Growing a Cut Flower Garden
Having a wonderful flower garden outdoors is a goal that many gardeners strive towards, but for some, it is important that they be able to bring those blooms indoors and be able to enjoy them around the home. Many plants and flowers that are commonly grown in gardens are unsuited for vase life, and are either too short or do not survive well once they have been cut from the plant. Building a garden that is focused towards growing flowers for enjoyment both outside, as well as inside, is easy and rewarding.
First, it is important to plant flowers that have a long enough stem on them that they can be arranged or placed in vases. Many annuals like Petunias, Alyssums, and Lobelias may be poorly suited for vase life because they tend to grow close to the ground and do not develop a sturdy enough stem to be used as a cut flower. Plants like Daises, Chrysanthemums, Dahlias, Hydrangea, and Roses are usually good choices. Many of these flowers are common to most gardens and are able to last in vases and arrangements. Flowers with a woody stem, or shrubs that grow in a sturdy upright manner are great candidates for indoor enjoyment.
Any plant, especially Roses and Hydrangeas, should be recut directly before being placed into lukewarm water with a knife. It is okay to cut the flowers from the plant with pruners, but it is very important that before they get placed into water that they are cut diagonally on an angle with a sharp knife. Roses and Hydrangeas, as well as other flowers that have a woody stem, need to be placed into lukewarm water to encourage the flowers stems to accept the water into their tissues. When you cut flowers with pruners or scissors, you are closing the base of the stems and damaging these delicate tissues with a forceful pinching motion that the pruners apply. When you instead use a knife, you make a clean cut through the tissues and they are then more able to accept the water and carry it up the stem. If your flowers begin to wilt, which is quite typical of Hydrangeas, simply remove them from the vase, refill it with warm water, and recut on an angle with a sharp knife.
Other flowers that make for good cut flower choices include Lavenders, Statice, Veronicas, Dianthus, Chamomile, Echinacea, Zinnias, and Scabiosa. Greenery like Salal, Myrtle, Laurel, Huck, and Eucalyptus are easy to grow and when planted in amongst the flowers, add depth and texture to the garden scene. Starting, or even adding a few flowers to your garden to make it a cut flower garden, is an easy job and allows you to be able to enjoy your flowers no matter where you are; inside or out in the garden. Entertaining at home, or simply adding a quick splash of colour around the house, becomes so much easier and enjoyable when you only have to step outside and choose from your own garden.