One of the joys of gardening is creating flower arrangements for your home using the plants growing right in your own garden. With some careful consideration, you can design a garden that is beautiful, colorful and chock full of plant material to make arrangements to decorate your home all year long.
Focus on Flowers
A flower arranger’s garden requires lots of the same flowers so the garden itself is not bare and uninteresting after you’ve borrowed some of its bounty for arranging. That means planting in masses rather than one of this and two of that. If possible, plant complementary flowers that bloom at the same time so you have several different flowers to use in your arrangements.
It’s also important to plant flowers that will bloom during different seasons. As one flower is fading another should be coming into its glory. Annuals and bulbs, as well as herbs, should be an integral part of a flower arranger’s garden. Using a variety of different kinds of flowers, not just perennials, will round out your flower palette and make your arrangements more interesting.
For a colorful collection of flowers year round, consider black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), cleome, crocosmia, daffodil, lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis), nasturtium, rose, and tulip.
It’s wise to include some perennials just for their unique foliage to add accents to your arrangements. This can be especially important if your flower arranger’s garden has more shade than sun. A few foliage stars that will work well in a Connecticut garden are brunnera, fennel, fern, heuchera, hosta, and lungwort.
A flower arranger’s garden should also include woody plants that have interesting foliage and branches. When choosing shrubs, think about branches for forcing flowers inside in late winter, or that have berries in the fall, or colorful foliage throughout the year. Look for shrubs that respond well to pruning.
A few such shrubs that are at home in any Connecticut garden include beautybush (Kolkwitzia amabilis ‘Dream Catcher’), buttercup winterhazel (Corylopsis pauciflora), doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum tomentosum), holly (Ilex spp.), kumson forsythia (Forsythia koreana ‘Kumson’), purple smokebush (Cotinus coggygria), and redtwig dogwood (Cornus sericea).
Other Design Considerations
Don’t forget to give some thought to your color scheme when you are deciding which plants to include in your flower arranger’s garden. For some gardeners, it’s easier to think in terms of colors you don’t like to see in your garden—for me, it’s red. If you’re still not sure, take some time to look around your home and note the colors you’ve used to decorate your interiors.
As you’re designing and choosing plants for your flower arranger’s garden, remember to think about the kinds of flower arrangements you like to create. If your style runs to small and dainty designs you’ll want different plants than someone who prefers big, bold arrangements.