Here’s how to plant a cut flower garden in the landscape! When I first started to grow cut flowers, I grew in long narrow rows that looked more like a traditional farm than a backyard garden. Over the years, I’ve transitioned to growing cut flowers almost completely in the landscape and I think it’s a wonderful way to grow lots of cut flowers while still
maintaining the feel of home garden. No matter what size garden you have, adding cut flowers into the landscape is always a possibility. Here are the steps I always take when setting up a new cutting garden in the landscape, or when I’m enlarging an already existing bed like the one you’ll see me working on today.
Step 1 is to site your cut flower garden in full sun. You’ll want to position your cutting garden in as much sun as possible because most of the flowers we grow as cuts prefer full sun, and need it in to thrive and bloom well all season.
Step 2 is to provide nutrient rich, well-draining soil. Cut flowers are only as good as the soil they are planted in, so be sure to take time to amend the area with compost, leaf mold, and any missing nutrients. I always recommend doing a soil test and sending it to your local extension office so you know if there are any specific nutrients that need to be added into your garden. Take time to care and amend your soil, and your plants will thank you with healthy growth and lots of blooms.
Step 3 is to start by planting shrubs and trees that will give you a variety of both foliage and bloom cuts. Think in terms of different color foliage, different blooms times, shrubs with berries or showy winter stems, and if the blooms can serve a double purpose by being used later as dried flowers. I prefer to use shrub foliage over annual foliage so I’m always sure to tuck in lots of reliable foliage shrubs.
Step 4 is to plant perennials and annuals from the following floral groups and try to have each group represented during each season so that you always have a variety of sizes and textures to work with. Plant these flowers in mass so that when you go to harvest there are still some blooms left to enjoy in the landscape.You’ll first want a Focal Flower which is a large statement flower that will be the star of an arrangement (Peony, lily, Sunflower, dahlia, hydrangea)Then plant some disk flowers which are flowers with round heads (zinnia, coneflower, rubekia, Calendula, dianthus, marigolds) Add in some spike flowers – Snapdragon, Foxglove, Stock, Delphinum. Larkspur, Liatris, Gladiola
And lastly plant what I like to call a Sparkle Flower– grasses, babies breath, ladies mantle, love in a mist seed pods, Statice – which give nice airiness and shimmer into a bouquet
Always select taller varieties that are good for cutting. This often means growing things from seed because many plants started at the nursery are either bred to be short or are treated with growth hormone regulators. The longer the stem, the more valuable the cut. And a long stem is always more versatile than a shorter one.
Step 5 is to support your flowers when needed. Some varieties will need staked, corralled, or netted. No
matter how you go about supporting your plants, the point is to just do it. A large storm can devastate
flowers that you’ve been growing for months in a matter of seconds. Take precaution and support your
blooms. (NATALIE – I’M WONDERING IF I SHOULD LEAVE THIS OUT OR NOT?? IT’S SO IMPORTANT BUT
SO MUCH TO DISCUSS FROM CROP TO CROP– I ALSO WOULD ADD A WINDBREAK – BUT I’M NOT
SURE IF THIS INFO IS GETTING TO “FARMY”)
Step 6 is to succession plant in order to prolong the harvest. Things like single stem sunflowers and
gladiolas can be planted every two weeks so that you have a steady supply of cuts rather than a once
and done explosion of blooms. Space out the harvest by planting in waves rather than all at once.
Step 7 is to Cut and Come Again! A cut flower garden is meant to be cut. And continual cutting will
encourage the plants to produce more flowers for you. Branching annuals need to be continually cut in
order to tell the plant to keep producing more blooms instead of setting seed and dying. Don’t be shy
with your snips– you’ve grown these plants to enjoy in the landscape and in the vase. Cut and come
Well there are my tips on planting a cut flower garden in the landscape. This method of growing cut
flowers is how I’ve found both joy in the garden all while providing enough blooms to cut and enjoy in
the vase. I hope these tips were helpful and until next time Happy Gardening!
Thanks to @Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs for the following shrubs –
Kodiak® Black Diervilla – https://www.provenwinners.com/plants/diervilla/kodiak-black-diervilla-rivularis
Low Scape Mound® Aronia – https://www.provenwinners.com/plants/aronia/low-scape-mound-aronia-melanocarpa
Limelight Prime™ Hydrangea – https://www.limelightprimehydrangea.com/
Quick Fire Fab™Hydrangea – https://www.quickfirefabhydrangea.com/