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Plant Choices for Continuous Flowering

Embracing the Beauty of a Cutting Garden

If you’re like me, you’ve probably admired those lush, vibrant cutting gardens that seem to bloom from spring to fall. The thought of having a never-ending supply of fresh-cut flowers for your home has likely crossed your mind more than once. But where do you even start? What plants should you choose to ensure a continuous display of color and life in your garden?

Well, my fellow flower-loving friends, I’m here to share my expertise and guide you through the process of creating your own enchanting cutting garden. Grab a cup of coffee (or your preferred garden-planning beverage) and let’s dive in!

Understanding the Cut Flower Mindset

First things first, let’s talk about the cutting garden mentality. As Three Acre Farm so eloquently puts it, “Cutting gardens are utilitarian. They are working spaces, not display gardens.” The whole purpose is to cut those blooms and enjoy them in vases, not admire them on the plant.

This can be a bit of a mindset shift for those of us who are used to designing picture-perfect landscaping. But trust me, once you get a taste of that endless supply of cut flowers, you’ll be hooked! Just imagine the joy of creating vibrant arrangements to adorn your home, share with friends, or even sell at your local farmers market.

Choosing the Right Cut Flower Candidates

Now, let’s talk about the key qualities we’re looking for in our cut flower champions. According to Three Acre Farm, the ideal cut flower should have:

  1. Tall Stems: Aiming for a minimum of 12-18 inches, with a preference for 24 inches or more. This gives you plenty of flexibility when arranging your bouquets.

  2. Long Vase Life: We want flowers that can last at least 5 days in a vase, with some exceptions for “event flowers” that may have a shorter lifespan but are worth the tradeoff.

  3. Extended Blooming Season: Ideally, we’re looking for plants that will bloom for at least 2-4 weeks during the season. This helps us maximize the use of our precious garden space.

With these criteria in mind, let’s dive into some of the best cut flower options to consider for your garden.

Annual Delights: The Backbone of the Cutting Garden

When it comes to building a cutting garden, annuals are often the backbone. As Three Acre Farm points out, annuals are generally easy to grow from seed, inexpensive, and require minimal maintenance. These characteristics make them the perfect starting point for beginner cut flower gardeners.

Some of my personal favorite annual cut flower options include:

  • Cosmos: These cheerful, long-stemmed blooms come in a range of vibrant hues and have an impressive vase life of 5-7 days.
  • Sunflowers: Who doesn’t love the sunny, happy faces of these garden giants? They can reach up to 6 feet tall and last for over a week in a vase.
  • Zinnias: These bold, vibrant flowers come in a rainbow of colors and have a 5-7 day vase life. They’re also incredibly easy to grow from seed.

The best part? You can sow these annuals directly in your garden in the spring and enjoy a continuous wave of blooms all summer long. It’s the perfect way to fill your cutting garden with color and delight.

Extending the Season with Biennials and Bulbs

While annuals may be the backbone, you can add some diversity and extend your cutting garden’s flowering season by incorporating biennials and bulbs into the mix.

Biennials, as Three Acre Farm explains, require two seasons to set their blooms. In the first year, they focus on foliage and root development, and then they flower in the second year before dying back. While this means they take up space for a longer period, the stunning blooms of plants like Columbine, Foxglove, and Sweet William can be well worth the investment.

Bulbs, on the other hand, offer a burst of early-season color that can beautifully complement your annuals. Think Daffodils, Dahlias, and Ranunculus – these underground plant structures provide a vibrant display before many of your other cut flowers have even started to bloom.

The key with both biennials and bulbs is to plan ahead and strategically incorporate them into your cutting garden design. That way, you can ensure a continuous parade of fresh-cut blooms from spring through fall.

Perennial Powerhouses: Long-Term Investments

While annuals and biennials/bulbs provide the backbone and seasonal interest, perennials can be a valuable addition to your cutting garden as well. As Le Jardinet Designs notes, perennials can offer multi-season interest and minimal care requirements, making them a natural fit for the cutting garden.

Some of the perennial superstars I’ve had great success with include:

  • Rozanne Geranium: This hardy geranium blooms from late spring through Thanksgiving, with minimal deadheading required.
  • Walkers Low Catmint: A prolific, fragrant bloomer that’s deer and rabbit resistant, with the potential for a mid-summer refresh.
  • Erigeron ‘Profusion’: A delicate, daisy-like flower that provides a carpet of color from spring to frost.

The key with perennials is to carefully select varieties that meet your cutting garden’s needs – long bloom times, disease resistance, and minimal maintenance. With the right choices, these long-term investments can become the reliable anchors in your ever-evolving cutting garden.

Bringing it All Together

Now that you’ve got a solid grasp on the different types of cut flower candidates, it’s time to start planning your dream cutting garden. Remember, the goal is to create a space that provides you with a continuous supply of fresh, vibrant blooms to enjoy in your home or share with others.

Start by assessing your garden’s conditions – how much sun exposure do you have, what’s the soil like, and what kind of critters might be lurking about? Armed with that information, you can make strategic choices to ensure your cut flower plants thrive.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things – that’s part of the fun! And be sure to check out the resources at Today’s Gardens for even more inspiration and guidance on creating your dream cutting garden.

Happy planting, my fellow flower enthusiasts! I can’t wait to see the stunning arrangements you’ll create with the bounty from your very own cutting garden.

Today’s Garden is Garden and Landscape Company, provides all you need about Garden and Landscape Design to get better garden decorations.

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