Friday, June 21, 2013

GMG's Friday Find: Grow a Cutting Garden to Create Gorgeous Bouquets!

One of the hottest home décor trends is the "slow flower" movement, using locally grown flowers and other garden materials for beautiful bouquets. There's just something about being able to walk outside, snip fresh flowers and greenery to create an instant arrangement that can brighten any space in your home.

According to Debra Prinzing, author of The 50 Mile Bouquet and Slow Flowers, flowers are not just a luxury or a frivolous expense for special occasions. “A vase of flowers is like a little garden, connecting us with nature and reminding us of the way things grow - slowly. Each bouquet tells a story about one moment in time. Those are the intangible gifts of bringing flowers into our lives.”

With a renewed interest in cutting gardens, you may wonder how to start your own cutting garden. One of the easiest ways to begin is with quality flower bulbs from Longfield Gardens because they provide a kaleidoscope of color, have huge flowers and are simple to grow. From spring tulips and narcissus to summer dahlias, hyacinths and gladiolas, there is a shape, size and color to suit anyone’s taste. A variety of bulbs can provide you with spring to fall cutting options that continually add diversity and beauty for your in-home arrangements.

Here are some tips for cutting longer lasting blooms:
  • Cut your flowers first thing in the morning after the dew has dried. Early morning flowers are well rested from the previous day.
  • Select the flowers that are just beginning to bloom but are still days away from full bloom.  These will continue to open and last longer in your vase.
  • Head outside with a bucket of cold water and put your freshly snipped flowers into it to lessen the shock of being cut.  This also keeps the flowers hydrated until they're brought inside.
  • Once the flowers are inside, remove any spotted leaves or leaves that become submerged when placed in the vase.
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make one more angle cut at the bottom of the stem while it is submerged in the water.  This allows more water to be drawn up, extending the life of the blooms in your vase.

Here are some tips for arranging and maintaining your flowers:

  • Use odd numbers of flowers, as in 3, 5, or 7. Our eyes are naturally drawn to this symmetry.
  • Create some variety in height with some large and some small stems.  Keep in mind whether the bouquet will be seen from just one side, or many angles, arranging the flowers for optimum viewing pleasure.
  • Place your bouquet in indirect light.
  • Change the water at least every other day.  Flowers love fresh water.
  • Remove spent leaves and blooms to prolong the life of the arrangement and also to keep the appearance fresh and beautiful.
Freshly cut flowers from a home garden can last for weeks, and it certainly is an economical way to enjoy the fragrance and beauty a home-made arrangement can bring to your indoor spaces. Use a variety of flowers, or go with a bunch of same kind of flowers for a WOW look.  Planting bulbs is easy and the benefits are abundant.  Happy flower cutting!

~Peggy
Garden Media Group

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