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I love fresh flowers from the garden. They don’t cost nearly as much as store-bought and are easy to throw into an arrangement whenever the mood strikes. Unfortunately, a lot of people only get fresh cut flowers their garden once or twice a year. Thats because they plant everything all at once and only have one crop to rotate through. Which isn’t a lot of rotating…
But, it’s super easy to have cut flowers all summer (and fall!) long. It just takes a little planning. So, get out that garden journal and map out your next flower garden.
Planning out your garden make sense, but is often overlooked. For the first couple of years I didn’t plan shit. I just threw down some seeds, half-planning some half-baked ideas for what I wanted my yard to look like. Now, I plan out the vegetable garden in the colder months and, mostly, stick to it. This also means that I plan out what types of flowers I want, and where. A lot of people plant flowers strictly for cubside aesthetic, and that’s great! But, if you’re wanting to make the most out of your flowers, you’ll have to do a bit more planning.
What kind of arrangements are you most excited about? Is it a bunch of wildflowers? A dozen roses? Peonies when the warm weather hits?
Roses, although I love them, are a pain in the ass and can be difficult to grow and don’t always produce a lot of flowers. They’re also more expensive to plant than a packet of seeds. If you’re still yearning for roses, but want numerous, fragrant flowers, then peonies may be an alternative or a complementing plant. Peonies are big, fragrant flowers and are a beautiful must-have for a spring garden. Like rose bushes, peonies bush out, so plant them where you have room, or prune to your landscape.
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Succession planting isn’t just for vegetables. I do this with my annual seeds and stagger my blooming season with my perennials. In late winter, very early spring, start your annual seeds indoors. My most popular seed to start indoors is the marigold flower. It keeps mosquitos away and I’ve come to fall in love with the orange, yellow and white bursts of flowers from these guys. I start them inside for early flowers, then two weeks later, I start some more inside! Once the weather is nicer, I’ll plant a row or a planter of marigolds, strictly seeds only. Then, I’ll continue planting every week until I have my entire space all used up. This means that I’ll have early blooms from the flowers I’ve started inside, and will keep seeing blooms all through the summer months. While marigolds aren’t a cutting flower, I still love seeing them in the yard. As long as the flower is an annual and blooms in the hotter months, you can easily succession plant with damn-near any flower.
So, what do you plant? Perennials or annuals?
I plant both!My favourite are perennials because they just keep on coming back, but I absolutely love perusing the annual section in the greenhouse to see what I can use to spruce up the yard around the perennials and for pots on my deck.
Annuals are the ones that only last for one season. Annuals = one and done.
A packet of seeds goes a long way with annuals. For succession planting, start some of your seeds indoors like mentioned above. Be mindful of what you’re planting, though, and double check the length of germination. If it’s a spring annual and will die off once the weather turns hot, then planting more in July isn’t going to work too well. That’s why you have your hot weather annuals there to keep your yard, deck, balcony looking summer fresh! Yep. I just said summer fresh…
Perennials are the ones that keep on coming back for more. Perennials = a seasonal friend that gets better every year.
Although perennial bulbs have to be planted in advance, they don’t have to be added to year after year. Perennials come up again and, usually, get bushier and bigger (if applicable to the plant. Tulips will not get ‘bushier’, but can multiply and become plentiful). You can buy full plants already grown and ready for some blooming flowers from a garden centre, but the cheapest way would be to plant bulbs. Summer bulbs are to be planted in the spring and spring bulbs are to be planted in the fall months for the next spring. Plant spring, summer, and late summer/fall perennials for a full year of colour both in your garden and to use as cut flowers.
Once you’ve your perennial bulbs (or plants) in, that’s it! Leave them, look after them in the applicable months, and cut back in fall if needed. See why I love them? So easy!
Be aware, though, that perennials can be a pain and take over the garden. So, make sure you keep them trimmed back or plant only those that aren’t super invasive. Or, if you’re like me and want them to take over a specific spot, plant away!
Because I’ve such a large space, I can space out my flowers and incorporate them into themes. I have a specific wildflower garden next to one of our sheds that looks wonderful when it’s all lit up with colours. Although I rarely cut those, it’s nice to have wildflowers separate so they don’t spread into my other flowers.
Plants can be expensive. If someone is wanting to rid themselves of something that you like, jump on it! I’ve lillies and irises that were just going to be thrown away until I saved them! I also have a surprise wheat field in my garden that is perfect for some fall decor and looks great added to a sunflower arrangement. Prairie grass growing tall and annoying you? Cut it and add it to a wonderful vase of sweet peas and/or daisies!
You don’t need a huge yard or fields of tulips (although, wouldn’t that be amazing?!) to enjoy beautiful flowers all summer long. Incorporate what nature is giving you (except for weeds. You won’t be able to breathe with them nearby, even if you don’t think you’re allergic. I did that by accident and it did not turn out well) with what you’ve got. It looks way better than store-bought, anyways.
My favourite seasonal flowers:
Spring: daffodils, tulips, peonies, clematis
Summer: roses, daisies
Fall: Sunflowers, lavender, wheat (not a flower, I know, but it looks amazing in a vase)