Buy, Sell, Cherish

A Banquet of Bouquets from Your Cutting Garden

A cutting garden offers a feast of blooms for any indoor arrangement. Imagine bringing the beauty of summer inside your home with flowers freshly cut from your garden every morning. A separate cutting garden is an ideal that most of us do not have the space for, but that should not stop you from planting a garden with indoor bouquets in mind.

Use shrub-sized perennials that can act not only as foundation plants in a garden's borders but also provide flowers and foliage for summer arrangements around the home.

Take Cuttings

Use both flowers and foliage for interesting arrangements. Later in the season, use berries. When cutting, choose sparingly from each plant. Judicious pruning will actually make a plant more shapely and encourage more blooms.

Cut flowers before they are fully open.Flowers stay freshest when cut with sharp shears in the cool of early morning or late evening. Place them immediately in water and let them soak for half a day.

When you're ready to arrange them, snip off a quarter of an inch from each stem and add some kind of flower preservative to the water.

Start with Foliage

Begin any arrangement with foliage, which gives dimension and interest to bouquets, and cuts down on the number of flowers needed. Ornamental grasses, hostas and ferns all add interesting foliage to arrangements.

Scented geraniums have beautiful, fragrant foliage and come in many varieties. Some are lacy, some have burgundy centers and some have small flowers.

Variegated ivy makes a casual, tumbling bouquet. Plumosa contributes a delicate, airy feel to an arrangement. Pittosporum offers a simple, natural effect while dusty millers give a cool look with their pointed, lacy silver leaves.

Add Flowers

After youve decided on foliage, you can get creative with the flowers. There are many beautiful flowers to choose from, whether they come from bulbs, perennials, annuals, or shrubs. Here are a few ideas.

Dahlias come in an extensive palette of colors and shapes and give gorgeous flowers all season long. Dahlias take a bit of care, but they are worth the effort. Plant several types: waterlily, pom pom, dinnerplate, cactus, etc., and youll have enough flowers for all your arrangements and to give to friends.

Showy perennials at their best in summer include hydrangeas in white, pink or blue for big bouquets, calla lilies for a dramatic bud vase and lavender for its soothing scent and purple flowers.

Sprigs of potted herbs make pretty arrangements; use them in the kitchen for flavoring dishes and for ornamenting counters.

Indian hawthorn has delicate summer flowers in white or pink that give way to beautiful black berries in the fall. Leptospermum gives long-lasting, bright flowers that will dry in place.

Bougainvillea offers intense colors of fuchsia and purple - just the thing for a fun summer barbecue. But, theyll only last one night.

And where would summer be without the rose? This plant's highly prized flowers are among the biggest and most beautiful, and some can bloom continuously throughout the summer. The rose is a true superstar, offering a huge selection from the delicate buds of hybrid teas to the complex majesty of English roses in colors ranging from a whisper to a shout. Antique and heirloom roses make gloriously scented bouquets.

Final Touches

Later in the season, you can also add cuttings with berries to your arrangements. Supplement any of your bouquet's bare spots with store-bought blooms.

Centerpiece Ideas

The rose reigns again. Fill a vase with rose petals and float a candle on top.

For last minute barbecues, clip some strands of sweet-scented jasmine and wrap them around a hurricane lamp for a quick centerpiece.

Intertwine passionflower vines with votive candles, and then trail the exotic three-dimensional flowers with their foliage along a table for a simple, yet striking arrangement.

For a beautiful arrangement of flowers and water, float a camellia or gardenia bloom in an ornamental bowl. A few gardenias can perfume an entire room with their heavenly scent.

Let your imagination soar when choosing flowers, foliage and berries from your garden to use when creating bouquets and centerpieces. Enjoy bringing the beauty and variety of nature into your home.

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