Cutting gardens – Bring flowers into your home

Summer is in full swing and your annuals are blooming non-stop. Bring some of the beauty of your garden indoors by cutting flowers to decorate your home, porch, and deck.

Tips for cutting flowers

Perennials, roses, even some ornamentals can all be clipped and added to a vase inside however it is annuals which most of us prefer when selecting clippings from the garden. Annuals make wonderful flowers for cutting because they have lots of blooms up until the end of the growing season.

Cutting flowers not only allows you bring some of the beauty of your garden indoors, but cutting off flowers actually stimulates more blooms. To keep your plants healthy clip not only the blooms for use indoor, but also the spent blossoms.

When cutting flowers, try and get not only the beautiful flower but also a good portion of the stem. The stem of the flower will give your flowers height when you put them in a vase…or however you choose to present them.

Common flowers clipped from the garden include:

  • Lilies
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Coral bells
  • Nicotiana
  • Phlox
  • Cleome
  • Gomphrena

Tips for keeping cut flowers fresh

The secret to keeping cut flowers from wilting is to give them a constant supply of water.

  • The first rule is to cut in the early morning, and take only the freshest, just barely opened flowers.
  • If you can, place cut flowers into a container of tepid water immediately after cutting, you will keep the vascular system within the stem working in an upward direction.
  • When you take the stems out of water, air can clog the cells and can stop the capillary action. Place the stems into a container filled with a mixture of 1 teaspoon bleach and 1 tablespoon of sugar stirred into 1 gallon of water. The acid slows bacterial growth and the sugar provides nutrients. Change the solution every three days to help prolong the blooming time. You could also use a clear soft drink as it contains acid and sugar.

Ideas for decorating

Add fresh-from-the-garden flowers to any room in your house! Here are a few simple ideas for incorporating blooms into your life outside of the garden:

  • Create a fresh corsage using florist tape
  • Brighten up your window by adding hanging glass mini-window vases or place bud vases on the window sill and fill with groupings of mini flowers, or one larger flower in a vibrant color, like a peony.
  • A fresh cut bouquet is a wonderful hostess gift and you will wow your friends when they ask where the flowers are from and you answer “my garden!”
  • Any basket can act as a vase for fresh flower clippings. Just add a basket liner so you have something to hold in water. Baskets tend to look a bit more casual then a glass or ceramic vase. Try adding a basket of flower clippings to your screened in porch or on the patio next your favorite reading chair.
  • For hallway or entryway tables try a glass vase, there are many different shapes and sizes. Create a contrast – try a small round vase with a long-stemmed flower.
  • Welcome dinner guests to your table with a pitcher of beautiful blooms on your kitchen table.
  • Looking for a creative way to organize dinner guests around a table, use mini baskets or bud vases with a fresh flower and a name card to assign seating at formal dinners.
  • Don’t forget about your family room. For a grand setting try a whole bundle of fresh cut flowers on top of the mantle.
  • For a delicate look, floating blooms in a decorative glass bowl –flowers with larger blooms like daisies, peonies work best – will add beauty to any room in the house.
  • The sweet smell of flowers in the morning! Add a bud vase or a classic pitcher filled with lilies of the valley to your bedside table.