Planning a cutting garden

Sarah in Illinois is back today, sharing how she’s coping with her winter cabin fever. Hint: warmer times plus pretty flowers figure in her plans.

One of my goals for 2016 is creating a cutting garden. Having a vase of flowers on my counter always makes me smile. Steve usually buys me flowers for special occasions and my mom gives me flowers sometimes, but the idea of walking out to the yard and creating my own bouquet just sounds perfect.

I’ve had the idea of a cutting garden for a while. We have a small ditch that is hard to keep mowed, and I considered planting wild flowers there. That is something we still might do, but I have decided to create a designated cutting garden in another spot. We have started receiving seed catalogs in the mail and email and planning a garden has been keeping my cabin fever away.

I have made up my mind to do a raised bed for my cutting garden. I will probably follow the plans that Kit shared with us over at DIYdiva. She was able to make some great looking beds that did not break the bank. And while I am making them, I will add one for asparagus and one for strawberries.

But I am going to have to talk to Steve and decide where we want to put all of these beds and plan them so that they are easiest to mow and weed around. So those ideas are still rolling around in my head.

I need to make a list of flowers that I want to include. This Old House website gave a list of fast-growing cutting flowers, and I thought that would be a great place to start.

It mentions that Black-Eyed Susans are good for deer deterrent, which I didn’t know. I occasionally see deer tracks in my yard and near the garden so it won’t hurt to plant Black-Eyed Susan. Plus they are so bright and cheerful! I know I want to plant cosmos and poppies, and I am sure I will be picking flowers by what catches my eye at the time.

I am surprised at how much planning there will be in this garden. Should I plant in rows like a traditional garden or in a more free-form design? I want to plant close together to keep weeds down and use as little chemical weed treatment as possible. I want to have a mix of colors, a mix of annual and perennials, and I will probably plant seeds along with plants. Since this is my first time with a cutting garden, it is really going to be an experiment, and I plan to take notes so that I can improve on it each year.

Have any of you created a cutting garden? Do you have any suggestions for me? Any flowers that you would be sure to add?

I plan to keep you updated through the year on how it is going.

Ahhh… beautiful flowers spread around your home. That sounds lovely. I’m never good at picking flowers to bring them inside, but I admit I’ve considered having my own cutting garden. And poppies are definitely on my list too. I’m really interested to learn from Sarah’s experience this year.

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3 thoughts on “Planning a cutting garden

  1. That sounds wonderful! I didn’t know that about the Black-Eyed Susans. We have a ton of tiny deer around here, and boy can they eat. Bear keeps most of them out of the garden, but a few deer-deterrent flowers wouldn’t hurt. Plus those were my dad’s favorite flower. 🙂
    We love the big old-fashioned roses for cutting. They don’t have the long straight stems, but they make wonderful bouquets in shorter vases. I also love hydrangeas for that.
    A hint about poppies – the small Iceland poppies will proliferate like mad in your garden, but will also make a big mess with their foliage and such, and are fairly invasive. It’s a good idea to plant them in their own little border or area or even a big container and let them fill it up. They can make a whole garden look raggedy in short order. But the flowers are certainly lovely!

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