There is nothing like a bouquet of fresh flowers to brighten up your home. You don’t have to break the bank with a weekly trip to the florist. Try your hand at growing your own cut flowers, for bouquets all summer long.
Getting started is easy. Whether you have a small balcony with a few pots or a large yard, growing flowers doesn’t have to be tough.
If you’re planting in your garden, keep the flowers in neat rows. It will make it easier to maintain and access the cuttings. Think straight lines, fairly close together. Keep your soil well-nourished with organic matter.
When picking plants to grow, consider your space and how much sun it gets. If you have a more permanent space, perennial plants are an excellent choice as they come back year after year. Annuals can be planted too, and are also perfect for containers.
Cosmos—these tall, classic flowers are a wonderful plant to include any garden. They grow fast, and often self-seed to come back year after year. Cut them as the blooms are just starting to open.
Zinnias—another garden classic, zinnias come in many varieties. Be sure to taller varieties after the last frost. You can find plenty of choices at the local garden centre.
Bachelor Buttons—delicate and pretty, they make an excellent filler in bouquets. Plant seeds after the last frost and cut frequently to encourage more growth. Like cosmos, they often self-seed.
Sunflowers—they come in two types, single and branching. They can grow quite tall so staking may be needed. Sow throughout the summer so the flowers bloom all season long. Cut the blooms when they are just starting to open.
Sweet peas—fragrant and delicate, sweet peas are a gorgeous addition to every cut flower garden. Bees love them and they come in many colours.
Tulips—among the first flowers to arrive in spring, they come in a literal rainbow of colours. Plant bulbs in fall for spring blooms.
Daffodils—like tulips, these pretty flowers pop up in spring after a fall planting. Coming in yellow, white and orange, they are cheerful and bright in any vase.
Peonies—these round, chubby flowers are perfect for weddings and bloom in June. Coming up every year,
they smell divine.
Dianthus—also called Sweet William, these flowers can grow as tall as 18 inches. Be sure to pick the
tall varieties for your garden. Coming in shades of pink, salmon, red and white, tuck them in with green foliage and baby’s breath.
Yarrow—a prairie garden classic, it blooms from seed the first year and is a very vigorous plant. Yarrow can tolerate heat, cold, and drought and still rebloom after cutting.
Once your plants are producing blooms, it’s time to start cutting and arranging your flowers. Remember, the more you cut, the more blooms will grow. Cut the flowers in the early morning or late evening to prevent wilting. Use a clean, sharp pair of garden shears and place stems in clean water. Cut deep to encourage longer stems and remove any leaves so that only the stem is in the water. Let the flowers hydrate for several hours, and then arrange in a bouquet. Prolong the life of the flowers by frequently changing the water, and enjoy the blooms you grew.