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Quick Tips for Cutting Flowers from the Garden

If you have an ornamental garden, you most likely have a ready supply of materials for fresh bouquets and arrangements to place in your own home or share with friends. (Add a designated cutting garden and vegetable plot to your yard, and the options skyrocket, but often an ornamental bed or border will provide just fine.) Homegrown, homemade bouquets are special because they reflect the local season and they can contain elements not commonly seen in the florist’s window. Follow these tips for easy, quick gathering of bouquets that will last.


1. Before cutting anything, stand back and take in the whole garden and surrounding landscape. See what’s at its peak and what will make an interesting combo. The elements may be growing far apart

2. Cut flowers in the coolest times of the day—morning or evening. Cut the stems longer than you’ll need and place them immediately in a water pail. Just a few inches of water is fine; any deeper only adds weight. Bonus tip: Keep those snips clean.

3. Carry several pails for different elements or keep each type bundled separately in one large pail. With the ingredients segregated, building your bouquet will be easier.

4. Short on flowers, or hesitant to remove a lot from your garden scene? Pick just a few choice blossoms and frame them with large or interesting leaves. Think hostas, heucheras, ferns, elephant ears and the like.

5. For long-lasting bouquets, trim the stems and remove any foliage that would be under water in the vase. Add floral preservative and change the water at least every other day.