With August upon us, it’s time for local gardeners to take to their gardens and begin excessive cutting from their cutting gardens. If you are unfamiliar with what a cutting garden is, or attempted one this past season and were unsuccessful, this post should give you an idea of what a cutting garden is and how to have one that prospers for when next season rolls around!
A cutting garden is a garden consisting of annuals, perennials, shrubs, herbs and other plants that are grown quickly to be used in bouquets to decorate homes with. These gardens are different from your typical flower beds in the way that flowers are planted densely enough that someone should always be growing that you can take and turn into a bouquet. They are often much messier as well, and might not be ideal for someone who wants to keep the flower beds around their homes nice and tidy. But for someone who wants to pull flowers often, cutting gardens are the perfect choice!
If you would like to start a cutting garden, though, there are some things you should keep in mind:
-You should select a location that gets plenty of sun and has good soil that drains well
-Due to its haphazard style, you may wish to put your cutting garden next to a vegetable garden that has
a similar “crop style” arrangement.
-Your garden can be as big or as small as you would like. Even if you only have a 3 foot by 6 foot space, that area should be able to hold roughly 20 plants.
-You should put a lot of planning into what plants will go where in your cutting garden as you will want plants of varying heights and shapes to continuously blossom throughout the growing season (spring to autumn). Don’t be afraid to pack them in!
-You should use the same soil that you use for your other garden beds
– Although you should pack things in dense, make sure you have access to everything you plant to ease the processes of weeding, fertilizing, etc.
If you keep these things in mind, then by planting everything in April and May, you should be well on your way to a beautiful cutting garden throughout the growing season!
Unsure of what to plant? Here are some ideas of what kinds of annuals and perennials not only look great, but work well in any cutting garden!
These plants typically grow anywhere between one to five feet tall. They grow in formations similar to stalks and the flowers resemble what has inspired names such as “Blue Bonnets”. Typically shades of reds, blues, and purples, these flowers perfectly compliment many different bouquets.
This popular plant from the iris family is also known as the “sword lily”. The stems are unbranched, and the flower spikes that come off of it contain flowers that range from very small to 40 mm across. They come in many different colors, so there’s a cultivar for everyone!
A popular cutting garden choice, gerbera daisies come in a wide range of colors. Thousands of cultivars exist and they greatly vary in size and shape, so it’s easy to find something that works for you!
Not only are zinnias a great cutting flower for their variety of colors, but they also are a favorite butterflies, and many gardeners use them to attract butterflies to their gardens!
This popular perennial works as an annual in temperate climates. For this reason, it is a great pick for almost any climate and will bloom nonstop from summer into autumn.
A member of the onion genus consisting of garlic, scallions and other plants, this globe-like flower is truly something to behold, especially the one-of-a-kind allium giganteum.
Red Hot Poker
Known to attract hummingbirds and orioles, these red, orange and yellow flowers produce bright, upright spikes of flowers that are sure to impress.
This classic looking daisy with white petals and a yellow center is iconic, however it’s a bit larger. Perfect for adding to a bouquet for its popularized daisy look.
As the name suggests, this purple flowering plant is popular with many different kinds of butterflies, and can be used to attract them to your garden. And as an added bonus, it also looks great in bouquets!
These are just a few of our suggestions! There is truly a near limitless amount of great cutting flowers out there for you to try! Mixing and matching plants of different styles and heights is the best way to create the most individual cutting garden you can, and will help you create stunning bouquets to impress your family and friends! For any questions, please feel free to contact us!