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  • W. H. Perron

Cut flowers


Flowers have a very unique place in our gardens. They embellish our spaces with their colours and fragrances and, moreover, make a perfect invitation card for a variety of pollinating insects and birds. When they abound in the garden, we have the opportunity to create bouquets that will brighten our homes and lives.

For those who like to make bouquets, here are our must-have varieties for a successful cut flower garden.


What does a cut flower garden principally consist of?


Professional florists divide their gardens into three (3) groups: focal flowers, companion flowers and foliage.


Focal Flowers

As the name suggests, they take centre stage in a bouquet. These flowers are the most attractive and often have the most vibrant colours.





Zinnia - Perfect for growing cut flowers; they are easy to grow, very prolific and offer a wide range of colours. Zinnias can last up to 10 days in a vase.

  • Sow indoors four (4) weeks before the last frost date.

  • Space plants 6ʺ to 8ʺ (15 to 20 cm) apart.

  • Prefer an amendment with compost or chicken manure.

  • To encourage flowering, harvest when the stem is stiff at the bottom of the plant.

  • Water regularly.

  • Suggested varieties = Benary's Giant, Cut and Come Again, Zinderella and Oklahoma.



Aster - Very popular. Its double flowers open like a lotus, from the centre outwards and can reach up to 10 cm in diameter. The flowers can last up to seven (7) days in a vase.

  • Sow indoors four (4) weeks before the last frost date.

  • Space plants 8ʺ to 12ʺ (20 to 30 cm) apart.

  • Enjoys warmth and a light amendment of compost or chicken manure.

  • Light watering - sensitive to excess water.

  • Harvest flowers when half open for best storage.

  • Suggested varieties = Harmony, Princess mix.



Dahlia - the stars of the cut flower world. They are tuberous and although they are started from seed, the tubers can be dug up during fall for replanting the following spring. Properly cared for, they can be stored for up to seven (7) days in a vase.

  • Sow indoors 9 to 12 weeks before the last frost date.

  • Space plants 8ʺ to 12ʺ (20 to 30 cm) apart.

  • Enjoys warmth and a compost or chicken manure amendment.

  • Water regularly.

  • Harvest once flower is fully open - cover flower buds with a mesh bag to protect petals from insects.

  • Suggested varieties = Harlequin, Fireworks, Figaro




Other Suggestions:

  • Part of our natural heritage in your garden (Marie-Victorin) – Canada Goldenrod, Larger Blue-flag, Wild Yellow Lily.



  • Annuals – Sunflower, Gloriosa daisy et Celosia.



  • Perennials – Digitalis, Coneflower and Lupine.



Companion Flowers

These flowers are to a bouquet what bridesmaids are to a bride. Although they are not the centre of attention, they play an indispensable role in the aesthetic balance of a bouquet.


Cosmos - offers an abundance of fragrant flowers throughout the summer. Flowers can be single or double ranging from white to burgundy to pink. Flowers last an average of 5 to 7 days in a vase.

  • Sow indoors four (4) weeks before the last frost date or directly in the ground seven (7) days before the last frost date.

  • Space plants 8ʺ to 12ʺ (20 to 30 cm) apart.

  • Does not require amendment for its growth, but prefers light soils.

  • Harvest once the button opens a little.

  • Suggested varieties = Double Click mix, Xanthos, Sonata.




Snapdragon - often called Wolf's Mouth or ʺSnapdragonʺ, this flower offers an enchanting fruity fragrance. The plant usually produces only one flower, but can make 2 to 3 more if cut back early in growth. Cut in half when the plant reaches 15 cm - 20 cm in height. Snapdragon is very tolerant of spring cold and can be introduced to the garden as early as mid-May.

  • Sow indoors 4 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. * Do not bury the seed*.

  • Space plants 4ʺ to 6'' (10 to 15 cm) apart.

  • Appreciates a light compost amendment.

  • Needs to be supported by a horizontal rope.

  • Harvest once 2/3 of the flowers are open on the stem.

  • Suggested variety = Mrs. Butterfly mix.




Yarrow - perennial plant that once installed forms very abundant clumps. Its flower is used as a fresh flower as well as a dried flower. It is perfect for gardens in cold regions. Can last up to seven (7) days in a vase.

  • Sow indoors 4-6 weeks before the end of the last frost; sow directly in the garden in early spring or early fall (late August early September).

  • Space plants 12ʺ (30 cm) apart.

  • Requires no amendments – performs well in heavy soil.

  • Harvest once all umbel flowers are open or when the stem is stiff.

  • Suggested variety = Cassis.




Other Suggestions:

  • Part of our natural heritage in your garden (Marie-Victorin) – New England Aster, Wild Columbine, False Sunflower and Life-everlasting.



  • Annuals – Ptilotus Matilda, Sweet pea and Flax Rubrum.



  • Perennials - Mexican hat, Chinese lantern and Poppy-Fruit Punch™ Mix.



Foliage

Foliage is one of the most overlooked elements in the preparation of a bouquet, yet it helps create a natural effect and soften flower colour contrasts.



Mint:will add freshness to any arrangement with its distinct scent. Its flower is a favourite of pollinators.

  • Sow indoors 8 to 12 weeks before the last frost date.

  • Space plants 20 to 30 cm (8ʺ to 12ʺ) apart.

  • It does very well in all types of soil.

  • No amendments required.

  • Water regularly.

  • Harvest leafy stems or flowering stems - flowers can be dried.

  • Suggested varieties = spearmint, peppermint.



Siam Queen Basil: a plant that one would not imagine to include in a bouquet, yet its purple-green foliage, as well as its flower, add panache to your bouquets.

  • Sow 4 to 6 weeks before the date of the last frost.

  • Space plants 6ʺ to 8ʺ (15 to 20 cm) apart.

  • It likes warmth and a soil rich in organic matter.

  • Water regularly.

  • Harvest when one third of the flowers are open on the stem.



Amaranth (Love-lies-bleeding): a very easy-to-grow plant with colours ranging from green to burgundy. The elongated flower spike will add a touch of enchantment to your arrangements as it winds its way down your vase and onto your table. Flowers can be stored for up to seven (7) days.

  • Sow 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost.

  • Space plants 6ʺ to 8ʺ (15 to 20 cm) apart for small plants and 12ʺ to 18ʺ (30 to 45 cm) apart for tall plants.

  • Enjoys soils rich in organic matter.

  • Water regularly, but drought-tolerant plant.

  • Harvest when the catkin begins to swell.

  • Suggested varieties = Velvet curtains, Dark red, Carnival.



  • Other Suggestions: –Flowering Kale Crane ™ Feather Mix, Ornamental Millet




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