09 Aug

Say It With Flowers!

Lissa Coffey

Lissa Coffey

Lissa Coffey

I like gardens that are family friendly and “hands-on,” where you can step outside and clip a bouquet for the kitchen table anytime you want to! Here are some ideas to help you get started creating your own cutting garden.

-Prepare the area:
Look for a sunny, well-drained area to plant your garden. Work in lots of compost and some slow release fertilizer to prepare the soil for planting.

-Choose your flowers:
Which flowers do you prefer? Think in terms of size and color, and look for what grows best in your climate. Long-stemmed flowers tend to make the best cutting flowers for arrangements, so keep that in mind. You might also want to add in a few foliage plants for texture and color.

-Group your plants:
Plan which plants go where by grouping plants with similar sun, water, and drainage requirements together. Flowers tend to look better when they are grouped together, rather than mixed up.

-Plant and maintain:
Water plants with about one inch of water per week. Remove faded blossoms periodically. Check for aphids and other insects, which are attracted to flowering plants. Give plants a dose of organic liquid fertilizer every once in awhile.

-Clip and display!
Pick blossoms regularly and plants will continue to bloom throughout the summer. The more flowers you cut, the more you’ll have! When cutting flowers, snip each stem at an angle, using sharp shears. Place cut ends in water immediately. Once indoors, cut off another quarter inch of stem and remove all the leafy growth below the water line. Keep flowers fresher, longer, by adding some lemon-lime soda and a drop or two of chlorine bleach to the water. Change water daily, and make sure no leaves or buds are under water to decay.

Tradition says that each flower has a special meaning, so think about the language of flowers when you are giving and receiving this gift:

Alstroemeria – friendship
Alyssum – worth beyond beauty
Amaryllis – pride
Anemone – anticipation
Aster – patience
Bird of Paradise – joyfulness
Bluebell – constancy
Bouvardia – enthusiasm
Calla lily – magnificent beauty
Carnation – fascination
Chrysanthemum – fidelity
Cornflower – great happiness
Crocus – cheerfulness
Daffodil – chivalry
Daisy – innocence
Forget-Me-Not – memories, farewell
Freesia – innocence
Gardenia – secret love
Gerbera Daisy – beauty
Gladiolus – sincerity
Honeysuckle – generous affection
Hydrangea – heartfelt
Iris – my compliments
Jasmine – amiability]
Jonquil – love me
Larkspur – levity
Lilac – first love
Lily – majesty
Magnolia – nobility
Orange blossoms – innocence
Orchid – refinement
Ranunculus – radiant
Rose – love
Snapdragon – desire
Sunflower – cheerfulness
Sweetpea – farewell
Tulip – declaration of love

Colors give added meaning to flowers:
Red- love, respect, passion, courage
Pink – perfect happiness, gentility, grace, admiration
Yellow – friendship, joy, zeal
White – innocence, purity, secrecy
Peach/Orange – enthusiasm, sweetness, modesty
Purple – faithfulness, passion, hope

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