Do you know the secret to a successful flower garden? The key to a great cutting garden is to have plants flowering throughout the year. It's actually easier than it sounds, but it does take planning, and the only restriction you're likely to face is a lack of space. If you are limited on space, you can plant fewer flowers but still achieve equally great results.
The easiest way to create a thriving flower garden is to divide the year into seasons and make sure you grow enough plants to supply each one.
Bonus: You can also make gorgeous flower arrangements for your home (style up your coffee table or dining table) with a ready supply of beautiful blooms. So basically, it's a win-win.
The garden is a beautiful sight in spring. The key here is to focus on bulbs, especially vibrant tulips and much-loved daffodils that we can never get enough of. While spring is all about the bulbs, there are also early flowering perennials that make beautiful cut flowers. For example, the beautiful peony is a must-have for your garden. Have a look at these suggestions to get you started.
Peony - Paeonia officinalis 'Rubra Plena'
Euphorbia - Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Purpurea'
Columbine - Aquilegia vulgaris 'Nivea'
Scilla - Scilla siberica
Tulips - Tulipa 'China Pink'
Daffodils - Narcissus 'Thalia'
Perennials really come into their own in summer and there are some more unusual ones which make striking arrangements. And don't forget summer flowering bulbs like alliums and gladioli – the gladioli suggested below is a really beautiful, almost iridescent, pink.
Acanthus - Acanthus mollis
Dill - Anethum graveolens
Agapanthus - Agapanthus Headbourne hybrids
Alliums - Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation'
Gladioli - Gladiolus communis subsp. byzantinus
Crocosmia - Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
Small boughs from shrubs with lovely autumn colours can be incorporated into floral displays at this time of year. For flowers, you'll find that late-flowering perennials, such as dahlias and anemones, will keep going until the frost cuts them back, and there are some amazing, autumn-flowering bulbs too.
Dahlia - Dahlia 'Arabian Night'
Japanese anemone - Anemone × hybrida 'Honorine Jobert'
Aster - Aster novi-belgii 'Lady in Blue'
Nerine - Nerine bowdenii
Autumn-flowering cyclamen - Cyclamen hederifolium
Colchicum - Colchicum autumnale
Winter is the most difficult time to keep the flower garden productive but the main plant has to be hellebores. There's just one named below but these perennials come in a huge variety of colours and shapes. Also look for very early crocuses, called 'Snow Crocuses'.
Hellebores - Helleborus orientalis
Pulmonaria - Pulmonaria rubra 'Redstart'
Bergenia - Bergenia purpurascens var. delavayi
Snowdrops - Galanthus nivalis
Crocus - Crocus sieberi 'Violet Queen'
Iris - Iris unguicularis 'Mary Barnard'
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