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Planting and Designing a Cut Flower Garden

5 min read | Dec 13, 2012 | Plants  Resources 

Flowers make us happy, delight the eye with form and color, tantalize the nose and develop memories and traditions. No matter how uncertain our world seems to be we can count on
flowers to burst forth in the spring to remind us of the cycles of nature and the beauty on earth. They symbolize hope and help us deal with the more complicated problems of life. We give
them to show our love, console, celebrate and cheer others. No matter what the occasion, flowers are an essential part of our lives. So what could be more rewarding than to grow your
own cutting garden? Your flowers would always be a part of your home with an abundance to gather for friends and loved ones on any occasion. Your children would delight in nothing
better than a garden filled with color, bugs and butterflies where he can cut to his delight and deliver bouquets to surprise his mother. A cutting garden is one of the most rewarding gardens you can plant.

Perennials make a great foundation for a cut flower garden. They will come back year after year and provide pleasure in your garden for more than one season. The flowering span is not all they have to offer, there is also seed pods and foliage to be used in your bouquets. Herbs such as rosemary and lavender contribute aroma as well as silvery gray color.

A cut flower bed can be any size, from a mixed container on a porch or deck to a designed bed in the yard. It could be combined in a border with shrubs or simply flowers mixed in your landscape. Learning which flowers and foliage hold up in a cut arrangement without wilting is the key. To help you we have included a design filled with flowers that are great for cutting. Remember to fill in with annuals and bulbs such as narcissus, daffodils, anemone and tulips because they can begin to flower early when nothing else has emerged from the ground. Most annuals provide color all summer long and bloom more profusely when cut. Remember to use the foliage on your perennials and shrubs to enhance the flowers in your bouquets. Hosta leaves and fern fronds add an elegant touch. Do not be afraid to experiment and have fun with new plants and colors. For this design choose a site that receives a generous amount of sun (at least six hours) and prepare your soil with compost and soil amendments so that it drains well. A cutting garden is not limited to sun. There are a multitude of beautiful flowers suitable for cutting that grow in the shade such as helebores, hydrangeas and astilbe. Your friends here at Fairview are always available for advise and inspiration.

Have fun!

Anna Y.
Fairview Greenhouses & Garden Center

1. Helianthus Augustifolius
Also called swamp sunflower. Numerous yellow daisy-like flowers. Drought tolerant. Full sun. Blooms late summer into fall. Grows 7 to 9 feet.

2. Zinnia Giant Flowering
Provides an abundance of bright, vibrant colors. Loves hot sun and blooms until frost. 1 to 4 feet tall.

3. Garden Phlox
Various shades of pink, purple and white flowers. Blooms in summer. Full to partial shade. 8 to 48 inches tall.

4. Gardenia
Easy to care for. Various varieties and heights. Fragrant 2 to 3 inch white blooms. Will bloom up to 3 months. Full sun.

5. Baptisia
Colors include yellow, white and purple. Blooms April to May. Full sun. 18 to 24
inches tall.

6. Peony
Handsome herbaceous foliage. Scented flowers in white, pink and red variations. Blooms in spring. Full sun to partial shade.

7. Bearded Iris
Comes in almost every color with contrasting beards. Height ranges from 6 inches to 3 feet tall. Spring bloom. Varieties that repeat bloom available. Full sun.

8. Penta
Star-like clusters of red, pink, purple or white flowers. Great heat and drought tolerance. Full sun to partial shade. Grows 12 to 22 inches.

9. Oriental Lily, Star Gazer
Vivid carmine red, upward-facing blooms that are dotted with maroon spots and edged in pure white. Large very fragrant lilies. Spectacular garden performance July and august. 2-3 feet tall.

10. Shasta Daisy
Classic white daisy with yellow center. Usually deer resistant. Summer bloom. Full sun. 26 to 30 inches tall.

11. Coleus
Colorful foliage plant that ranges from soft and elegant shades to deep, bold tones. Full sun to partial shade. 18 to 36 inches tall.

12. Angelonia
Fragrant flowers that attract butterflies. Blooms in shades of white, pink or purple. Full sun to partial shade. 1 to 2 feet tall.

13. Lambs Ear
Ground cover that sets spikes to reach 12 to 18 inches tall. Deer resistant. Silvery- gray foliage with purple flowers. Full sun. Drought tolerant.

14. Snapdragon
Superb as cut flowers. Colors range from white, yellow, pink, red and coral on softly puffed spikes. Blooms early summer and fall. Best in cool weather. Full sun. 18 to 24 inches tall.

15. Gerbera Daisy
Elegant 3” daisy-like flowers on long stems. Attracts butterflies. Shades of yellow, white, red, pink and orange. Full sun. 12 to 18 inches tall.

16. Echinacea
Easy-to-grow native. Blooms from summer to fall. Drought tolerant with long lasting, magnificent displays of large daisies with coned centers. Many colors and varieties. Full sun. 18 to 24 inches tall.

17. Achillia
Flowers throughout the summer in colors of white, pink, purple and yellow to shades of red. Delicate feathery, silvery-gray leaves and upright habit reaching 24”. Full sun.

From Garden to Vase: Below are a few other good choices for a cutting garden.

Diamond Frost Euphorbia

Part Sun Perennials
Anemone (Anemone)
Aquilegia (Columbine)
Chelone (Turtlehead)
Delphinium (Larkspur)
Digitalis (Foxglove)
Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed)
Monarda (Beebalm)

Sun Perennials
Achillea (Yarrow)
Asclepias (Butterfly Weed)
Aster (Hardy Aster)
Baptisia (False Indigo)
Coreopsis (Tickseed)
Crocosmia (Montbretia)
Dendranthemum (Chrysanthemum)
Dianthus (Pinks)
Echinacea (Coneflower)
Echinops (Globe Thistle)
Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
Gaura (Gaura)
Gypsophila (Baby’s Breath)
Helenium (Common Sneezeweed)
Heliopsis (False Sunflower)
Iris (Iris)
Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker)
Leucanthemum (Shasta Daisy)
Paeonia (Peony)
Penstemon (Beardtongue)

Shade Perennials
Aruncus (Goatsbeard)
Astilbe (False Spirea)
Cimicifuga (Bugbane)
Convallaria (Lily-of-the-Valley)
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
Ferns (Fern)
Hedera (Ivy)
Heuchera (Coral Bells)
Polemonium (Jacob’s Ladder)
Phlox (Phlox)
Platycodon (Balloon Flower)
Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan)
Salvia (Sage)
Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower)
Sedum (Stonecrop)
Stokesia (Stokes’ Aster)
Veronica (Speedwell)