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Grow a Cutting Garden

Is there anything better than a vase of freshly cut flowers in your home? You can always pick up a bunch of flowers in most grocery stores ...which is a good and wonderful thing. But if you can just pop out to your garden and cut your bouquet...well, that is just a 'gooder' and more 'wonderfuller' thing! Right? I am smack in the midst of planting my cutting garden so that I'll have flowers to cut for arrangements for the rest of the summer.
  • grow a cutting garden
Here are just a few great flowers I plant in my cutting garden. These flowers bloom from Spring through the Summer, providing months of bouquet material. However, do check to see how these flowers do in your Grow Zone. We are in zone 8.
Long-Stemmed Dahlias are perfect for cut flower arrangements. This perennial will produce flowers all growing season like an annual, but its tubers will produce again the following if not too cold. In cold climates, it's best to dig the tubers up and winter them over in your garage or unheated basement.When properly treated after they've been cut they will last longer than many other flowers and grow in just about every color and shape.
I put the stems of my dahlias into hot, but not boiling water, right after I cut them. While I'm not sure of the 'why' of this practice, I do know that it helps the blooms last several days longer than if it isn't done.
  • grow a cutting garden
Zinnias are some of my all time favorites for cut flower arrangements. There is something quaint about the simple but very colorful flower. Plant your zinnias from seed as they don't tend to do well if transplanted.
  • grow a cutting garden
Avens are a flower that I recently stumbled upon but love it for long-lasting blooms (late spring through mid-summer), poppy like flowers and rich colors. 
  • grow a cutting garden
The gray-green leaves of Yarrow provide lovely contrast in most flower arrangements, in addition to the subtle pops of color provided by the blooms.
  • grow a cutting garden
Not only a great plant for pollinators, but coneflowers are a long lasting staple of the summer garden. They bloom from June through September in a variety of colors. Many floral arrangers also use the cones after the petals have fallen in their arrangements
Nothing says 'summer bouquet' like Sunflowers, which come in a variety of sizes and shades of yellow.
I love the bright playful colors of the Gerber Daisies, but don't often mix them with other flowers as they don't do well when their hollow stems are submerged as much as other flowers in an arrangement. 
Consider keeping these flowers in their own vase, in only 2-3 inches of water. Changing their water and snipping the ends of the stems just a wee bit each day will help them last longer.
  • grow a cutting garden
It's hard to beat the workhorse Shasta Daisy in your summer floral arrangements. They play so well with others.
Globe-y flowers like gomphrena or allium add a little fun and whimsy to arrangements.
  • grow a cutting garden
I also make use of common foliage items in my yard as fillers and to soften my arrangements. Pop on over to Nourish and Nestle to see suggestions for the foliage items that I use and for a recipe for DIY floral preservative.
  • grow a cutting garden
I like to keep my arrangements as natural and free flowing as possible and the added foliage helps to achieve that look.

Suffice it to say that I'm thrilled for the warmer weather so that I can use my cutting garden to fill my home with flowers.

To see more: http://nourishandnestle.com/plant-cutting-garden/

  • Em
    Em Pittsburgh, PA

    two of my favorites... zinnias and yarrow. I will try yarrow again this year as I did not have good luck with it last year. Lovey arrangement, so summery and fresh.

  • Giselle
    Giselle Canada

    I LOVE fresh, mixed flowers and really appreciate all your advice! Your arrangement is gorgeous!

  • Katherine Howard Jones

    These are lovely. I am a late starter at gardening - can't do the planting myself, but am getting great at directing. Thanks for the suggestions - from Oregon Zone 8B-9A

  • Shelley Wilson

    The flower that was called a Shasta daisy is actually a Gerber aka African daisy.

  • Lynn @ Nourish and Nestle
    Lynn @ Nourish and... Wilmington, NC

    Hey Shelley, think my post may be a tad confusing. The image of the Gerber daisy was actually below where I discussed the Gerber daisy and above where I discussed Shasta daisies.

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