Fresh flowers from your garden to your kitchen table
|Queen Anne's Lace 'Dara'|
Cutting Garden Annual FlowersWe list our favorite cut flower varieties and when to harvest below, but it’s fun to try different flowers, or combine cut stems of basil and rosemary and stems of scented geraniums with your flowers for spicily fragrant bouquets. Flower foliage is essential, we love the blue green lily-pad leaves of nasturtiums in contrast with the glowing orange blossoms.
|Mixed nasturtiums in a vintage Ball jar|
We sow our cut flowers in the vegetable garden, the long double rows filled with a patchwork quilt of our favorites. This way they are easy to manage and enjoyable to cut.
Spring sown hardy annuals get the party started in June with sweet and simple cuts.Gather at any stage, the recommendations in parenthesis are for maximum vase life. I, for one, love going out to the garden on a dewy morning alive with birdsong to gather more!
- Agrostemma (starting to open)
- Annual Phlox (1/2 open)
- Cornflower (flowers starting to open)
- Calendula (fully open)
- Chinese Forget-me-not
- Clarkia (1/2 open)
- Linaria (1/2 open)
- Larkspur (2-5 florets open)
- Love in-a-mist (any stage)
- Mignonette (1/2 open)
- Poppy (colored buds, sear stem ends)
- Sweet Alyssum ‘Benthamii’ (1/2 open)
- Sweet Pea (any stage)
- Tassel Flower (dip stem ends in boiling water for 20 seconds)
- Viola (nearly open)
|Larkspur 'Giant Imperial Mixture'|
May sown half hardy and tender annuals bring the full beauty and abundance of summer to the table.
- Amaranth (1/2 open)
- Queen Anne's Lace 'Dara'
- Ageratum (starting to open)
- Aster (fully open)
- Blue Lace Flower
- Celosia (1/2 open)
- Cleome (1/2 open)
- Cosmos (starting to open)
- Dahlia (fully open)
- Gaillardia (fully open)
- Hyacinth Bean
- Marigolds (fully open)
- Morning Glory (opens in succession from a length of vine)
- Painted Tongue
- Snapdragon (1/3 open)
- Sunflower (just opening to fully open)
- Sweet Scabious (1/2 open)
- Tobacco (mostly open)
|Zinnia 'Jazzy Mix'|
|Sweet Scabious 'Blue Cockade'|
How To Cut:
- Gather clean vases and draw water ahead of time. Eyeball the length of stems you will need to fill the vase. You will be cutting again so make sure you have enough to work with!
- Early morning or late afternoon are the best times to harvest your cut flowers.
- In the late afternoon they will have stored up more nutrients from the day. Early morning is good too, before the sun and heat of the day unfolds and robs them of moisture.
- Gently remove any foliage that might be low enough to be underwater. This will help extend vase life.
- When making the final cut, try cutting at a 45 degree angle so as to maximize surface area for water uptake-remove about 1-2 inches. This can be done underwater, again to maximize vase life. Use clean sharp scissors or a very sharp knife, as this will help to prevent stem damage.
More of Our Favorite Annuals For Cutting Gardens
|Snapdragon 'University of California' Mixture is tall growing|
for your best bouquets
|Rare heirloom amaranth 'Dreadlocks' is almost a shame|
to cut, growing upwards of 5 feet or more
|Cornflower 'Blue Diadem' is a cornflower with |
extra WOW power with its oversized blooms
|Basket Flower (Centaurea americana) is a native annual flower |
with huge frilly blooms in mauve-lavender or white. The bud in this
photo shows how it gets its name!
|An heirloom almost lost to time, Celosia thompsonii is|
a colorful mix of jewel toned plumes