Cutting gardens not only provide fresh flowers to fill your home with romantic color and fragrance, but also with happiness!
Studies show that just the presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive manner.
Living with flowers is shown to strengthen feelings of compassion, and decrease feelings of anxiety and worry, so why not surround yourself with them all the time?
It’s easy to get started on creating your own happiness with a cutting garden. With a little planning or some garden re-organization, you can fill your home with the power of positivity from fresh flowers for much of the growing season!
Grab a notebook or journal and locate the sunniest spots on your property, then determine what kind of space your current landscape allows for. Plot out the dimensions of each available space and take note of what’s growing nearby. Keep in mind, plantings of cutting flowers are great as a border or backdrop to vegetable gardens. In fact, some plants (like Marigolds) are a natural pest repellent and look great planted among vegetables.
If you prefer a single designated area, carve out some space for a new garden or raised beds. Our friends at the Old Farmer’s Almanac show you how. With the right selections, you might be surprised just how much you can fit in only a few square feet.
Whether you are working within existing gardens or creating a new space for your cutting garden, think about your ability to reach these new plantings with water. To keep blooms at their best, we recommend watering your cutting flowers with a soaker hose that lies among the base of plants. Watering from the top can make for soggy blossoms.
For additional ideas, print our
Cut Flower Perennials List
With your planting areas identified, use our Cutting Garden Bloom Chart to identify potential additions for your new spaces and then use our new online Plant Finder plant search tool to create your personal Studley’s Wish List
Bring your Wish List to Studley’s Garden Center and our pros will help you narrow your list of options to those that will integrate well by size, sun and soil requirements.
Remember, gardening teaches us patience. Annual plants will be ready for cutting the same year you plant, but these plantings will last only one season. If some of the plants on your list are perennials, they are more of a long-term investment and with proper care they will come back each year, but some can take a year or two before they are abundant with blooms.
Once your cutting garden is established, follow our pro florist tips for proper cutting and arrangement:
- Use clean, sharp clippers or garden shears – ordinary household scissors can damage stems and prevent proper water uptake.
- Bring a bucket into the garden to place your cuttings in water immediately. Take your cuttings as soon as the plants begin flowering and ideally in the early morning, when flowers are at their best from the benefits of the cool night air and morning dew. For plants with cluster blooms, choose stems that have at least one bud starting to open.
- When possible, be strategic in choosing your cutting location. Randomize your cuttings or cut from the back of plantings to maintain maximum outdoor garden display.
- For most plants, cut about 1″ from the bottom of a main stem, at a 45 degree angle. For bulbs, cut where the stem color begins to transition from white to green. For woody stems, make a small split at the bottom after cutting. Inspect your cuttings for the presences of bugs and remove before bringing indoors.
- Choose a vase in proportion to the length of your stems – stems should not be taller than about one and a half the size of the container, don’t overcrowd the vase and aim to arrange flowers uniformly all the way around.
- To reduce bacterial growth in the vase, remove all foliage from the stems before arranging.
- Shorter or fuller blooms can be placed lower in the arrangement, nearer the lip of the vase to create a look of volume and support taller stems.
- Place your cut flowers in lukewarm water to avoid shock that can close up the stems. The exception to this rule applies to early spring bulb cuttings that will go in a vase without other flowers. Bulbs naturally flower in cold temps, so a vase full of tulips or daffodils will last longer if you initially place them in cold water.
- We recommend a florist formulated preservative product as the best option for keeping flowers fresh and the water clear from bacteria.
- In the days after you create your arrangement, keep your container full with water, and discard any spent blooms as they occur.
Now you’re ready to surround yourself at home or the office with beautiful, positive mood-enhancing, fresh cut flowers all season long!
Visit AboutFlowers.com for additional reading on cut flowers and also see our blog for How To Force Branches Indoors.
Need help? Let our Landscaping Pros design and create your cutting garden!
My Pro Tip:
To get more enjoyment indoors and salvage some blooms before extreme weather, take cuttings to enjoy indoors before heavy wind or rain forecasts.
Brighten your Mondays by bringing a fresh bouquet to your desk every week. It’s ok to cut blooms often, cutting regularly throughout the season promotes more blooms.
Create interest, texture and fill out your bouquets with berry cuttings and greens, such as dill, ferns, and ornamental grasses. Get creative with containers – search thrift stores or yard sales for old bottles, vintage teapots or florist vases to have plenty on hand when blooms are ready. Have fun! Place flowers in something serving as a watertight vessel inside of something unique or unexpected.
Above all – share your abundance with a friend. Nothing is more personal, thoughtful and appreciated than a surprise bouquet, fresh from your cutting garden.
See you at Studley’s!