Great gardens don’t just fill outdoor vistas with scenes of beauty; they also spill over to fill inside settings with color. Bring the best of the garden indoors this season by growing posies perfect for picking. There are many beautiful bloomers that will open blossom after blossom when started from seed, and you don’t need years of gardening experience under your belt to raise them. Get your clippers and vases ready – it’s time to grow bouquets from seed!
Steps to an easy cutting garden
There is no great trick to raising flowers for fresh bouquets. Just follow our basic guide to growing great blooms, and you’ll be picking petalled stems for arrangements all summer long.
For some bloomers, like sunflowers, zinnia and tithonia, you can simply tuck seeds into beds once the soil has warmed in spring. If you garden where the growing season is short, start seeds indoors about four to six weeks before your area’s last frost date.
Most flowers that are perfect for picking – cosmos, zinnia, bachelor’s-buttons – love the sun. Place your bouquet-bound bloomers in a spot that receives at least four hours of sun. The more sun, the more flowers.
The best soil for our seed-grown flowers is rich and well drained, pleasingly plump with organic matter and lots of worms! The exception to that rule is for nasturtiums, which thrive in lean soil. If these edible-blossomed beauties get too much nutrition, they stop flowering and just produce lots of leaves.
Wondering if your soil is rich enough? Just mix in some organic matter (compost, composted manure or leaves) before you sow seeds or seedlings. Midway through the growing season, add a little more compost around plants. Do the same when you remove stems at the end of the growing season.
Water, water everywhere
As plants grow and produce flower buds, they require a steady supply of water to keep blooms forming and unfolding. It’s best to give plants about an inch of water per week if rains are scarce.
Pick the posies
Be passionate about cutting your flowers (a pair of pruners makes this job a cinch) and using them in bouquets. The more you pick, the more flowers you’ll get! Whatever you do, don’t let plants go to seed, or else the blossom show will grind to a halt.
Don’t always set your heart on creating an extravagant arrangement of mixed blossoms. Sometimes it’s fun to showcase a single blossom by floating it in a bowl of water. Or maybe you’ll want to gather tiny-flowered jewels, like pansies, and give them center stage. And don’t overlook fragrant gems like sweet peas, tuberoses or nicotiana. One fragrant stem in an arrangement can scent an entire room.