Cut Flowers from Your Garden
Cut Flowers from Your Garden
If you love the flowers in your garden, take the time to grow more so you can enjoy them in your home as well! Every flower arrangement you create from your garden will be unique depending on what’s in season at the time.
Annuals for Cutting
- Grow them every year from seed or started plants.
- Annual Cornflower, Sweet Peas, Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella), Cosmos, Larkspur, and Bells of Ireland are best planted from seed directly into well-drained soil, enriched with peat moss, manure, or compost, in an area that receives a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.
- Pre-started annuals such as Pansies, Salvia, Calendula, Snapdragons, and Zinnias will bloom sooner than seed-growing plants, so you will be able to start picking earlier in the summer.
Perennials for Cutting
- Lily-of-the-Valley, Oriental Lilies (Stargazer and Casa Blanca), Lavender, and beautiful herbaceous Peonies (Festiva Maxima and Sarah Bernhardt) all have a beautiful fragrance.
- Liatris, Veronica, and Perennial Salvia add a wonderful contrast to daisy-like flowers such as Blanket Flower, Shasta Daisy, Purple Coneflower, and the Black-Eyed Susan.
- Flowers that give real presence due to their sheer size include Monkshood, Lupines, Delphiniums, Asiatic Lilies, and Summer Phlox.
- Bearded Iris falls into the category above but the bloom will only last a few days when cut.
- Pincushion Flower, Columbine, and Astilbe, all have unique flower shapes and colours that will draw attention to arrangements.
- Asters and Chrysanthemums are proven favourites in fall arrangements.
- Yarrow and Baby’s Breath are two of the longest lasting fresh-cut flowers.
Bulbs for Cutting
- Darwin, Single Late, and Lily Flowered Tulips make particularly handsome cut flowers.
- For a touch of the exotic, Parrot Tulips always evoke a reaction.
- Daffodils secrete a poison when cut that affects other flowers. They will need to stand in water for a day on their own before being transferred to an arrangement.
- Narcissus (like Actaea), Geranium, and Hyacinths are wonderfully fragrant and will add a powerful perfume to any room.
- Spring-flowering bulbs must be planted in the fall. Mark your calendar in order to take advantage of the best selections in September.
- Summer-flowering bulbs are planted in spring for summer bloom.
- Acidanthera (formerly Gladiolus callianthus) and Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum) are very fragrant and last well as a cut flower.
- Dahlias come in every size, shape, and colour.
- Freesias are cherished for their scent and graceful, arching blooms.
- Gladiolus is the star of the August garden and is usually grown specifically for cutting.
- Calla Lily is a beauty that needs no companion in a vase to make a stunning arrangement.
Other Plant Material for Cutting
- Roses can be displayed individually, in a bouquet, or combined with perennials.
- Sweet William (biennial), has a 2 year life cycle, comes in many shades of pink and is sweetly scented.
- Hydrangeas make an amazing cut flower with their large and showy blooms.
- Include attractive foliage in your flower arrangements like perennial Artemisia, Hosta, Globe Thistle, Sea Holly, and Lady’s Mantle.
- Evergreen English Ivy and annual Licorice Vine drape softly over the edge of a decorative container.
- Annual Scented Geranium is upright in habit and its leaves come in many fascinating shapes.
How to Pick Cut Flowers
- Pick your flowers in the morning using a sharp bypass hand pruner (secateur) after the dew has dried off the petals. This will keep them looking fresh and last longer.
- Have a pail of tepid water close by. Immerse the stems immediately. Peonies often harbour ants while Dahlias may be home to Earwigs. Leave them in the pail of water in a shaded location outside for a day or immerse them for a few minutes in water before arranging.
- Once inside, re-cut the stems on an angle under running water and remove all the lower leaves that would be below the waterline.
- Mixing a floral preservative into room temperature water will prevent you from having to change the water every day.
- Keep an eye on the water level and top up as necessary.
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