How would you like to have flowers for Mother’s Day bouquets and quick floral gifts throughout the summer? Plant a cutting garden! Planning and follow through makes it happen. Since plants for cutting may be annuals, perennials, bulbs or shrubs, there are many ways to achieve your dream.
Where to plant? If you have an out of the way area, you can plant your cutting garden as you would a vegetable garden. Instead of produce, you’re growing a flower crop! Your main desire is the flowers; therefore, you don’t need to worry about clashing colors, garden design or empty places after “harvests.”
Raised beds are perfect for flowers. Most plants bloom best in full sun so site your flower farm where it will receive direct sunlight. Fill with rich well-draining soil and compost and plant your favorites. Just like vegetables, rows make it easy to water, weed, harvest and replant. Planting taller growing flowers on the east side of shorter growing plants reduces shading.
However, where can you grow plants to use specifically for cutting if you don’t have empty space? ANYWHERE! If you have a garden area already, you can tuck flowering plants behind, between and in front of, your existing plants. Generally, people plant taller plants in the back and shorter in the front, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Plant your flowers where you will enjoy them and where they will be easiest to harvest without creating holes in your garden.
What should you plant? That’s easy, too. Plant the flowers you want to use in your arrangements. Flowers from perennials, bulbs and shrubs will be available for many years. If you plant annuals, you will need to replant or grow something else in their spots next year. Do you have favorite flowers? Or a favorite color? Perhaps you may want to concentrate on scented flowers or easily dried flowers. These considerations will drive your decisions.
There are many easily grown flowers perfect for cutting which bloom early in the spring and summer. Roses, calla lilies, celosia, cosmos, dahlia, lobelia, phlox, salvia, statice, verbena, peonies, iris, and gladiolas are just a few of the hundreds of blooming plants you can tuck into your garden and use in bouquets.
Interested in adding some pizzazz to your bouquets? Include “twisties” such a corkscrew willow and Harry Lauder’s walking stick. Autumn arrangements benefit from ornamental grasses such as pampas grass and blue oat grass. They’re amazing in the garden, too.
Now that you know what you want to plant and where you can plant them…get hopping! Mother’s Day is just a few months away.