Flowers for a Cutting Garden

Love bouquets? Fill your yard with perennials that offer blossoms perfect for picking and plunking into vases.

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Photo By: Anthony Tesselaar Plants at Tesselaar.com

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Photo By: Julie Martens Forney

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: Julie Martens Forney

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: iBulb.org

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: Julie Martens Forney

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: Julie Martens Forney

Volcano Phlox Bouquet

Garden phlox makes a great addition to a cutting garden, and Volcano Phlox is no exception. This fragrant phlox continues to flower all summer long if you cut plants back by a quarter after the first flowers fade. Plants grow 24 to 28 inches tall by 24 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-10. Good vase companions for phlox: chamomile, euphorbia and hosta (shown).

Peony

Peonies are old-fashioned favorites that are long-lived, flowering for generations. Peony blossoms come in a variety of flower forms, like these semi-double blooms of pink 'Paula Fay.’ A single peony makes a stunning bouquet; combine several stems, and you have a centerpiece fit for any gathering. Plant early, mid- and late season peonies, and you’ll be picking the blooms for six weeks. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 35 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-8. Good vase companions for peony: lady’s mantle, clustered bellflower, catmint and hosta.

Summerina Yellow Echibeckia

Echibeckia combines the winter hardiness of purple coneflower (Echinacea) with the fast growth and sunny flower colors of black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia). The result is a stunning beauty that makes the most humble jar vase beam with good looks. Flowers stand atop sturdy stems and appear all summer long — without deadheading. Rabbit- and deer-resistant plants grow 20 to 24 inches tall and 16 to 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 6-10. Good vase companions for echibeckia: bee balm, mints, ninebark and purple verbena.

Clustered Bellflower

If purple is your jam, you need to tuck clustered bellflower into your garden. The bright purple blossoms make a perfect addition to any late spring or early summer bouquet. Remove spent blooms to help extend the flower show. Blossoms beckon butterflies and other pollinators. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 15 to 16 inches tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 5-8. Good vase companions for clustered bellflower: bearded iris, baptisia, gas plant, lady’s mantle and coralbells.

Bee Balm

Bee balm, also known as Oswego tea, explodes with floral fireworks in summer. The flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds and make a terrific addition to the summer vase. Plants grow best in full sun to part shade with consistently moist soil. Bee balm comes in a variety of plant sizes and colors, including lavender, pink and bright purple. Rabbit- and deer-resistant plants grow 12 to 36 inches tall and 14 to 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Good vase companions for bee balm: anise hyssop, coreopsis, zinnia and garden phlox.

Bearded Iris

A classic bloomer for early summer bouquets, bearded iris offers a rainbow of flower hues, from purple-black, to sunny yellow, to old-fashioned lavender. Bearded iris are undemanding in the garden. Tuck them into a spot with full sun to part shade, and call it done. Look for dwarf, knee-high or tall varieties. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 38 inches tall by 12 to 18 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-10. Good vase companions for bearded iris: baptisia, peony, lady’s mantle, gas plant and lavender.

Gas Plant

Individual blossoms on the flower spike of gas plant appear to have eyelashes, thanks to long, curling stamens. Gas plant offers a long flower season, from late spring through midsummer, and you can find varieties with blooms in shades of lavender, pink and red. Once flowers fade, seedpods form that linger into early winter and make a nice addition to autumn arrangements. Site this perennial where you want it (full sun is best), because it doesn’t transplant easily. Small seedlings tend to form around the mother plant, and those can be moved with little fuss. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 28 to 32 inches tall by 18 to 24 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-7. Good vase companions for gas plant: bearded iris, peony, bee balm and lady’s mantle.

Oriental Lily

Oriental lilies are showstoppers in the summer garden, opening richly colored and intensely fragrant blooms. Flowers appear from mid- to late summer and can linger for a few weeks. Oriental lilies grow from bulbs, which are best planted in fall in colder zones. Lily stems grow 24 to 48 inches tall and usually benefit from staking. Plants often spread over time to form a clump from 12 to 36 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-9. Good vase companions for Oriental lily: hosta or baptisia leaves, ribbon grass, garden phlox or bee balm.

Heuchera

Also known as coralbells, heucheras bring season-long color to the garden and vase with their tinted leaves. Look for heuchera in a host of shades, including gold, purple, lime green, burgundy, almost black and silver. In the garden, heuchera is versatile, growing in full sun to full shade. Some varieties have a specific light preference, so be sure to read the plant tag prior to purchase. Use heuchera leaves to add color to arrangements, or pick the airy flower spikes. Blossoms appear from early to midsummer, depending on variety. Deer-resistant plants grow 6 to 8 inches tall by 10 to 12 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Good vase companions for heuchera: gas plant, Oriental lily, hosta leaves, zinnia and anise hyssop.

Lady’s Mantle

Edge planting beds with beautiful lady’s mantle. This is a go-to perennial for cottage or old-fashioned gardens. Leaves have a heavily felted texture that causes water to bead on the surface, even morning dew. Chartreuse flowers appear from late spring to early summer. They make the perfect filler for fresh garden bouquets and also dry well to use in dried flower arrangements. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 15 to 18 inches tall by 18 to 24 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-7. Good vase companions for lady’s mantle: peony, bearded iris, Oriental lily and clustered bellflower.

Purple Coneflower

A classic native wildflower, purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) brings a steady stream of color to gardens all summer long. It’s a hearty plant, withstanding full sun, drought and poor soil of all sorts (clay, rocky, shallow). Plant breeders have worked to improve this flower powerhouse by expanding blossom color and form. The result? You can find (no longer purple) coneflower plants in a rainbow of shades, including red, gold, white, orange and pink. This variety is PowWow Wildberry, which unfurls vivid rose-purple blooms. Coneflowers are deer- and rabbit-resistant. Purple coneflower grows 24 to 60 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide. Some newer varieties grow shorter. Hardy in Zones 3-8. Good vase companions for purple coneflower: Oriental or Asiatic lily, Russian sage, catmint, hosta and gas plant.

‘Loyalist’ Hosta

Hosta offers a wonderful array of leaf colors and sizes that provide beautiful greenery for a bouquet. Or, take a page from modern design and showcase a vase of hosta leaves — in one hue or a mixed variety. Hosta leaves hold up well in a vase, outlasting many garden flowers. This variety, 'Loyalist,’ offers leaves with white centers and green edges. Many hostas also unfurl vase-worthy flower spikes at some point in the summer. Hosta plants can be miniature or giant, growing anywhere from 6 inches to 60 inches tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 3-9. Good vase companions for hosta: purple coneflower, gas plant, rose, bearded iris and peony.

False Indigo

Go native with false indigo, a prairie plant that’s low maintenance and gorgeous. Pretty blue-purple flower spikes appear in late spring and make a great addition to a garden-fresh bouquet. Leaves have a blue-green tone that looks stunning in a vase—harvest stems all season long. Dried seedpods make a nice addition to fall arrangements. This is a tap-rooted perennial, which means it’s not easy to move once established. Plant it where you know it can stay put. False indigo offers different flower colors, including blends of blue, yellow, brown and white. The variety shown is 'Blueberry Sundae.’ False indigo are deer-resistant plants that grow 4 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 3-9. Good vase companions for false indigo: bearded iris, peony, clustered bellflower, purple coneflower and echibeckia.

Anise Hyssop

Native perennial anise hyssop earns its keep in the garden by filling many roles. Offering beautiful cut flowers is just one of them. Known botanically as Agastache foeniculum, anise hyssop is a strong pollinator plant, bringing bees, butterflies and many beneficial insects to the garden. Leaves can be used to flavor drinks with a hint of anise, and small purple petals offer a burst of licorice flavor. Flower spikes are sturdy and work in a bouquet with or without the actual tiny lavender blooms. They provide structure and a vertical accent in arrangements. Deer-and rabbit-resistant plants grow 24 to 48 inches tall and 18 to 36 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8. Good vase companions for anise hyssop: purple coneflower, echibeckia, hosta, gas plant and garden phlox.

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