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Cut Flowers Garden


Looking for a gardening project which adds instant colour to your home throughout 2024? Creating your own cut flower patch in your garden could be just what you’re looking for  

Everyone loves flowers – it's a simple way to brighten up someone’s day. Plus, doesn’t every table and windowsill look so much better when proudly showcasing a bouquet of flowers? However, sometimes the same old choice of supermarket bouquets year after year can get boring, or they don’t quite give the impact you were hoping for  

With your own dedicated cut flower garden, you get to choose which flower varieties to grow. Create diverse flower bouquets for every occasion and get the colours, textures and smells you're looking for by mixing and matching the varieties you plant and grow – you can even change it up each year for the ultimate customisation! Plus, cutting your own flowers lasts much longer than supermarket bouquets, and as you get to hand-pick the best flowers, you’ll always have the prettiest displays  

Whether you’re aiming to decorate your dinner tables or surprise your friends and loved ones with your own freshly picked flowers, our easy-to-follow guide contains all the information you need to plan and create a cut flower patch in your garden. Discover how to layout and plant your patch, the optimal growing and care conditions for beautiful flowers, and what varieties to choose each season for scented, long-lasting flower bouquets all year-long  

How to Grow Cut Flowers


You don’t need advanced tools to plant, grow and harvest cut flowers, but like any other garden project, you’ll need a few items before you start planting, including:  


The kind of flowers you grow for your cut flower patch depends entirely on what varieties are right for you, your taste, and your space. You may find that to begin with it’s easier to grow cut flowers from potted bulbs or young plug plants rather than sowing seeds  

However, before you start planting anything, it’s important to choose flowers suitable for the type of soil in your garden and its growing conditions; for example, how much sunlight your garden gets or if it’s prone to flooding  

Flowering plants can be grouped based on when they bloom and die back:  

  • Annual flowers are sown or planted every year, but they do grow very quickly. They bloom in summer, but you can also sow them in autumn or early spring in a greenhouse to encourage early flowering. They suit most gardeners as they’re easy to grow but are still very visually rewarding. Annuals are perfect if you want to change things up and grow something different each year  

  • Biennial flowers last 2 years before dying back. Since they don’t flower until their first year, growing biennials does take a bit of patience, but it’s worth the investment as many popular flowering favourites are biennials  

  • Perennial flowers live more than 2 years (with the right care!) and are more of a long-term investment for your cut flower patch. You can grow perennials from seed if you're looking for value for money or buy and plant containerised plants. The lovely flowers perennials produce over time ae well worth any the wait 

  • Bulbs are ideal for cut flower gardens, flowering in late winter/ early spring all the way through to summer depending on the type. You can have a go at growing different bulb varieties each year – it’s a great opportunity to try out all kinds of well-known flowers in your cut flower bouquets 

  • Shrubs are good to grow if you’re looking to grow something more permanent and be a bit more economical in your growing, like perennials. They include evergreens, some roses, and Hydrangeas. Shrubs provide foliage for your cut flower arrangements in winter and early spring, when not much else is growing. Remember to allow shrubs to establish and settle into flowering before taking any cuttings  

It’s a good idea to grow a variety of both annuals and perennials for cut flowers. This is so you always have some permanent flowers, but you can also change it up by growing different annuals each year  

If you're looking for a big, showy bouquet, it’s best to have at least 3 different types of flowers, plus greenery and foliage for added volume  

OUR GARDENING EXPERT’S TOP TIP: Don’t forget to plant some more foliage focused shrubs and grasses for filler and greenery to your cut flower bouquets  


Young Plants


Sowing flowers takes a lot of planning, and needs planned months in advance from when you want your cut flowers ready. Keep this in mind if you’re growing for a specific occasion, like a wedding  

Most annuals and biennials are easy to grow from seed or young plug plants, but for perennials and shrubs we recommend planting from container grown varieties - you’ll have flowers much sooner than you would if you were to sow these types of plants from seeds  

If you don't have time or space to sow seeds, almost all flowering plants can be grown from young plants, which are available to buy in spring  

How to sow annuals and biennials from seed:  

  • Sow annuals in autumn (for earlier flowering) or spring   

  • Unless your annuals are hardy, you’ll need to sow them indoors as they won’t survive frost or cold weather. See our guide on how to grow seeds indoors  

  • Biennials are often hardy plants, and can be sown outdoors in summer in their final flowering position  

  • Your seed packets will always come with any relevant care and use instructions, so make sure to read these carefully before sowing  

How to Grow Flowers


When you plant flowers depends on the kind you’re growing, as they all have different flowering seasons. Generally, it’s best to plant out when the ground isn’t frozen or waterlogged. Young plants, container plants, bulbs and seeds will all have relevant care and use instructions, so you should read these carefully before buying to plan the best time to plant  

  • When to plant annuals: Sow from seed in the autumn (late September to October) or spring (March to early May), or grow from young plants in spring  

  • When to plant biennials: Sow from seed in summer, or grow young plants in spring  

  • When to plant perennials: Best planted in spring or autumn when the ground is still moist  

  • When to plant bulbs: Spring-flowering bulbs should be planted in autumn (a few weeks before first frost) and summer-flowering bulbs should be planted in spring (a few weeks after first frost) – check out our guide to planting bulbs  

  • When to plant shrubs: Best planted between October and April, but container-grown shrubs can be planted at any time of year if the soil isn’t frozen or waterlogged  



The time it takes for flowers to grow once again depends on the kind you’re growing, and how you’re growing them. On average it takes 95 days for flowers to bloom from seed, but faster-growing ones can take as little as 50 days under the right conditions. However, it’s important to remember that shrubs, biennials and perennials can take a year or two to establish and bloom  

Keep in mind that you don’t want to take flower cuttings when your flowers are fully bloomed as you want to get the most life out of them as possible

How to plant a cut flower patch


If you want your cut flowers to bloom their best, then you need to have the right growing conditions. Rich, well-draining soil is essential – you can enhance the quality of your soil by mixing in an organic matter. You should also make sure the area you’re planting is totally free of weeds  

Almost all cut flower types love a sunny area, so make sure the location of your flower patch gets enough sunlight  

Avoid windy sites if possible - you’re looking to grow strong, robust, straight stalks for the best display, and strong wind can bend stems  



You don't want to take the flowers from your border and ruin the beautiful appearance of your garden, so having a dedicated flower bed specifically for growing cut flowers gives you the best of both worlds  

Choose a space in your garden with the most suitable growing conditions. The best way to plant cut flowers is to dig out a long trench and plant or sow in rows – it doesn't look the best visually, but this is the easiest way to weed, harvest and keep track of what you’re growing  

OUR GARDENING EXPERT’S TOP TIP: Sow seeds little and often for a continuous supply of cut flowers 

 Make sure there is sufficient space in between plants to allow them room to grow - check the planting instructions to find out exactly how much space to leave and how to plant your chosen flowers  

Layer about 5cm (about 2 inches) of mulch to the surface of the soil around your plants, which helps with frost protection, adds nutrients, retains moisture and suppresses weeds. You can also apply a general fertiliser for strong healthy flower growth  

 OUR GARDENING EXPERT’S TOP TIP: Use plant labels to remind yourself what you’re growing and where  


Fresh Cut Flowers Basket


Cut your flowers just when they’re starting to show colour - not when they're in full bloom or when the buds are still closed. The more in-bloom they are when you take cuttings, then the sooner they’ll die. For blooms in a spike arrangement, like foxgloves or gladiolus, cut when the lowest flowers on the stem have opened  

The best time to harvest cut flowers is in the morning, when their stems are rigid and full of water. If the weather is warm and sunny, wait until the evening as plants will need a chance to soak up as much water as they can during the day  

Many annual flowers like sweet peas bloom over a longer period if picked regularly. On the contrary, slow growing shrubs should be cut infrequently - picking is a form of pruning, so heavy cutting of flowers may mean fewer flowers the following season  


Here are some of our top flower picks for each season, which we think makes for the most beautiful bouquets:   

Aucuba Japonica

Foliage to plant for cut flower bouquets 

  • Eucalyptus (evergreen)  

  • Aucuba japonica (shrub)  

  • Holly (shrub)  

  • Rosemary (shrub)  

  • Arum lily (perennial)  

  • Phormium (perennial)  

  • Miscanthus sinensis (perennial)