Homesteading Series: Growing Flowers for Beautiful Bouquets
Homesteading Series: Growing Flowers for Beautiful Bouquets
Posted on
June 19, 2024

Have you purchased a bouquet recently?  They aren’t exactly a drop in the bucket! Rightly so, because cut flower bouquets take a lot of manpower to grow and transport to your local market.  But what if I told you, it is SO easy to grow flowers in your garden? If you love the look of fresh flower bouquets in your home and enjoy sharing them with friends, then follow the simple guidelines in this post and get started growing your own beautiful flowers for bouquets today! 

Beginner Friendly Flowers

Some flowers are easier to grow than others.  A few of my favorites that are gorgeous and beginner friendly are zinnias, calendula, yarrow, lavender, sunflowers, strawflower, and snapdragons.  You can also harvest flowers from unexpected places in your garden like oregano, chives, thyme and cilantro! They grow delicate flowers in the Spring and Summer that add beauty and a pleasant aroma to a bouquet.  For whimsy and color try harvesting bean shoots right as they are flowering, scarlet runner and dragons tongue beans are great choices!  Pro tip for bouqets that last even longer: add a bit of sugar and bleach to the water in the vase! This feeds the flowers, keeping them vibrant longer and keeps the water from developing mold. 

Characteristics to Look for

Some flowers are lovely and showy in the garden but don’t possess the right characteristics to perform as a cut flower, like Poppies which wilt quickly after picking.  To ensure your bouquets look just as pretty a few days after harvesting, choose flowers with the right characteristics.  As mentioned above, hardiness is something to consider.  Snapdragons and zinnias are great examples of hardy flowers with thicker stems that last in a bouquet.   Also, flowers with long stems, such as lavender, make arranging bouquets easier.  Marigolds are pretty but tend to stay short, making them difficult to use outside the garden.  Additionally, plants that produce many blooms over the course of the season will make good use of your limited space rather than growing “one and done” types.  Zinnias and calendula both benefit from being harvested, sometimes called “dead heading,” and if this is done correctly they will continue to send out new blooms all season long!

Where to Plant Flowers

When considering where to plant flowers in your garden, remember that flowers are not just beautiful, they’re also functional!  By providing pollinators with food, they earn their place in the garden.  Many flowers like full sun, but be sure to read about the sunlight needs of the specific flowers you choose.  I like to tuck flowers in and around my vegetables, encouraging pollinators to visit all parts of the garden, and providing a lovely show as I tend different areas of my garden.  

Cultivating a cut flower garden doesn’t need to be overly complicated.  You can create unique bouquets from a handful of plants that will serve multiple purposes: food for you, food for the pollinators and beauty for all!  The joy of watching your garden erupt in color is unparalleled, so head to your favorite garden supply spot and pickup some flower seeds or starts!  Let your garden become a canvas of color and beauty, reflecting the fruits of your labor and the wonders of nature. 

Words and photographs by Jennifer MacLeod
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