Cut flowers from the garden

Posted by Jessie Jacobson on Aug 2nd 2018

Nothing says "Welcome home" quite like a bouquet of fresh cut flowers. Flower arrangements are one of the many benefits of keeping a diverse perennial garden. First rule of flower arranging: Anything goes. Play with complementary colors, textures and shapes. There are tips and tricks to making award-winning arrangements, but if you like it, that's what matters. Here are a few recipes to try.

Big and Beautiful

Hydrangea and Hosta in bottle Hosta and Hydrangeas. Pair big blooms with big leaves for an impressive look. Or, snip some branches from a purplish Ninebark and tuck them in with big, beautiful hydrangea blooms, and a few lacy spires of Russian Sage for an interesting arrangement. Hydrangea flower arrangement in bottle

Wild and Free

Daisies, coneflowers, sea lavender and grasses in hanging glass bottle Start with Grasses and Daisies, add Black-eyed Susan’s, Coneflowers, and add color and keep this arrangement playful, giving it a rustic, country wildflower feel.

Simple and Elegant

Any type of flower can look lovely on it’s own, but some are particularly well suited to an arrangement containing only one or two varieties. Try lilies, roses, or sunflowers for simple yet stunning arrangements. Roses in ceramic cups An arrangement can be as simple as a cut rose delicately floating in a small glass, or a single large flower offset with some grasses. Daylily, achillea and grasses in glass bottle


  1. Use sharp pruning shears. Scissors or other cutting tools that aren't made for plants could crush the stems rather than cleanly cut them.
  2. Cut stems diagonally. This ensures the stems can still draw water when they're touching the bottom of the container.
  3. Strip leaves off stems that sit below the water line. Leaves below the water line can cause mold, discoloration and bad smells, and will shorten the life of your arrangement.

Finishing touches

Just like planting a container, cut flower arrangements can benefit from a variety of added elements:
  • Twigs
  • Evergreens
  • Vines (for trailing or tangling)
  • Berries (think pagoda dogwood, viburnum, etc.)
  • Feathers
  • Aluminum wire (not steel, which can rust)

Looking forward

Black-eyed susans are lovely in floral arrangements, and grasses can add height, linear curves and negative space. Both are on sale for 20% off from Aug. 3-9. Rudbeckia and grasses in blue vase Perennial mums are a great cut flower for fall arrangements, and they'll be arriving at Tonkadale sometime this month. They are prolific, and adorable in everything from mason jars to shot glasses to large vases. Perennial mums If you're thinking of spring flowers, plant now. Peonies, Lilacs, Pussy willows, and Forsythia are early bloomers that will make you want to bring the outdoors in after a long, cold winter.  Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinths make excellent cut flower arrangements. Those bulbs will also be available at Tonkadale within a month, and should be planted in the fall for blooms next spring.