Every week, for as long as I can remember, my stepfather brought my mom a bouquet of flowers. The florist in town really loved him. I think they sent us a Christmas card.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I have been trying to include fresh flowers in my home regularly. I think decorating with flowers is one of the easiest ways to brighten up a home. They don’t have to be too fancy – just good old fashioned grocery store flowers. And guess what – it is okay if you even buy them for yourself.
But now that it is starting to warm up – my favorite place to get flowers is in my yard. Over the years – I finally have a decent stream of flowers to cut through the warmer seasons. I thought I would share with you my favorites – and what i am adding into the mix.
(I should note, I am in NY, so research your climate zones to see what works best for you)
This one has been a bit of a thorn in my side. We actually have a few cuttings from my father-in-law but the problem is that the deer around here love them as much as I do. I get a few blooms and I finally have one plant inside our fenced in garden.
My trick for this one – find a friend who has giant bushes but is allergic so generously allows you to cut from them each year (thanks Amelia).
I am of the school of thought that you can never go wrong with roses. They are classic and eternal. Any kind, wherever you can get them – it is worth it.
My tip here – if you are planting them new, try to find a variety that is without thorns. You can thank me later.
If you forced me to pick a favorite – this would be it. I have them everywhere, and so far, the deer have left them alone. I love them on the bush, fresh cut when they are bright blue and in the fall when they begin to fade and I leave them around dried.
My tip here – The Endless Summer variety – they are more expensive, but they really do bloom all season – with a ton of blooms. The are a perennial and keep coming back. There seems to be an endless debate as to whether they should be cut back at the end of the season or not. We have been alternating years for cutting back. You should also follow the sun directions – with high heat they will droop in the heat of the day. The good news is that they should bounce back. Of course, never cut when they are drooping.
They are happy in the garden and happy in my kitchen. We love the big tall ones to grow, but they are not good to cut and bring in. I always grab some packets that are the smaller size blooms and color variations. All of the information is on the seed packets. These plants are annuals, so they have to be replanted each year.
My one tip for sunflowers is to know that drop a lot of pollen dust wherever they are placed in a vase – so make sure it is cleanable surface.
This one almost ties with hydrangea for me. I love it so much when it is fresh and even more when it is dried. I just cut it, tie with twine and hang it upside down. The key is to cut it when it is fully bloomed but before it goes past. I am not an expert on all varieties, so I would Google the variety you buy for tip on timing for cutting.
They end up in vases throughout the house and make their way into many crafts including making my own goats milk soap
My main tip for lavender is to learn from my mistakes. It looks beautiful when it blooms – but once it goes past, not so much. They used to be in one of my front raised beds but I replaced them with hydrangea because they stay looking good all season (which is why they are my favorite). I know have them in my vegetable garden where it doesn’t matter if I cut them back.
Boxwood is not a flower, but it is one of my decorating staples. I love them in all of my front garden beds and find they pair well with my hydrangea. I even have some in pots by my front porch. I have cuttings in vases in my kitchen now to bring in some green pops and they have lasted a few weeks so far.
I also use them a ton for decorating at Christmas. I think this year I would like to add one to my cutting garden so I don’t scalp the ones I have in my decorative beds.
My tip for boxwood is that you can cut them to put in vases or to out of water for seasonal displays. I find they dry right in place really well. They don’t keep forever though. The wreaths and such you see at stores are not dried, they are preserved. That is something I would love to learn to do next.
Holly will be my new addition this year. When I was home in December to see my father-in-law, he sent me home with some cuttings for my Christmas decorating and I fell in love. The crisp green was so perfect and the pops of red made for a perfect classic Christmas accent. And it stayed with the strong color – out of water- all through the season.
My tip for holly actually comes from my father-in-law and I have to look into it a little further. He said you can’t just plant one bush. You have to plant two – a male and a female for it to have the berries. Kind of cool right?
Where we live, we have a lot of space (a.k.a. boonies!) so it is possible for me to plant a variety of plants. If you don't just pick a favorite - or better yet, keep buying them at the grocery store!
What about you?
What are your favorite plants to cut from for decorating? How about in other climate zones. I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.
Thanks so much for reading and wishing you a day full of grace.
P.S. All of these pictures are my photos edited in the Waterlogue app.