At this time of the year our gardens are hopefully so full of colour that some blooms can be spared for the house.
Wandering around the garden with a pair of scissors, snipping here and snipping there, is an August treat.
Whilst some people are expert flower arrangers or just have a natural flair others just plonk the flowers in a vase. Irrespective of skill levels decorating the house with flowers from your own garden is one of summer’s many pleasure.
How & When to Pick your Flowers
• Don’t pick flowers in the heat of the day as they will quickly wilt. Pick last thing at night or first thing in the morning.
• Don’t try to arrange your flowers straight way. Instead plunge then into a bucket of tepid water and allow them to recover for a few hours or overnight. This will prolong their vase life.
• Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the stem – you don’t want any leaves left below the water level as these will rot. If there are fewer leaves there is less demand on the stem and the flower is less likely to flop.
• When picking annuals and biennials take out the leading shoot by cutting just above a side branch with a bud. This will encourage more flowers.
• The more you cut some annuals, such as sweet peas, the more flowers the plant will produce.
• Take care with lilies – the pollen can stain hands, clothing and upholstery and is poisonous to pets.
Even a very simple arrangement can look stunning. Place the flowers in your vase stem by stem and vary the heights. You will need some tall – 2 or 3 times the height of your vase – and some shorter stems for support. Don’t be tempted to overfill the vase as this can make the arrangement look cramped. Add foliage such as a favourite grass or leaf stem to give an interesting contrast.
The important thing is not to worry too much about creating the perfect arrangement. A pretty vase and plenty of colour are really all that is needed. And if the flowers are fragrant that’s an added bonus.
View our cut flower wall chart guide for a list of the most popular flowers for you to grow providing the sowing and flowering times