This year my garden is going to be completely different. Most of you know from previous posts that I am an avid vegetable gardener. This year I will be growing a cut flower garden in the raised beds of the kitchen garden. In August our daughter is getting married! Yes, we are so excited and there is so much to do.
I will be growing flowers to place on the tables and in large planters at the wedding. A florist will prepare the bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding party. I don’t need that stress as it’s hours of work to make bouquets.
I am also growing some flowers for two other weddings, yes I will be busy but I love flowers. Who doesn’t? So how do I get started? First it’s time to get a soil test done and see what amendments I may need to add to the soil. I am also reading some wonderful books on cutting gardens. One of them has been written by Floret Farms and it’s called Cut Flower Garden and the other by Sarah Raven is called The Cutting Garden. It’s important to read these books to get a sense of how planting should be done, how the plants need to be grown and how to condition them for a vase.
You can’t plant just anywhere, you need to take into account the size of the plant, its branching habit and the way it forms its flowers. For example, plants like Cosmos tend to branch out and take up about 18″ of space whereas Snapdragons grow straight up and are narrower. It’s important to know spacing when planting so your flowers don’t get damaged. I have done a garden plan and I think it will work. The taller plants are at the back of each bed so they don’t shade the other flowers.
Another thing to think about is a support system for your flowers. We have all seen our flowers do a face plant on the ground due to rain or wind. If you are growing for cut flowers a support system of stakes, trellising or netting will be needed. I will be on the hunt for a six inch square netting to support the stems of the flowers. It has to be adjustable so I can lift it up as the flowers grow.
It’s not only cut flowers that you will need to make arrangements. Much of an arrangement is foliage and if you have shrubs in your garden they may be just the plant you need. The trend in weddings this year seem to be using more foliage than flowers. I will be growing Eucalyptus for the first time as the bride has requested it. You can also use greenery from the garden. You can choose to use cedar and mix it with eucalyptus or even grab some willow or ninebark branches. Its best to try a few things out ahead of the wedding to get the brides approval.
Once again the blush colour is still popular with brides so I have ordered the Sweetheart Collection of seeds from Floret Farms. Blush is a light pink with beige undertones and there aren’t a lot of flowers to choose from. I will grow a lot of white flowers to be used as fillers and add colour as needed. The roses will have to be ordered in from another country as they are out of season in August. July and August are tough months for flowers as the warm summer days take their toll on them. It’s the annuals that are the stars of the summer garden and are used for weddings.
Here is the list of flowers I am starting in the greenhouse for the new cutting garden:
Zinnia ‘Zinderella Lilac’- Double blooms with a mix of blush and lavender.
Dusty Miller-This hardy annual will give us some silver foliage for the wedding wreaths and garlands.
Amni ‘Green Mist’- A nice filler but I know there is a chocolate Amni out there so I am looking for it.
Globe Amaranth ‘Pastel Mix’- A mix of white, soft pink, rose and lilac these button-shaped flowers can be used fresh or dried.
Cosmos ‘Double Click Mix’- One of my favourites is this double petalled flower in rose, pink and white.
Phlox ‘Blushing Bride’-Clusters of flowers with a warm pink flush on white petals.
China Aster ‘Lady Coral Chamois’-Has peachy blush flowers on long stems.
China Aster ‘Giant Perfection Mix’- A mix of crimson, pink, peach, rose, white and purple annual flowers to 4″ across.
Calendula ‘Zeolights’- Apricot peach flowers with a dark centre.
Gypsophila or baby’s breath-Known as a filler in bouquets this tiny white flower needs no introduction.
Scabiosa ‘Imperial Blend’-An annual flower in pink, white, rose, lavender and maroon.
Zinnia ‘Queeny Lime Orange’- An AAS winner and a lovely peachy coloured flower growing to 36″.
Calendula ‘Strawberry Blonde’-Antique pink and yellow petals on this edible flower.
Candytuft ‘Fairyland Dwarf Mix’- Filler flower in shades of pink, white, red and lavender.
Zinnia ‘Envy’- The green flowers on this plant are perfect for bouquets.
Zinnia ‘Mazurkia’- A bicolour zinnia with red petals tipped in cream.
Salvia ‘Queen Mix’-Rosy pink and violet flowers. Perennial so it may not bloom in the first year.
Eucalyptus ‘Silver Dollar Tree’-Easy to grow and will be used in garland and wreaths.
Amaranth or Love Lies Bleeding- If you want drama in the garden this annual is for you. Cascades of rose coloured flowers hang down creating a dramatic effect.
Celosia-This annual can’t be beat. Not only can it be used fresh or dried, it is loved by bees. Rose, pink and white spiky blooms on this Celosia.
Snapdragon Mix-Easy annual in a mix of colours. One of the first seeds to be planted in early spring so may need to do successive plantings.