The Mother’s Day gift that keeps on giving. Instead of just a bundle of flowers, plant a Green Scene cutting garden for Mom this year.
As Mother’s Day approaches most people start thinking about what to get their beloved Mom to show their appreciation for all they’ve done for them. Many people choose to buy some cut flowers that look beautiful the day they are gifted, but then quickly decline into a bunch of dead brush and end up in the trash just a few days later.
A Fresher Approach
At The Green Scene we suggest you consider planting a living “Cutting Garden” for Mom as a more enduring gift. A “Cutting Garden” is an area of the yard set aside to produce flowers that are grown for the purpose of snipping and placing indoors in a vase. A living flower garden provides fresh blooms for Mom to cut and bring into the house all year long. The ongoing supply of blooms makes the yard look great, provides cut flowers for the house, and reminds Mom regularly of your thoughtful gift.
An Array of Cutting Garden Options
Most flower arrangements include Tea Roses, and English Roses, which grow very well in our San Fernando Valley, California garden climate and come in a wide range of colors but there are many other plants you can choose to make stunning bouquets of varying colors and textures.
Consider Color, Size, and Fragrance
For larger floral arrangements cut from the garden, our favorites include: Hydrangeas and Dinner Plate Dahlias. Both provide very large blooms to anchor the arrangement with scale and vibrant color. A year-round giver for both dried floral arrangements and water-in-a-vase is “Sea Lavender” (Limonium perezii), sometimes called Statice.
Mid-size bouquets might include, Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia), Foxglove (Digitalis) and Delphiniums as they add another layer of color and texture to your arrangement and provide a nice backdrop for the anchor flowers. Often smaller flowers are added to add even more diversity, texture and aroma to your colorful table display. Stepanotis is a vine that makes clusters of small white flowers (often found in wedding bouquets) that can be worked into your vase and not only give a cascading floral effect but also provide a sweet fragrance that fills the room with garden essence. And my all-time favorite is Freesias! They are known for a wonderful apricot like smell and are available in a mixed variety of beautifully vivid colors. Freesias are easy to grow from bulbs and are a must-have in any cutting garden.
An Extra Touch of Beauty
Sometimes sprigs of foliage are added to a bouquet to add a different texture and density to your arrangement, fern leaves are commonly used in bouquets as well as sprigs of upright rosemary or Leucadendron sprigs.
For longevity in a vase, the award goes to… “Tiger Lilies” also known as Alstromerias. They grow easily in shade to partial sun and spread via runners under the soil. Special maintenance note: you actually “pluck” these flowers before cutting them down to the proper length to match your vase display. By plucking, you encourage new growth and an ongoing supply of flower stalks. If cut, the main plant dies back and eventually disappears.
Exotic flowers can be grown in your yard for even more exciting, and perhaps less conventional arrangements. You can add a tropical twist by using Bird of Paradise (Sterelitzia) or Heliconia flowers. The leaves from these tropical show-offs can also add interest in your bouquets. Other exotic flowers that grow well locally in Porter Ranch, Chatsworth, Northridge, and West Hills are Protea blooms and a similar flower called Leucospermum that make unique “pincushion ‘flowers that are sure to wow your Mom every time they bloom.
Planting a Green Scene Cutting Garden will be a wonderful gift that Mom won’t soon forget. After all, it will remind her regularly of your thoughtfulness with a constant source of blooms for both inside and out. Plan now for a cutting garden that will provide flowers for years to come rather than a bouquet that lasts a few days before being discarded like yesterday’s news.
Randy Wild is the “Plant Dude” at The Green Scene and works with our clients to help select the perfect plant palate for their resort style designs. Randy started working at The Green Scene over 30 years ago.