Connecticut Garden Journal: Cutting Gardens | Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Garden Journal: Cutting Gardens

Mar 19, 2020

There's nothing like the sight and smell of fresh cut flowers in your home from spring to fall. While it's great to support local growers and florists, you can grow your own cut flower garden, too. Here's how.

Start with long stemmed annual and perennial flowers, such as Shasta daises, and bulbs, such as dahlias. Plant flowers that will bloom at different times. Plan for spring bulbs, and flowers such as snapdragons, iris, peonies and foxgloves. In summer, feature bloomers such as lilies, ageratum, gladiolus, echinacea, phlox, and salvia. Later have some fall bloomers such as asters, zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos, and goldenrod. Don't forget plants with attractive foliage as well, such as coleus, dusty miller, coral bells, and lamb's ears. I also like to mix in the flowers from shrubs such as forsythia, lilac, and spirea, and from wildflowers such as Queen Anne's lace and buttercups.

Choose a full sun location and dedicate a few rows or raised beds in your garden to cutting flowers. You'll be harvesting beds often, so place the beds where they aren't front and center. Deadhead annuals and perennials, such as daisies and salvias, regularly so they rebloom a few times during the season. Group similar height and sized plants together to make it easier to harvest.

Amend the soil with compost and be sure the beds are well drained. Plant close together and mulch between beds and rows. Your main jobs should be watering early in the season, deadheading, and harvesting. By planting closer together, you'll eliminate much of the weeding. Get creative with your floral designs and play with flower shapes, colors and textures.