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Gardening

Grow Your Own Bouquet

Thanks to the “field-to-vase” trend, everything you need to create a beautiful arrangement is right in your own backyard.
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The latest trend in the world of cut flowers has been dubbed “field to vase.” The loose, natural, and billowy look of wildflowers has caught on with decorators, florists, and brides alike. Hot on the heels of the “farm-to-table” food movement, this organic floral style is prompting many to get back to growing their own florals from which to cut. This is great news for us home gardeners as, by planting the right blooms, we can easily recreate the look ourselves.  

There are a few side benefits to be gained from this more natural approach. As flower stems were lengthened and strengthened through breeding in order to provide the sturdiest of cut blooms, we lost something very important: fragrance. In order to reintroduce scent to cut-flower arrangements, designers are reaching for old-fashioned favorites like jasmine, hyacinth, and garden roses as well as fragrant herbs like basil and rosemary. 

Another benefit of the “natural look” is ease of assembly and choice of materials. As designers and customers seek out uniqueness, fragrance, and unexpected materials for their modern arrangements, it’s become more acceptable to create short arrangements. Shorter arrangements mean bigger variety, as designers are better able to incorporate heavier, more delicate blooms that otherwise wouldn’t work in a traditional tall vase. Fragrant garden roses are typically top-heavy and short-stemmed, as are certain orchids, sweet peas, dahlias, and bulbs. 

Short, tighter arrangements are also better suited to carrying cuttings of succulents and tillandsias, which are also trending as components of “living bouquets.” Progressive designers have even starting incorporating cuttings of vegetable plants and fruits into their designs. If you take a spin through Pinterest, you’ll find a budding collection of floral arrangements that include salad greens, full heads of broccoli, and even radishes. Paired with more traditional garden flowers, these unique arrangements dazzle and delight.

GARDEN GUIDANCE:

To extend the life of your fresh-cut blooms, cut them from the garden in the morning, before the sun dries them out. Use sharp garden snips or pruners so you don’t crush the stems. Bring a bucket of lukewarm water in which to place your cut stems. Once you bring your cuts indoors, recut the base of the stems at an angle under water in the bucket or in the sink. Change the water every other day. 

WHAT TO GROW:

The field-to-vase movement has given us permission to forage as we like from our landscapes. While you’ll likely find lots of great materials already existing in your garden, you may want to work a few easy cutting annuals and perennials into your garden specifically for this purpose. 

Flowers that are regaining popularity include pincushion flowers, ranunculus, and sweet peas. Zinnias and daisies are also back in vogue. Big, fat English garden roses have started to overshadow their long-stemmed cousins. 

March and April are perfect months for direct-seeding low-maintenance, annual cut flowers. Perennials can be planted any time they’re available in the garden center.

ANNUALS FROM SEED:

Cosmos; gomphrena; larkspur; nigella; rudbeckia; annual scabiosa; sunflowers; zinnias

PERENNIALS FOR CUTTING:

Asters; catmint “Walker’s Low”; Lenten rose, Helleborus sp.; oxeye daisy; floribunda roses; English hybrid roses; tea roses; salvia; scabiosa “Butterfly Blue”; shasta daisy; statice

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