Adrienne Curzon has been integrating cut-flower gardens into clients’ designs for many years.
This is an area of a garden designated purely for the purpose of growing flowers to cut and display.
Adrienne explains: “Bringing a bit of outside in will boost even the dampest of spirits – particularly relevant to us now with the sun’s refusal to shine.
“A cut-flower patch can be a very rewarding area of your garden to manage and the best part is that it gives you something back.
“Even the busiest of us can find the time to patter outside to cut ourselves a fresh bunch of blooms and it saves on buying supermarket bunches.”
To plan a cut-flower garden, treat it like planning a menu. Think about the flavour of flowers you’re drawn to, how much variety you want. You may not have time to arrange a multitude of sprays, so plant high volumes of a limited number of types of perennials. Ask yourself if you like a naturalistic or streamlined look of a limited colour. Neither style is reserved for a particular type of home. The soft plumes of hydrangeas and cottage garden roses can look stunning in an ultra-contemporary home, while a vase of stark white tulips can sit well on a country kitchen table. There are no rules planning your cut flower garden so let your personal taste inform you.
Buy and plant seeds now for long-stem sweet peas and scabiosas (pincushion flowers) this summer. Great perennials to plant now are echinaceas, shasta daisies, irises, astrantias… the possibilities are vast. In autumn, plant tulip bulbs, narcissus for an early spring yield (white if you’re not a fan of yellow). Snowdrops are great for winter – they may seem small but sometimes a tiny bit of nature on a shelf can brighten up those bleak days.
It’s best to develop your cut flower garden over time. Have fun and experiment. If something doesn’t work, change it. Your taste may change and your interior style evolve so let your cut flower garden reflect that. Think of it as a tool to keep your home looking fresh and seasonal.
Think of all the seasons in the context of your home and plan how cut flowers can enhance your interior. You may want a varied palette as the light changes from spring to late autumn and early winter. If you have the space, think about growing evergreen shrubbery that can be cut and mixed to give you festive displays in December and then a bit of life to a table top in January.
This may be as simple as opting for all white flowers all year round but it’s also an opportunity to challenge yourself with colour without having to commit it to a wall or furnishings. Sometimes a room can be made by a bunch of flowers. Dare to contrast with colour and pick up on hues in furnishings to further enhance décor. You may have a room that starts to look gloomy once the clocks change so consider growing red crocosmia to give a fiery red boost in autumn.
Through a year of seasons, many people, even the self-confessed garden novices grow more confident and start to want to experiment and dabble more and more. That’s the beauty of cut-flower gardens – that they can evolve by starting off simply and adding more over time. It’s a natural progression toward adding interesting foliage to displays to elevate the style of flowers on display. The lacy texture and zesty lime colour of fern leafs can look stunning alongside garden-grown tulips and the subtly grey foliage from artemisia instantly gives a vintage feel to a bunch of roses.
Think about how you want to display your cut flower bunches and if this will change with the seasons. This is a chance to think ‘outside the vase’ and start looking at other vessels. Bottles, buckets, tins, china can all look interesting and we need not think about bouquets generically. Sometimes less is more for the biggest style statement.
So whatever the up and coming seasons deliver, we can all bring a bit of the outside in. To do so we have to venture out and keeps in touch with the outside. Get planning, prepping and planting yours and ready yourself for a blooming home.
Hendy Curzon Gardens Ltd, 01993 771522