Does anyone do a cutting garden and what do you grow?

caryltoo Z7/SE PAJanuary 31, 2013

Last year I decided to grow a patch of flowers just for cutting. Following lists I found on different websites I tried nigella, bishops lace, bachelor buttons, cape daisy, feverfew, stock, dahlias and of course zinnias and sunflowers and scabiosa. The only ones that were really great were the zinnias, the sunflower and the cape daisies. The nigella, scabiosa and feverfew seemed kind of flimsy for cutting, and the damn bunny ate the bishop's lace almost as soon as I put it out -- nothing else, just that -- so I have no idea how that would be.

Does anyone grow flowers that will bloom this year and are great for cutting? Thanks.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I grow daisies, coneflowers, peonies, dahlias, sunflowers, gerbera daisies, zinnias, cosmos for cutting. As you said, the flowers need to be able to hold their own. Cosmos are not great for cutting, but I put them in teeny weeny vases that hold only one stem, and it works. I'd leave the feverfew, scabiosa and all the others you mentioned to the bees in the garden.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I find Annuals are the best, but I do cut my roses, I also cut wildflowers too. Cutting promotes branching and more blooms.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 9:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't grow specific for a cutting garden, but I find that the majority of my perennials (over 100 variety) will do just fine to make a nice mixed bouquet. Last summer on weekends my 6 year old granddaughter would walk the flower gardens at the cabin and we'd cut whatever was blooming and would make a few bouquets. We had gorgous bouquets all summer - mixed bouquets have always been my favorite. Even if the cutting is a bit flimsy, they help as filler and other stiffer stems will hold them up too.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
caryltoo Z7/SE PA

Thanks. I'm leaning towards annuals, too. My perennial garden is right off the patio and I don't want to take the flowers from there. My coneflowers, which I grew for the first time last year, did not bloom. A few are overwintering in a container outside and will go in two of my planters so I don't have to deal with annuals there anymore. I hope the few I put in the perennial bed make it through the winter. The dogs have taken to romping through the dead garden and though I shoo them out when I catch them, they could be damaging the younger plants that went in last summer.

Diva, I love peonies and have five out front, but their bloom season is so short and they're so nice and showy that I don't cut them.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The peonies do have a short bloom period but they last pretty long as a cut flower. They look beautiful mixed with a spikier flower, I use Rocky Mountain Penstemon. That one can be wintersown and bloomed slightly 1st year, gorgeous with bigger round or flat type blooms and such a beautiful color. Makes a nice, big clump pretty quickly, too.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

I would have one if I had more full sun! I hardly have any, so what sun there is in the back yard is devoted to the veggie garden, and the butterfly annuals, and a few Sunflowers. In the front there is also a little sun, but those are more ornamental gardens.

I would grow annuals, such as Zinnias, Sunflowers, Cosmos, Tithonia, and whatever else my heart desired. But I don't even fantasize about it, because of the dang trees. I have a terrible case of sun envy...

The farms down the street grow big patches of Sunflowers, Cleome, Zinnias, etc. like this:

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 1:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diggerdee zone 6 CT

I grow lots of stuff for cutting. Just looked at my WSing records from last year, and here is what I grew:

ageratum (3 kinds)
amaranthus (8 different kinds)
snaps (several kinds, but Animation, Rocket, and Giant Bouquet are a bit taller)
Chinese asters (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these - very elegant and long-lasting flowers! Grew 17 types last year! Just wish they were a bit taller)
Bells of Ireland
Celosia (several varieties)
dahlias (lots of these - grew many from WSown seed)
Sweet william
feverfew (several varieties - I find these indispensable for fillers - just wished they bloomed a bit later and longer, although I get shorter rebloom later in season)
gomphrena (another lovely filler)
hungarian broom corn - AWESOME plant, very unusual, and great for fall arrangements)
marigolds (I use the taller varieties in bouquets)
poppies (looks great to use the seed heads/pods as well)
rudbeckias galore! (12 varieties)
statice (another great filler)
tithonia (but I can't always get this to last in the vase...)
sunflowers (of course!)
zinnias (of course!)

I also have some perennials that I use:
coneflowers (I find these can either last weeks or hours..???)
phlox (LOVE this - fragile but very fragrant & long-lasting)
lilies (GORGEOUS! - but I try to grow ones that aren't too fragrant. They can really be overpowering)
roses (of course, but most of mine are not teas so I don't get the long stems)
hydrangeas (another really long lasting beautiful bloom)
hosta blooms (nice, unexpected fillers - looks really great to use a big variegated hosta leaf in the bouquet too)
peonies (long-lasting and gorgeous)
Queen Anne's Lace (quite gorgeous & elegant filler)

I think that's most of it, although I've been know to try anything (including weeds!) if I need to fill out a bouquet.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 4:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
caryltoo Z7/SE PA

What a great list, Dee. Are your ageratum tall? The only seed varieties I found were short so I didn't order them. And of course I have ruds, roses, and poppies as well, and the bishop's lace and something called laceflower are related to Queen Anne's but with (supposedly) stronger stems. I'm off to look up some of the others you mentioned. Thanks.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
caryltoo Z7/SE PA

Terrene, the Amish around these parts grow flowers like your farmers. That's a perfect example of what I mean by a cutting garden -- rows of flowers grown like a crop just for cutting.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Digerdee, that is almost the same list I would write! I bet we have similiar gardens.

A few additions:
Annuals: I grow a couple of different kinds of amaranths around the property and always include some in flower Bouquets. Also, there are a zillion kinds of zinnia. The assortment of shapes is interesting in the vase.
Ageratum DOES come tall enough for cutting.I can't find the name of the one I've been growing and collecting seeds from each year. But google tall variety argeratum - it'll come up.

I'd add coreopsis varieties and Salvia Varieties too, to the perennial list, and lychnis varities too. And tall phlox! And and and ...

I garden for a house full of flowers, for bouquets to take to friends, to give the butterflies and bees lots of nector. Sometimes people comment that I should add more bushes/everygreens to my beds to give them more interest in winter, and less work for me in Spring. But then I think...thats less real estate avialable for summer flowers!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 4:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diggerdee zone 6 CT

Nan, good point about the salvia. I love salvia farinacea(sp?) Victoria Blue, but it can be on the short side. (I tend to like tall bouquets!) But the color is gorgeous and it's such a pretty flower. I tried Blue Bedder last year as it's supposed to be very similar to Victoria but a bit taller, but I don't think I got good germination, or I lost the seedlings, or *something*.... bottom line was I didn't have any blooms.

Herbs can be nice in bouquets too. Dill, the flowers of basil (especially the purple varieties), oregano, and one lacy thing whose name is completely eluding me at the moment. My favorite bouquet is some deep purple (not blue, but really a nice purple) hydrangea, orange tiger lilies, and a sprig of chartreuse dill. Very simple, very striking, and the colors are wonderful.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 6:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Anything can be used...

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 7:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I second Dees suggestion on the herbs. I use a lot of mint and parsley as filler in my bouquets. In fact I often have just a bouquet of mint on my table.

I tend to stick to zinnias and marigolds for my annuals. I have lots of gerbera daisies. But those are on my patio and I often refuse to cut them. For perennials - have Shasta Daisy and Rudbeckia been mentioned? And Gladiolas. I have lots of irises and Lillie's - so tend to use a lot of those. Especially when the stems break.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diggerdee zone 6 CT

Bronze fennell! That's what I was trying to think of. I actually am not in love with this plant in bouquets, but it amazes me how others seem to love it. It does have a nice airy look to it, so I can see why people would like it, although my preference would be for something else.

And yes, of course, pixie lou - how could I forget mint while talking about fragrant herbs?!


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
growsy(8b GA)

Last year I started my first cutting garden. I planted:

several types of zinnia
bachelor's buttons
ammi majus
mexican hats
sweet peas
verbena bonarensis
shasta daisy
dahlias &

Everything was from seed/bulb & I had mixed success. This year I'm doing a lot of the same plants, but wintersowing.

My flower garden is in a 15' x 12' bed which gets morning shade on one side & some afternoon shade on the other.

I had pretty good germination on my seeds. Most of my dahlias came up, but I didn't notice any blooms. Almost none of my sweet peas came up, & although most of my glads came up my mix from Lowes gave me only two colors (& not the ones I was hoping for).

I'm a west-coaster still getting used to an east-coast garden. I saw plans from gardner's supply for a small cutting garden with the plants pretty tightly packed & thought that would work here, but we have a much longer season & more heat. Some things didn't do so well, & toward the end I had a lot of mold on my plants. The stand-outs were the zinnias, cosmos & the sunflowers. I'm hoping that the perennials that survived make a showing this year. Actually, the stock already is - it just started blooming last week! I thought the nicotiana was lovely in the garden but not good for the vase & I ended pulling it out. I'm not sorry I did, because not only did it re-seed like crazy, it spread by its roots & I'm still finding it poking up all over from little bits I left behind.

Around Christmas I pulled out all the bulbs & moved some of the perennials. Then I planted a bunch of bulbs I got at Lowes at 75% off. They are coming up now & I love to go out in the morning & see if any new ones have poked their heads up. So far the dutch irises, freesias, paper whites, & ranunculas are up. The daffodils, tulips, bearded irises & glads are just starting to show. I filled in some empty space with two discounted flats (one dianthus & one violas) while I wait for my seedlings to be ready to plant out. I have some sweet peas up this year, & will be starting more this month. I read a post here on the gw about surface sowing, & I'm hoping that will help my germination rate with sweet peas.

Currently I have I think all of the above mentioned plants sown in milk jugs, along with calendula, lupine, love-in-a-mist, bells of Ireland, snaps, & ballonflower. I don't really have enough space! I wish I had more friends here who like gardening.

The thing that I enjoyed most was sharing the flowers with my dd. We were constantly filling little vases (made by my mother when she was a girl) for her & she loved having her "flowies." Next I loved seeing all the butterflies & birds, & even a hummingbird from time to time. The garden was full of butterflies - mostly black swallowtails. They then flew to the other side of the house & laid eggs on my parsley, & when the caterpillars had eaten all that they ate the leaves off my pepper plants. This year I am trying to plant some cat food in its own spot. We couldn't believe the number of cats crawling all over that small bed! I've read up a little on the butterfly forum to figure out what to provide, & will do my best, but boy - they show some dedication over there!

I wish I were a better gardener, but I tend to go in fits & spurts, with other areas of life taking over my attention at different times. I'm great at planning & getting things started, not so good at the tending over the long haul. I envy all the lush gardens I see in photos on gw. However, I'll keep at it. One day you'll see my lush garden in photos here! :)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 1:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

Growsy, I can't believe you have stuff blooming now?? Stock?

That is very cute that you cut the flowies with your DD!

I raise Monarchs and Swallowtails, started out some years back thinking I would like to grow some perennials that attracted butterflies and hummingbirds and it grew from there. Rearing butterflies is a hobby that sucks you in big time. Your DD would probably love it.

I am surprised that your Black swallowtail cats ate pepper leaves?? Never heard of that. There are lots of pretty Black Swallowtail host plants that are easy to start from seed. One that tolerates both heat and cold very well is Rue - Ruta graveolens. It's also perennial. Not a good cutting plant though. Dill has pretty flowers and seedheads for cutting, but fades out quickly in the heat.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 7:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
growsy(8b GA)

Hi Terrene!

I think it was one of your posts that got me really looking at the butterfly forum. I know DD would love to raise some butterflies, but when I read that you get up at night to feed them - ack! :) But I might end up there..

I read, after our experience, that though they have their favorite foods the cats will eat what they can get. I think in this case they started on the parsley, but there were so many cats that they had to go in search of food. The only other options in the bed were peppers & basil & a couple of tiny tomato plants. Now that I think about it, they ate the leaves off the tomatoes, too, but I'm pretty sure they left the basil alone. There were so many cats that I wouldn't let the kids walk around that bed - some had climbed out & were on the grass.

I'm planning to grow more parsley, dill & fennel. I don't have any rue & I'm not sure if I'll be able to get some before the season, but maybe by next year. I'm just expecting that those will be for them & I'll probably have to get ours at the store. It's worth it.

A gal offered some milkweed for a sase & I took her up on it. I didn't see any monarchs & I'd like to. I'd also like to get some photos this year. We had lots of other little butterflies but I couldn't tell you what kind.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 8:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
terrene(5b MA)

Well, the main reason I get up at night is because there are a lot of 5th instar cats munching away at once. The big ones eat a lot of food and it can run out over night. Last summer I released 210 Monarchs, and at the peak had 40-50 4th ad 5th instars going at once. Also, I have insomnia and my son and tenant are night owls, so I get up anyway. But if there aren't too many cats then you can space out the feedings and not have to be up at night.

That is amazing you had so many caterpillars. You must not have many predators in your gardens - wasps are a big predator of caterpillars, and birds like Black swallowtail cats too. It's also possible that there aren't a lot of host plants growing in your neighborhood, so they capitalized on your garden. For future reference, organic parsley purchased at the grocery or farmstand can work, as long as they haven't use BT (an organic spray for caterpillars).

I have mature gardens, which fosters a diversity of insects and there so many insect predators that the small caterpillars don't last long if I don't bring them inside. It's a jungle out there!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 12:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
caryltoo Z7/SE PA

Johnny's seed catalog just arrived and it has a whole section on cut flowers. Almost everything mentioned here is in there, including the tall ageratum.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 5:16PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Is it too late?
Is it too late to do any WS? I figured I'd use moist...
Help with sedum sprouts.
I posted on the succulent forum, but got no help. I...
docmom_gw Zone 5 MI
Where did everyone go?
I know lots of folks are on the FB WS group but where...
Official Winter Sowing Count Zone Wars 2014-2015 #2:
Game of Zone 2014-2015 Link:This is the continuation...
anybody have sprouts in jersey yet?
is anyone seeing sprouts in zones 5 &6? I put...
Sponsored Products
Red Rose Garden Quilt Set
Momeni Persian Garden PG-11 3' x 5' Multi Rug
$199.00 | PlushRugs
Gothic 4 Light Three-Light Pendant In Bronze
$359.10 | Bellacor
Medium Origami Throw Pillow Cover in White
$59.99 | Dot & Bo
Lucerne Lion's Head Electric Fountain
Grandin Road
Secret Garden Area Rug - 2'x 3'
Grandin Road
Three Scribble Sticky Notes
$11.00 | Horchow
Garden Party | Kanpazar 150
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™