Cut Flowers for the Garden
Flower bouquets make everyone smile, and why not indulge yourself each day by creating flower arrangements from your own garden? Plants that look great in a flower border also do well as cut flowers. Think beyond annual flowers, like dahlias, gerbera daisies, zinnias and snapdragons, and expand into perennials, woody plants and even vines.
Perennials that last are bee balm, coneflower, iris, peony, yarrow, Shasta daisies and liatris, just to name a few. Woody plants include, of course, roses, but also false indigo, lilacs, hydrangeas and forsythia. But don't forget the greens! Plants that add texture and green are ferns, holly, peony foliage, ivy, hostas, and evergreens like pine and arborvitae.
Avoid harvesting flowers during the heat of day; morning or evening is best. Bring a bucket of water into the garden with you, along with a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears. Cut each stem on an angle and remove any foliage that will be submerged in the water. If you don't plan to arrange the flowers immediately, keep them in a cool location, like the basement or a shaded porch. Prior to arranging, give each stem a fresh cut.
Cut flowers from the garden can last anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. Change the water regularly and give the stems fresh cuts to maximize water uptake.
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Updated Friday, August 08, 2014