I love fresh flowers from the garden. They don’t cost as much as store-bought and are so easy to throw into an arrangement whenever the mood strikes. Unfortunately, a lot of people only get fresh-cut flowers from their garden once or twice a year. That’s because they plant everything all at once and only have one crop of flowers to rotate through. Which isn’t a lot of rotating…
But, it’s super easy to have cut flowers all summer (and fall!) long. It just takes a little planning. So, get that garden journal out and map out your next flower garden.
Planning out your garden makes sense, but is often overlooked. A lot of people plant flowers for curbside aesthetic, and that’s great. But, if you’re wanting to make the most out of your flowers, plant what you want to have in vases. That means if you’re strictly a roses kind of gal, then just plant roses (or at least an abundance of them). Be aware that roses can be difficult to grow and don’t always produce a lot of flowers. They’re also more expensive to plant than a packet of seeds. If you’re still yearning for roses, but want numerous, fragrant flowers, then peonies may be an alternative or a complementing plant. Peonies are big, fragrant flowers and are a beautiful must-have for a spring garden. Like rose bushes, peonies bush out, so plant them where you have room, or prune to your landscape.
To plant annuals or perennials?
Both! I always plant both annuals and perennials in my garden. Annuals are for my pots on my deck and to spruce up around the perennial garden bed. Not sure what the different of an annual and perennial is? Or how it will work in your garden?
These are the ones that only last for a season. Annuals = one and done.
A packet of seeds goes a long way. Start some of your seeds indoors before the weather turns warm. Plant those seedlings outside as soon as possible AND plant some seeds sown directly into the ground alongside. That way, you’ll have flowers within a few weeks and more blooming right after. Much like you would with your vegetable garden, keep planting seeds every week, until the beginning of mid-summer. Be mindful of what you’re planting and how long it takes to germinate. If it’s a spring annual and will die off once the weather turns hot, then planting some in July isn’t going to work.
Perennials are the ones that keep on coming back for more. Perennials = a seasonal friend that gets better every year.
Although perennial bulbs have to be planted in advance, they don’t have to be added to year after year. Perennials come up again and, usually, get bushier and bigger (if applicable to the plant. Tulips will not get ‘bushier’, but can multiply and become plentiful). You can buy full plants already grown and ready for some blooming flowers from a garden centre, but the cheapest way would be to plant bulbs. Summer bulbs are to be planted in the spring and spring bulbs are to be planted in the fall months for the next spring. Plant spring, summer, and late summer/fall perennials for a full year of colour both in your garden and to use as cut flowers.
Once you’ve your perennial bulbs (or plants) in, that’s it! Leave them, look after them in the applicable months, and cut back in fall if needed.
Because I’ve such a large space, I can space out my flowers and incorporate them into themes. I have a specific wildflower garden next to one of our sheds that looks wonderful when it’s all lit up with colours. Although I rarely cut those, it’s nice to have wildflowers separate so they don’t spread into my other flowers. I’m working on a full rose ‘fence’ that will – eventually – (roses can take forever and so many plants to make full bouquets) end up in a vase or two. I’ve even incorporated Asters, ranunculus, peonies, daisies, mums, and will be incorporating tulips and daffodils for next spring! These flowers can be found all over the yard and have even taken up residence in my vegetable garden acting as a divider between veggies.
Plants can be expensive. If someone is wanting to rid themselves of something that you like, jump on it! I’ve lillies and irises that were just going to be thrown away until I saved them! I also have a surprise wheat field in my garden that is perfect for some fall decor and looks great added to a sunflower arrangement. Prairie grass growing tall and annoying you? Cut it and add it to a wonderful vase of sweet peas and/or daisies!
I love tons of different kinds of flowers, but here are my absolute favourites to plant for cut flowers throughout the year:
Tulips; peonies; daffodils.
Summer Flowers: Roses; ranunculus; daisies
Late Summer/Fall: sunflowers; lavender. (although the lavender is in someone else’s yard since I’ve yet to plant any lavender that blooms!)