Having fresh cut flowers can bring the cheer and fragrance of a garden into the house, but a beautiful bouquet doesn’t have to be store bought. You can make elegant arrangements from flowers you grow in your own backyard. This spring, try growing some of these flowers for a garden that will provide fresh cut flowers all summer long.
Sunflowers — These fast growing annuals are among the quickest to bloom and are easy to grow. Pick ones about to bloom or already opened and cut them around a foot below the head.
Larkspur — Sometimes referred to as delphinium, the tiny blossoms of these flowers give depth and texture to a bouquet, and the vertical groupings of blossoms make them ideal for tall vases. They come in many colors–most strikingly deep royal blues.
Snapdragons — These annuals come in an array of vivid colors, have thick stems, and add height to your bouquet. Snapdragons continue to produce new blooms after cutting, and are a favorite with children because of their mouth-like petals that can be snapped open and shut.
Daisies — These perennials come in white, purple, pink, blue, and yellow. Hardy and cheerful, they have strong stems that don’t droop and are popular to use in corsages.
Gladiolus — Their silky blossoms are elegant, and like the larkspur, grow vertically in a column. Colors range from delicate pastels to fiery splashes of red and yellow. Cut them after a few of the florets on the stem have begun to open since others will continue opening after cutting.
Peonies — These perennials come in beautiful colors and add fragrance to a bouquet. Try to leave at least two thirds of the blossoms on the plant, and don’t cut off all the leaves as they will fertilize next year’s growth.
Lupin — The unusual and ornamental lupin (or lupine) has butterfly-like flowers that grow in a spiky, vertical column, and come in blue, pink, purple, and white.
Daffodils and Tulips — Both are exceedingly popular for their long sweeping stems and elegant blooms that open early in spring. However, the bulbs must be planted before winter, so they require some extra planning.
Be sure to place all flowers in water immediately after cutting, as air bubbles enter the stems blocking the flow of water to cells. You may want to cut the stem again under water to remove the lowest section where air has already entered. Be sure to cut stems on an angle to increase the area that can take in water. Use a sharp knife instead of scissors so you don’t pinch the stem.