Bring the beauty of your garden inside! Cut flowers brighten homes, dress up events, and make delightful gifts with their fragrance and charm.
Many plants benefit from having their blooms cut back before their flowers fade. Removing flowers sends signals to the plants to produce more flowers rather than putting energy into seed production. Once a plant has begun making seeds, its flower production can dwindle.
When deciding which flowers to take from your garden there are several questions you should ask yourself such as:
- How long do you want the arrangement to last?
- How large or tall is the vase in which the flowers will be displayed?
- Do you want a simple or complex arrangement?
If you want the arrangement to last a day or two for a single event then most flowers will work fine, as most will last at least 24 hours. Other flowers can last a long time in a vase, such as asters, baby's breath, delphiniums, echinacea, lavender, sunflowers, and zinnias. See a complete list of cutting flowers here.
The size of the vase will help determine which flowers to pick from the garden. Some flowers like larkspur and lupines will need a tall vase while other flowers like calendulas and sweet peas could be displayed in a short vase. Be sure to leave enough room on the stalk to allow for multiple trimmings at the base. You should also consider the size of the room. Larger vases or a grouping of smaller vases look better in big/open rooms while smaller vases look better in small spaces.
If you want your cut flowers to command attention, consider a complex arrangement. Use the same guidelines as you would for creating a container—add thrillers, spillers, and fillers. Thrillers are center-stage flowers like snapdragons and delphiniums. Spillers are flowers that hang over the vase's edge, like love-lies-bleeding and sweet peas. This draws the eye downward and increases the overall size of the arrangement. Fillers serve to fill the empty space between the thrillers and spillers. These varieties include baby's breath, amaranth, bachelor's button, and Canterbury bells.
TIPS: Don't forget to strip the foliage to the water line and change the water completely every two days. For more tips on preserving cut flowers, see our article, Making Cut Flowers Last Longer.
We'd love to see how creative you get with your cut flower arrangements. Hashtag your creations with #botanicalinterests.