Gardens - Specialty Gardens

Plan and plant a cutting garden

Beckie Fox
Photography by
Roger Yip

Devote some space to beautiful blooms that you can snip for homegrown bouquets

Bright, beautiful flowers drew me to gardening many years ago. I wanted their diverse shapes, colours and scents in all my planting beds, and their blossoms for the house—enough to fill a vase in every room. But how could I nurture seedlings, only to whack off their stems just as they came into bloom for vases? Compounding my dilemma was my small garden—a dozen tall zinnias in a border took up valuable real estate, and cutting them would create a void.


After moving to a larger property, I had enough room for a cutting garden—a separate space dedicated to growing flowers for the house—where I could harvest with abandon. I decided to focus on annuals so every year would be an experiment (a clean slate also makes yearly soil amendment and cultivation easier).

The first lesson I learned was that it doesn’t take much room to grow ample flowers as long as you choose the right plants and organize your space. My four beds are only three by 1.5 metres each, but they provide more than enough bouquets for me and my friends (a jam jar full of pretty blooms is much more welcome than a bag of warty zucchini).

My second lesson was realizing that a cutting garden doesn’t need to look utilitarian and plain, or chaotic and messy. A well-designed plot is a beautiful addition to the landscape.

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