Cut flower gardens are the new trend. Although visiting big fresh flower markets like Pike’s Market in Seattle is exciting, what could be better than a supply of fresh flowers from your own backyard? You don’t need to devote a lot of space for an entire garden. You can plant flowers for cutting in pockets throughout your existing landscape.
The COVID-19 pandemic led many people to beautify their homes, inside and out. This has renewed interest in cut flowers and the trend of “flower farming” in your own yard. It’s a worldwide trend – as evidenced by this pick-your-own tulip farm in Italy.
Peony tulips are an example of flowers that have become popular due to this trend. They’re not a new thing, but a lot of people don’t realize they exist. Typical herbaceous “perennial” peonies with their beauty and exclusivity are fabulous for cut flower arrangements but are seasonal (generally May and June). Some, however, have found a way to get the look of peonies for less. Peony tulips are going viral on TikTok for their pretty, fluffy, peony-like appearance. To get your own supply of peony tulips, mark your calendar to plant bulbs this fall for flowers in spring 2024.
Looking for ideas of what to plant for cut flowers in your yard? Check out this Proven Winners ideaboard.
Some of our all-time favorite plants for cut flowers include: Shasta daisies, gomphrena, zinnias, lavender, salvia (both annual and perennial types), coneflowers, hydrangea, heliopsis, roses, cosmos, the sky’s the limit! Remember, plant cuttings for arrangements can include annuals, perennials, herbs, flowering shrubs, bulb plants, tropical plants (think foliage of cordyline and bird’s nest fern), even vegetable plants!
You’ll need some focal point stems, support stems, and filler stems. Hydrangeas are an excellent choice for a cut flower garden. Consider ornamental grasses and their inflorescence for fun fall arrangements. Try “forcing” the blooms in late winter/early spring on woody cuttings like forsythia, plum, peach, mockorange, quince, etc.
Fresh flower arranging can be similar to the container gardening concept of thriller, spiller, filler. An arrangement doesn’t have to be a complicated masterpiece. Let the flowers do the talking. It could be just one type of flower in a vase.
When harvesting, do it in the early morning or late evening. Cut stems at an angle and put them immediately into water. Don’t allow foliage below the water line. Keep the water fresh and flowing up the “straws”/stems for long-lasting enjoyment!
And now, this week’s Lim-A-Rick:
A little cut flower prose
Fresh flowers are my thing, I suppose
Their beauty is my oasis,
Replenished on a vase to vase basis,
You could say I garden with my nose.