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How To Plant Your Own Cutting Garden

Four tips for growing gorgeous bouquets in your backyard.

(Photo: Robin Stubbert)

A vase full of fresh flowers can instantly brighten up a room, but plucking stems from a perfectly curated garden can leave it looking a little bare. To get lush bouquets whenever you want and keep your flower beds looking their best, consider planting a cutting garden. Designed specifically to grow flowers destined for bouquets, they’re the perfect way to make the most of unused garden space.

“Most people think of gardens in a landscaped way, whereas this is more organic and done with a view to cutting,” says floral designer Cynthia Zamaria’s 2,400-square-foot cutting garden in Port Dover, Ont. A former communications executive turned floral designer and decorator, she was inspired by the slow-flower movement (the practice of growing seasonal blooms locally) and decided to start a floral business that would provide homegrown blooms to private clients and small-scale events. Here, she shares four tips to grow your own cutting garden.

1. Choose conventional blooms in unconventional hues

Look for familiar flowers with a twist, such as buttercream-toned cosmos with a kiss of blush pink, or lime zinnias.

2. Don’t overlook herbs

These kitchen staples are lovely additions to a cutting garden. “Dill, oregano, thyme and sage are all great filler for a bouquet, especially for weddings or special occasions,” she says.

(Photo: Robin Stubbert)

3. Divide and conquer

Keep annuals (which need to be replanted every spring) and perennials (which return year after year) in separate zones of the garden for easier care.

4. Forage (responsibly) for whatever elements you’re missing

Ferns, sumac and even weedy wildflowers like Queen Anne’s lace add texture and lushness to any arrangement.

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