or six or seven of each annual, and plant long-blooming perennials like coral bells or purple coneflowers.
- Plan ahead to avoid creating a shortage of flowers when you are out cutting at different times of the year, and to avoid cutting too many at one time.
- Keep notes on varieties, bloom times, and heights, and then write down the flowers you want to cut. This will give you an idea of what you will have and when you will have them to create a good mix for your flower arrangements.
- When choosing what to plant in your cutting garden, remember that long-stemmed annuals or perennials work best for arrangements, bouquets, and craft projects. Most daisies are very popular and go well with lots of other flowers.
- When planting, think about adding foliage plants that will add texture and color to both fresh and dried arrangements. Silver-leafed artemisia varieties, lamb’s ears and aromatic herbs like lavender, not only have beautiful grayish-silver foliage but are aromatic too.