What is the best gift you've received recently? Last week a neighbor gave me a colorful arrangement of cut flowers from her garden, and it was the best gift I've received in a long time. As they sat in a vase on my desk they cheered me, reminded me of the gifts of summertime, and encouraged me to expand my garden to include more flowers.
Garden Flower Varieties for Your Vase
photo of cosmos via Shutterstock
Cosmos are easy enough to grow that even beginning gardeners can have great success with them. They like to grow in full sun, but if you live in extreme heat then they will appreciate some late afternoon shade.
Generally tolerant of most growing conditions, if you live in a windy area (i.e. along the coast with sea breezes) consider protecting them from the wind.
Cosmos thrive in soil that's amended with compost, but they're tolerant of less-rich soils as well. Evenly water the soil being careful to not over water; cosmos are more drought tolerant than other flowers.
Deadhead (pinch off flowers that are past their prime) as needed and stake if they grow too tall.
photo of feverfew via Shutterstock
Feverfew is also known as bachelor's buttons, and they grow especially well in outdoor containers.
Whether you start your seeds indoors or outside, don't cover them with soil as they need sunlight to germinate. The seeds are very small so water by misting them. A strong stream of water will cause them to wash away.
photo of snapdragon via Shutterstock
Snapdragon's unique shape, fragrance, and spring color palette makes them a welcome addition to cut flower bouquets.
For gardeners in warmer climates, you can expect them to grow through the winter, however they may fade as your summer temperatures climb. For those in cooler climates, they can be grown in the spring when the soil temperature is too cool for other flowers.
photo of sunflower via Shutterstock
Sunflowers are the exclamation point in a cut flower bouquet. Their sunny, cheerful blooms are a signature of summer.
You may be pleasantly surprised by the variety of colors that sunflowers offer. Check out this post for more tips for growing sunflowers.
photo of zinnias via Shutterstock
Zinnias were my gateway flowers to gardening. As a child, zinnias were the first seeds I planted in my small garden by my backyard swing. Once those brilliant petals appeared I was hooked on gardening. Given how easy-peasy they are to grow, they may have the same effect on you.
Zinnias thrive when deadheaded regularly. As they can grow quite tall, consider staking them. They will benefit from an application of compost when planted and then once they are about a foot tall.
Extend the vase life of cut flowers
After you've grown your gorgeous blooms you want them to last as long as possible in a vase. Here are four tips:
1. Cut flowers before the morning dew has dried or in the early evening.
2. Put the stalks in a bucket of lukewarm water as your cut them.
3. Once inside, re-cut the stems on a slant.
4. Remove bruised or damaged leaves to prevent the spread of disease.
lead image of cut flowers via Shutterstock