The Ultimate Reward – From the Cut Flower Garden to the Vase

Just as a room is transformed by introducing green, growing plants, bringing flowers into your home enriches it with elements of beauty that are welcoming. The climate becomes warmer, friendlier and a place where people love to be. As we appreciate these gifts from nature their many colors and fragrances give our spirits a lift.

There is a genuine feeling of satisfaction achieved when arranging the variety of blooms harvested from the personal cut flower garden you’ve created. Some thoughtful planning will ensure delightful bouquets. Four important aspects to consider when selecting the plants or seeds for your garden are color, setting/size, season and scent (if desired). Bloom color could be chosen to coordinate or compliment room color. Possibly a cheerful display of mixed colors or even just a solitary color is your preference.

The details of matching the right size of the bouquet to the setting are essential. The size of a bouquet should be in proportion to the area it is to enhance. For example, taller, larger bouquets are a statement when placed on a kitchen island. Keeping the bouquet below eye level will allow good conversation around a dining room table. Mini bouquets are fun in the powder room and letting your house guest know how glad you are to see them by placing one of your garden bouquets in their quarters will bring a smile.

Depending on what seasons you hope to cut flowers and foliage will help determine what selections you will make in planning your garden. Early blooming bulbs planted in the fall such as daffodils, tulips and hyacinth will extend the cutting period by giving you color as early as April. Forcing flowering branches of forsythia, magnolia, and lilac in February and March also help bring spring indoors a little earlier. Ornamental grass plumes, sedum heads, echinacea, and asters all provide good late season cuts. Plant selection that stays in sync with Mother Nature offers a gradual change of choices as the cut flower season advances, stimulating creativity.

If a soothing or invigorating fragrance is desired this can be found in not only blooms but also in foliage. Arranging bunches of lavender, bee balm, roses, oriental lilies, lily of the valley or even herbs such as mint or rosemary will bring satisfying results.

Incorporating the use of a combination of annuals, perennials, bulbs and even shrubs creates an interesting collection of cuts to work with. Annuals perform throughout the summer months giving a succession of color. Many perennials re-bloom and provide flower shapes not found in annuals. Summer blooming bulbs such as gladiolus and allium have unique characteristics. Several bloom head colors and shapes are found in the different varieties of hydrangea shrubs available. Hydrangea blooms offer long lasting vase life.

It’s key to use several different bloom shapes including spikes, daisy shaped, tubular, cup, cluster, ball, flat, spider and trumpet in a cut flower garden design. Some plants also offer interesting seed heads after blooming that work well into a bouquet like baptisia, the annual poppy, Siberian iris and the hyacinth bean vine. Filler for the garden bouquets is produced from foliage of variegated solomon’s seal, heuchera, baptisia, ferns, grasses, and coleus.

Whether your goal is to fill your home with simple bouquets with a minimum of fuss, or ones with an artistic flair, the beauty of flowers is beneficial to us when a part of our daily lives. They can help us connect with others by sharing a gift of garden flowers arranged in a jelly jar to a friend or neighbor. Our passion for gardening and its’ bounty, from the garden to the vase, gives us the ultimate reward.

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