Making Smarter Landscaping Choices

Tips For Growing A Cutting Garden

The perfect cutting garden provides you with at least three seasons of fresh flowers when planned properly. Not only will these gardens look beautiful in the landscape, they will also lend themselves well to bouquets and arrangements indoors. The following tips can help you create the perfect cutting garden.   

Tip #1: Start with backbone plants

Shrubs and tall-growing flowers provide the best backbones to a cutting garden. These will provide greenery from spring through fall, providing a backdrop to the parade of flowers and filling in when blooms are sparse. Hydrangea shrubs provide an attractive backbone, along with flowers. If you grow an endless summer variety, you can have blooms over several months to cut and enjoy, along with the beauty of the shrub itself. Peonies are another excellent backbone. Although they only provide flowers for a short time, their shrubby greenery provides a lovely backdrop. The blooms are also well suited for cutting and displaying. 

Tip #2: Plant for three seasons

Your cutting garden should include a selection of early bloomers, such as tulips and daffodils, along with all of the summer favorites. These can include large-blossomed dahlias, stately lilies, and brightly colored gerbera daisies. For fall, look to black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, and chrysanthemums for colors. If you desperately want a fourth season, you can add pansies in a mild climate. For cold climates, skip the flowers and plant colorful ornamental kale that you can harvest for the leaves.

Tip #3: Don't forget your fillers

The best flower arrangements are more than just flowers. You also need your fillers and spillers. Ornamental grasses are especially attractive in both the garden and the bouquet. Dusty miller, with it's muted green leaves, is a favorite for bed borders and to fill a vase. Delicate groundcovers, like creeping thyme or small-leaf ivy, can cover bare spots in the landscape and be snipped to spill over the edge of pots.

Tip #4: Pay attention to care requirements

Once you have your selection of flowers planned, plan for the garden design itself. Group your plant selections by cultural needs – namely sun and water requirements. Group shade-loving plants together in the shadiest part of the landscape, and ensure sun-loving plants are in a location with full sunlight. You can also place shade-desiring plants beneath larger plants, such as the impatiens beneath the hydrangea shrub. For irrigation purposes, make sure that those that need drier soil, like lavender, are planted in the best draining areas of the landscape.

Contact a local landscape designer (such as Dansons Landscaping Inc) for more help in planning the perfect cutting garden.