Top Tips For Sustainable Gardening - Grow Your Own Cut Flowers
We love flowers - who doesn't?
The thought of having a cut flower bed has always seemed like a luxury, for those with gardeners and enormous walled gardens in their estate. Not so!
We have come to realise that we can create our own beautiful cut flower bed in our own, regular sized back gardens, poly tunnels and in pots on balconies. There is something truly beautiful in growing flowers that can then be brought into your home. Here's our quick guide to setting up your own cut flower bed:
Create Your Own Cut Flower Bed
First off, you need to decide on where you're going to grow these flowers. Arianne and I both agree that ultimately - a sunny, sheltered spot will work best. Just find the sunniest and most sheltered spot available to you.
If you grow plants in soil that is lacking in nutrients - your flowers won't do that well. It is always worth investing in new compost (peat free wherever possible), creating your own compost (our compost guide here) or well rotted manure to revitalise soil and ensure you're giving your flowers everything they need to bloom.
This is the big one. Some plants/ flowers don't do well once picked, where as others will look beautiful in your vase for up to two weeks. This is called 'vase life'. We have listed below some of our favourite cut flowers, with a good vase life.
The other thing to consider is whether you want the flowers to come back every year (perennials or bulbs) - or would you be happier with a very elaborate selection of flowers that would need to be replanted/ sown every spring (annuals)?
To get the very best from your plants and flowers, cut off any old/ spent flowers to encourage more blooms, fertilise naturally (seaweed fertiliser recipe here), remove weeds by hand and avoid use of pesticides.
Our Favourite Cut Flowers
Sweet Pea (annuals) - they come in an array of colours, the plant blooms more the more flowers are cut and last 3-7 days in a vase
Oriental Lillies (bulbs) - Striking with such a beautiful smell and last 8-10 days in a vase
Sunflowers (annuals) - so easy to grow, big impact and last up to 7 days in a vase
Gladioli (bulbs) - Arianne has such a wonderful display of these, they are so tall with blooms all the way up them with a vase life of 7-10 days
Eucalyptus (evergreen tree) - If we could shout about this from the rooftops we would! The foliage is so amazing in a vase, even just on its own. Beautiful colours and smell, so so easy to grow and a vase life of up to 21 days!
Cosmos (annuals) - Arianne got me hooked on these last year. So many colours, an abundance of flowers, throw and grow seeds with a vase life of 6-10 days
Rudbeckia (annual or perennial dependent on type) - cottagey look, strong beautiful colour and vase life of up to 10 days
Verbena Bonariensis (perennial) - tall and willowy with pretty little purple flowers on the end of long stems adds height to a vase. Vase life of 7-10 days
Dahlias (bulb) - there are hundreds of types of Dahlia's in all colours, shapes and sizes. Another 'cut and come again' plant, so it will keep on blooming after you've cut it. Big impact in a vase for up to 6 days. Just remember to dig up the bulbs before the first frost!
Growing your own flowers to bring into your home is satisfying and fulfilling - we have all of the joy of watching the plants grow and then bring the beautiful blooms in to our own homes or pass on our home made bouquets to friends and loved ones.
Less Plastic, Less Carbon, Fresher Flowers
By growing our own cut flowers, we don't need to buy plastic wrapped, tired flowers that have flown hundreds of miles - we just step outside our own door. Saving the planet one flower at a time!
We hope you have found some inspiration from our ideas on sustainable gardening and growing your own cut flowers. Do you have a cut flower bed? Have you had any great successes with particular flowers or any suggestions on plants that have a long vase life? We would love to hear your suggestions and ideas.
As always, hoping you, your family & friends are safe and happy,
Keelly & Arianne xx