Having a vase of fresh flowers atop your kitchen table can be welcoming, energizing and refreshing, but it could also come with a hefty price tag. However, there are many flowers you can grow in your yard to cut and arrange yourself. Cut flower gardening is the practice of growing any plant for the sole purpose of harvesting the flower or foliage to use decoratively in an arrangement.
Consider your growing space before selecting seeds or plants for cut flower gardening. Most options need direct sun to guarantee the maximum quality and quantity of blooms. Selecting a spot near an easily accessible water source is beneficial during harvest time.
Monitor the flowers closely throughout the summer as they can mature quickly. Cut flowers can be grown in raised beds, in-ground beds, pots or containers, and can even be incorporated into your existing landscape. Get creative with your garden space.
Flowers can either be grown from seeds or transplants bought locally. Seeds are a great option for versatility in plant selection and cost less than transplants. Some seeds are tricky to germinate and purchasing transplants saves the work of nurturing seedlings into hardy plants.
The vase life of the flower determines if it makes a good cut flower or not. If you are going to grow plants for their flowers, you want them to last for several days in an arrangement. Examples of dependable cut flowers are:
- Annuals: sunflower, zinnia, cosmos, gomphrena, celosia
- Bulbs: spring-flowering daffodils and tulips; summer-flowering dahlias and gladiolus
- Perennials/grasses: coneflowers, Shasta daisy, yarrow, garden phlox, ornamental grasses, peonies
- Shrubs: beautyberry, ninebark, smoke bush
Cut flowers also offer health benefits. A study by Rutgers University found that flowers positively affect our emotional health and well-being. A beautiful bouquet has an immediate impact on our emotional state, making us happy, with long-term impacts including greater satisfaction and fulfillment.
Eager to try this hobby but anxious about arranging flowers? Watch videos online for tips, or just start playing around. Once you begin mixing different textures, colors and varying bloom sizes, you may experience as much joy in the creation as the final product. Relax, have fun, and share the gift of flowers with family and friends. Everyone loves a bouquet and now we know why!
If cut flower gardening isn’t for you but you still love the arrangements, support local farmers markets and purchase their cut flowers. Whether your breakfast table bouquet is supporting a local farmer or sourced from your garden, its production and presence are certain to boost the mood this season.