Flowers · Indoor

Create a Cutting Garden

Let’s have a show of hands: When you go to the grocery store, do you grab that beautiful bouquet, or wish you could? Then plant a Cutting Garden.

I love having fresh flowers to bring inside the house and to give to friends and neighbors all summer long. It is simple to grow beautiful flowers to cut. The key is planting the right flower or seed in the right spot. Don’t have the right spot, full sun, or the time? No worries! You can always sign up to get Mel’s Green Garden Flower Share all summer long.

But to try your own Cutting Garden, here is the secret to my success:

1. Plant in the right spot. You must have a lot of sun to get the best bouquets. So sometimes that means planting behind your garage, where you don’t get the benefit of seeing it from your kitchen window. But hey, that makes cutting it that much easier.

2. Plant into good soil. For insurance, whether planting seeds or a flat of flowers, I always add some new, good-quality soil or humus in with the old.

3. Plant the right plant. In more than 12 years of gardening, I’ve bought the wrong plants, the high-maintenance ones, and planted the impossible seeds. But after years of learning from my mistakes, I can offer some great show-stoppers for you to try. If I can do it, you can do it! To make a great bouquet plant the following:

Lilies
Dahlias
Snapdragons
Grasses
Ornamental Millet
Autumn Joy
Hydrangeas (Annabelle and Limelight are my favorites.)
Celosia
Cosmos
Peonies
Zinnias

4. Practice succession planting. A great way to have blooms all summer long is to plant both the plant and the seed. I do this with snapdragons, ornamental millet, cosmos and zinnias. Buy the plant and the seed. Plant the plant in the ground and sprinkle the seed around it. By the time your first plant has matured and been cut into a bouquet, your little seedling will be up and growing, almost ready for your next bouquet.

Never forget: Flowers are most beautiful when they are given away!

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