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Plant a Flower Garden for Cutting

Flower gardens today are usually created to beautify the landscape. A cutting garden, however, is more like a vegetable garden, designed to produce masses of cut flowers. It's an old idea that's coming back into vogue.

"Colonial era homes such as Mount Vernon always had a plot of cut flowers in the kitchen garden," says Sally Ferguson of the Netherlands Flower Bulb Center" "The founding mothers placed flowers for the soul on par with food for the body."

Fun motivates modern gardeners to plant cutting gardens. It's an easy, satisfying and cost-effective way to enjoy cut flowers all summer. Tips for creating a cutting garden can be found at the website of the Netherlands center.

A cutting garden can produce blooms from early spring through frost. Choose a sunny spot near the house, but not too hgh profile. This garden is for cutting, not for show. Include wide rows for easy access and plan for stakes, strings, sticks and other suppots for tall plants such as gladioli.

Remember that tender summer bulbs are frost sensitive. These can be started indoors or bought as bedding plants, but shouldn't be planted into the garden until the threat of frost has passed.

Alliums, are fun purple puff balls atop green stalks. Thease are easy to grow in winter-hardy beds that can naturalize (USDA zones 3/4 to 8) to provide blooms for years. (Hardy summer bulb).

Calla lilies are knows for their exquisite chalice-shaped flowers. Best known for white or pale pink flowers, recent introductions bring us callas in yellow, pale green, maroon, mango, ruby red, even lavender and near-black. (Tender summer bulb)

Dahlias are profuse producers, offering endless colors, shapes and sizes. The more you cut them, the more they flower. Dahlias provide abundant bouquets in late summer and fall. (Tender summer bulb)

Gladioli, stately stalks with large colorful florets, can be planted every 10 days through early summer to provide armloads of blooms for weeks on end. (Tender summer bulb)

Mixed lilies can be planted in a mixed lily bed combining early bloomers (Asiatic lilies) and late bloomers (large fragrant Oriental lilies). (Hardy summer bulbs)

For more articles about ENJOYING NATURE

Botanical Garden Links
California Poppy Reserve
The Botanical Garden and Montreal Insectarium
America's Ecosystems
California Poppy Reserve
California Agritourism