The purpose of a cutting garden is all about lots and lots of cut flowers to fill your vases all season long, and to give as gifts and plants that look pretty together.
I always like to make sure that most of my flowers are scented and compatible. And long-lasting perennial flowers and bulbs are my flowers of choice. I have some cut flowers that are dried and look very pretty after sitting in an empty vase for months. Some plants keep their colors when dry.The Hydrangea is the queen of the cutting flowers in my garden. It blooms for months. It starts out white, then tinged with pink, then they turn cream and rose in the fall. Two shrubs keep the vases full of flowers all summer, and they need zero maintenance - except for that pruning in the fall part. They grow fast. They can be the center-focus of a cutting garden, due to it's size.
Choosing Your Cutting Garden Plants
Long-stemmed perennials and bulbs make the best cut flowers. Most plants have a specific bloom time, meaning they will not flower continuously. So plant your cutting flowers so that you have a constant supply of bloom for cutting.
Some perennials will re-bloom if they are
cut back after flowering. My fragrant re-bloomers are all varieties of
irises, lilac, bee balm (monarda), daisies and coneflowers (echinacea).
These are also the plants that last the longest in vases. Having said
that, my irises are drop-dead gorgeous in a vase, but only lasts a few
days. Those will remain outside in the garden, where they last the
longest, and rebloom. Another fabulous cut flower is the dahlia. lthough
it does not last long enough for me. Any cut dahlias i've been given,
begin dropping all of those hundreds of tpetals within two days. I don't
grow them myself, but i do let other folks give them to me as
You’ll also want to plant flowers that you can use as vase fillers, like baby’s breath, statice,and aster. You can create beautiful arrangements for a vase, or gift bouquets with baby's breath and statice. I'll stick in some grassy foliage plants that are evergreen, and fern leaves that grow in the garden. I have the same statice in a vase for more than 5 years, and i pull it out when i want to stick it in a vase of fresh flowers. Once they dry, they really don't mind how you use them.
Roses are awesome, but they take time and care. I'm covering the easy stuff in this article. No cutting garden should be without one rose shrub. Plants that you can cut to your heart's content all summer, and will probably re-bloom without causing bodily harm or take up too much of your time is what i'm concentrating on in this araticle. I include them in my list of cutting flowers, because not much can beat. the beauty and smell of roses in a vase. And all of my roses are re-blooming from May until end of November. I have blooming roses that hang tough in snow showers around Thanksgiving-time.
Achillea blooms for me in mid-summer and blooms til frost kills it. Very pretty when dried.
Here's a short list of popular cutting flowers, annual and perennial, that are fairly easy to grow. I grow, or have grown, almost all of them successfully.I don't grow those pretty plants that are considered invasive in my region, e.g., Black Eyed Susan. And i don't grow bulbs that must be lifted before a freeze.
Remember that even though i mention that certain flowers don't last long once cut, the idea of a Cutting Garden is to intentionally over-fill it with flowers to bring in once it's predecessor is finished. You should always have flowers for the house.
Plant fragrant woody-stemmed shrubs around the edges or in the centers of your cutting garden beds. I like to use lilac for that purpose. They love a good haircut, smell amazing, and last a while once cut.
Planning and Planting
Forget everything you
ever learned about spacing flower plants. The cutting garden should be
intensely-planted. You can always move plants later on.
Dig up a sunny spot
with good drainage. Install landscape fabric to keep down weeds.
The most efficient way to set
up any flower garden is to grow your flowers in rows. I do not usually
follow this advice. I
When planning what to plant where, you want to know how tall and wide the plant will be when mature. Read the planting instructions on the plant or nursery package. But cut the spacing by at least half. Grow lots of tall flowers, but remember you'll have to stake. Plant them in the back of a garden. Preferably against a fence or trellis, and tied so as to keep them from falling on their shorter neighbors. you don't want them overshadowing or hiding the other flowers, either.
After you've planted the beds, don't forget the paths. Cover them with landscape fabric or cedar pathways to make it easy to get around and cut all those beautiful flowers.
You can certainly utilize raised garden beds on the ground or elevated on legs, and design your garden with those around the edges of the ground-level plants or down the middle. You'll get twice as much space and flowers growing by using raised beds on legs. I use an upper level for most of my pollinator plants so that they can get at flowers easily. They also give you another place to plant veggies with the flowers. If your gardens do well, you should be picking or cutting something all season long.
a free copy in .pdf format for a perennial cutting garden design shown
at the top of this page
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