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.