There’s nothing as charming as a cutting garden in your backyard. Here are sample garden plans you can use, and tips for creating your own cutting garden design.
When you’re designing a regular flower garden, you need to think about plants that look good together and will bloom in pleasing color combinations. A cutting garden plan is slightly different because the harvest is the point. But of course, you’ll still want lovely bouquets that will last all season.
Every gardener will have different goals. Do you want soft colors? Sunflowers all season long? A natural look to your bouquets? Browse through pictures of cut flower bouquets first, and begin with the end in mind.
1. The Classic Cutting Garden Plan
This plan features beautiful flowers with long stems. They are cutting garden favorites for a reason,, and they shine here.
There are a few herbs in this plan, but they are mostly for mixing in your bouquets. If you want lots of basil for eating, you’ll need more than this.
2. Bright and Colorful Cutting Flowers
Dahlias and plenty of annuals boast bright colors. If you’re looking for some cheerful color to bring indoors throughout the growing season, this is the plan for you.
Pick a few of your favorite dahlias, and just keep in mind they come in all different sizes with all different space requirements. You may be able to fit a lot, or just a few.
3. All-White Flower Garden
This cutting garden features beautiful, understated blooms that almost complement many flowers with more color. You can pair this with another cut flower garden layout, or just enjoy the peaceful look of white and cream.
Buttercream sunflowers will be pale yellow, not an actual cream. These flowers also look beautiful paired with lots of greenery, like catnip or an ornamental basil.
4. Longest Flowering Season
The next two beds show the same flower garden at two different times of the year. Choose plants that bloom early and then another set that blooms mid- through late summer. These require a little bit of math and planning. You’ll need to pay attention to the days to maturity for each variety.
Early Season Extender
Be sure to leave the empty spaces as marked. Some of these plants can go out before the last frost, but some can’t.
Season Extender (Late)
This bed will come in later in the season as the bed above is dying back. The styles and colorsof these flowers are perfect for late summer.
Make sure when you’re planting the late zinnias you choose yellows, reds, and other fall colors. No one likes pink in September!
5. Wildflower Inspired Cut Flower Garden
If you love wildflowers but want something predictable, this cutting garden design features Black-eyed Susan, poppies, and other wild-looking flowers.
Of course, you could always buy a packet of wildflowers and let them surprise you.
6. The Easy to Grow Cutting Garden
Are you a beginner gardener? Try this layout that features simple, classic flowers. Even if you become a master gardener, you’ll probably still enjoy these plants.
Because this plan features the best cut flowers for beginners, you’re likely to be successful. And there’s no shame in these plants, they are all beautiful choices that experienced gardeners love.
Raised beds vs. rows for cut flower gardens
Cutting gardens will do very well either in traditional row styles or laid out as raised beds.
Rows can make for easier harvesting with minimal bending or reaching. You can plant a large plot in rows of flowers or tuck one flower row at the end of your vegetable garden.
Raised beds are perfect for having a small cutting garden in your backyard. You won’t need to worry about tilling, and you can set them up in just a weekend.
And if you feel like you don’t have room for either type, plant an 18-inch wide strip where you can find the space. This style will fit perfectly in most yards and easily between walkways or along fences.
Garden design principles to remember
A well-planned cutting garden will make it easy and enjoyable to harvest and arrange fresh bouquets from your garden. Keep these things in mind as you make your plan.
Make it easy to work in
When planning the width of your beds, know how far you can comfortably reach first. If you can reach 2 feet and access your bed from both sides, then you can plant a wide, 4-foot row.
But if you can’t reach that far comfortably, make the row shallower! Don’t guess! You’ll need to spend a lot of time in your flower beds as you harvest, remove dead flowers, and more.
To make a cutting garden as colorful as possible, plant flowers at different heights at their blooming stage. This not only makes the garden look attractive but also helps you use spaces that would otherwise go unused.
Don’t forget fillers.
This might not apply to you if you love lots of color in your bouquets. But some people appreciate some calm mixed in their homegrown flowers and plant some foliage plants.
If you’re looking for something with great texture, try planting feather reed grass in the background of your bed.
You might also like:
- dusty miller
- ornamental kale or cabbage
- baby’s breath
Make sure you have flowers blooming all season long
If you have the space, plant your cut flower garden strategically,, so you have blooms from June up until frost.
- Use succession planting for midseason flowers like sunflowers and zinnias.
- Plant early bloomers like snapdragons, sweet peas, and Shasta daisies
- Take advantage of spring bulbs and flowering shrubs to extend your bloom times
- Plant some seeds indoors for a head start in the spring
How to pick the right flowers for your garden
Pick plants that grow well in your location and that you like. Other than that, the sky’s the limit.
Most cut flowers will prefer a sunny spot with well-drained soil. If you have that, your flower bed can hold just about anything you’d like.
(If you find a particular flower that doesn’t do well in your garden, try planting it in a container instead.)
The whole point of a cutting garden is to bring beauty and joy to your life, so make sure your garden reflects your favorite flowers.
Some popular choices that will bring a smile to your face:
- Teddy Bear Sunflowers (read more about growing sunflowers)
- Burgundy Mix Sweet Peas
- Annual Phlox
- Sweet Potato Vine
How to use garden space efficiently
Consult your seed packet or favorite gardening books for advice on spacing each flower in your cutting garden. Keep in mind that you can plant some plants along garden borders and intersperse flowers amongst each other.
You can pull some very early flowers, such as sweet peas or snapdragon, and plant a later-season bloomer.
You can have fresh bouquets throughout the growing season by planting a succession of blooming flowers.
Remember to use containers around your house, too. You can easily fit many annuals in a 2-foot round pot, and there is plenty of room for them to grow.
I hope you found a plan you like or at least inspiration to create your own. Don’t forget your first year of gardening won’t be perfect. Neither will your 20th! But I hope you love them all the same ❤️.
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