a Cutting Garden
Cutting gardens, which were a normal part of Victorian gardens, are made up of a variety of annuals and perennials, both flowering and foliage, that can be used in flower arrangements. Today, they can fill the need for fresh-cut flowers, either for the home or to offer as a gift.
Most cutting flowers grow best in a full-sun location. Some gardeners prefer a less conspicuous spot because it may not look its best all season, while others make it a part of the overall garden design.
Just about any type of annual, perennial, and some woody shrubs can be cut and brought indoors, but there are some that make exceptionally good cut flowers.
Celosia, or cockscomb, is another good cut flower. The traditional cockscomb types have an odd appearance, but the plume types, also called the feather types, offer a softer look. They produce large, full, plume-like heads that come in a wide range of intense reds, oranges, yellows, and pinks. The 'Sunday' and 'Century' series, which grow to be 28 to 36 inches tall, are good plume types.
The wheat celosias produce flowers that are thinner and spikier, often with a central flower surrounded by smaller spikes. The 'Celway' and 'Enterprise' series are wheat types that grow to 40 to 48 inches.
Helichrysum, also called strawflowers, are valued for their use as dried flowers. The papery textured blooms can be used to add color to indoor arrangements for a long period of time. The 'King' series of helichrysum comes in orange, red, yellow, white, and rose. They tolerate both heat and drought.
Marigolds bloom in the colors of the sun: yellow, orange, gold, and russet. They have graced gardens for generations and are an easy, drought-tolerant garden flower. Cutting marigolds include the 'Gold Coin' series, which can grow to
3 feet tall, and 'Lofty lady,' a large, 4-foot plant that produces 4-inch flowers on long, strong stems.
There are several sunflowers that grow to 3 to 5 feet and produce flowers in a wide array of colors and shapes. 'Pristine Hybrid' produces 4- to 6-inch flowers with
dark centers and bright yellow-orange petals. They are also pollen free. 'Frilly' hybrid is a prolific bloomer, producing 6-inch flowers with ragged, narrow, ray petals and curved secondary petals. 'Little Becka' is a compact sunflower growing to 3 feet tall and produces a profusion of 6-inch flowers with red and gold petals surrounded by a yellow halo.
With a load of bright, vibrant flowers and a love of full sun and heat, zinnias might be one of the premier cut flowers for the home garden. There are a number of long-stemmed, large-flowered varieties available. 'Queen Red Lime' grows to 2 to 3 feet tall and produces flowers with maroon-red
petals with a lime-green center. 'State Fair' is a long-time favorite with 4- to 5-inch flowers in a variety of colors. 'Senora' is a prolific blooming zinnia producing salmon flowers. 'White Wedding' is a brilliant white double zinnia.
To get the most from your flowers, a few simple steps should be taken.
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