There is nothing quite like picking the perfect rose from your garden and taking it inside the house to enjoy, that is unless you are like me and feel they are too precious to take from the garden!
Maybe you could consider growing your own cutting garden. It does not have to be large, just a sunny corner of the garden that is set aside, or a raised bed filled with your favourite flowers for you to harvest guilt free to decorate your home.
Choose a simple colour palette with flowers that will look good together in harmonious colour combinations and that flower in succession through the summer and into autumn. Select flowers that have a variety of different bloom shapes and sizes which will add interest to your display.
Start by preparing your area. Find a spot that is well drained and has at least 6 hours of sunshine a day. Ensure it is weed free and well mulched with compost or organic matter to get your plants off to a good start.
From early spring, the bulbs that you planted the previous autumn and have over-wintered will be the first of your bounty. Tulips, Daffodils and Alliums will take you nicely on to the first of your annual and perennial choices. Plants that have long stems make the best cut flowers and remember to include within your planting plan some plants to use as foliage.
Early flowering perennials like Peonies, Iris and Sweet William make a great choice, but once they have flowered that is it. Complement these with some long-lived varieties like Shasta Daisies and Delphiniums that if cut back after the first flush of flowers, they will bloom again.
Other early perennials to choose from include Lupins, Salvias and Alstroemerias that will take you nicely through to late summer and into early autumn with Echinacea, Phlox, Rudbeckia, Aster and Dahlia.
Annuals are the perfect choice for cut flowers, and if you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse where you can start your seeds off early before transferring them to their growing bed, just check the seed packets for the best time to sow. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to annuals, from Cornflowers to Cosmos to Calendula, Larkspur and Sweet Peas there is something to suit everyone’s taste.
Remember to include some plants for foliage to compliment your bouquet, Heuchera come in many shades from lime green to caramel to a deep plum almost black and their leaves will make a striking foil to your blooms. The silver Artemisia look great when coupled with blue and purple flowers and not forgetting the gorgeous lime green of Lady’s Mantle that gives any bunch a romantic look.
Hopefully, this has inspired you to have a go, just remember to keep dead heading flowers and stake them if required. Then ensure they are harvested and watered regularly and what could be nicer and more satisfying than a gorgeous vase of flowers you grew yourself!
Until next time