Planting A Cutting Garden

Whether you're an enthusiastic flower-arranger who do all of the open-house displays for homes when they're for sale or simply someone who likes to bring a fresh bouquet to friends and relatives staying over in the hospital, you've probably noticed that both artificial and real cut flowers in specialty shops can be very expensive. Prohibitively so if flower arranging is a hobby rather than a profession for you. While it may tick you off that you're being gouged for hobby materials that are alive and doomed to die in a few days, that very same feature of flowers offers you the option of growing your own and cutting out the middle man, so it all evens out.

If you're thinking of planting your own cutting garden at home, here's a quick overview of what you'll need and how to get the best results:

Obviously the first factor that you're going to have to contend with is space. If you own real estate, where most of the houses are detached and have spacious yards, you have nothing to worry about. However, if your home is a town house, condo, or apartment, you may need to think outside the box. If you don't have access to shared community green space or neighbor's garden, consider planting a few of your favorite flowers in a window box or an indoor garden.

Once you've laid out a special space in the leaside of your home or in a communal garden, you'll need to make a trip to a garden supply or growers store for the equipment you'll need during the planting process. While the most important items on your list will be flowers and soil, the other materials you will need include: plant food (to give your flowers that extra little boost), a watering container, a trowel, some work gloves, and of course shears to cut off the blossoms once they have grown in.

Selecting the flowers for your cutting garden is perhaps the most important step. You want to maintain a balance between beautiful blossoms that will look good in a bouquet and enhance the curb appeal of your home with hardy plants to anchor the soil and give texture to your arrangements. The best flowers for cutting gardens are long-stemmed annuals, as cutting their blossoms only encourages their growth. There are dozens of flowers in this subset, with some of the more popular being daisies, petunias, pansies, and sunflowers.

It's also possible to include long blooming perennials like carnations or chrysanthemums in your cutting garden, though you will have to be more judicious about cutting them, as they don't regenerate as fast or bloom as often. Your store should also be able to tell you which flowers are more likely to thrive in your particular local climate. The flowers that do well in Ontario may wilt and die in Arizona and vice versa. Follow the package directions for planting depths and distances for best results and make sure to water regularly, especially during summer drought periods.

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Thursday, June 20, 2024