Cutting and Drying Flowers

One of the greatest pleasures of growing a garden is having an abundance of flowers for picking. Some varieties take well to drying and will last into winter and beyond.

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Plant in Swathes

Clear the area of weeds and dig in organic matter. In fall, plant bulbs and mark their positions. Then in spring, plant large swathes of perennials and annuals, so you can cut the flowers regularly without leaving big gaps in the planting beds.

Rainbow Flower GardenEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Pick and Mix

When you're planning to pick your flowers, water the area well the night before. This helps stems plump up and the cut flowers will keep longer. It's best to cut first thing in the morning, plunging the stems immediately into a deep bucket of water. Always cut to just above a leaf.

Cutting FlowersEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Drying Plants

Some flowers retain their colors and scents when they're cut and dried and can be used in flower arrangements throughout the year. Seedheads look striking in indoor arrangements too, but leave some on the plants if you want a dramatic winter garden.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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