We started Bramble Run out of a love from dropping flowers at friends’ houses. The store-bought flowers always needed picked through and rearranged because of rot formed on their journey from Columbia. Eventually I came to realize that the selections never changed. Enter “well why not grow our own!” Little did I know how much I would love the beauty each flower would offer me, the lessons I’d learn from each stage of growth. The idea grew (pun intended) until Bramble Run was born.
Flower farms are becoming quite popular now, but they take time and space and…did I mention time! But YOU can grow enough beauty to share from your very own back yard with just some weekend care and a 4x4 plot or raised bed! This is geared towards the average home gardener that wants to have beautiful cut flowers available in your own space. Just a warning though, growing flowers can be very addicting and if you aren’t careful, you just might end up with your own flower farm. Where do you begin, you ask? Let me tell you!
Cutting Garden Plans
To set you up for the most, care-free success, I suggest a 4x4 raised bed. You can build one quite easily following any 4x4 raised bed plans from the internet. I suggest placing flat cardboard along the ground inside your box before you fill it with a layer of leaves or vegetation and then good quality soil. You’ll want to buy soil for your raised bed. Soil from your yard or other beds will introduce seasonal weeds. Raised beds are designed to give you a HUGE jump on weeds by following these suggestions.
Next step is deciding what to plant. Believe it or not, seeds are like people: basically the same and yet totally different. Annuals will give you the most bang for your buck but some are very finicky and others easy. We’ve suggested easy germinators and easy growers as well as heavy producers to reward your efforts.
To make planning, planting and harvesting easier, I’m using more of a grid style of design, much like square foot gardening. Once the planting is done, this will be a fairly low maintenance garden. The plants will be packed in tight to maximize the space and to minimize weeding. Providing water and fertilizer (and the occasional weed) will pretty much be all that will need to be done to maintain the cutting garden.
With a cutting garden, it’s important to position the flowers varieties so the taller ones don’t shade the shorter flowers. So before you start planning, figure out the position of your flower bed in conjunction with the sun. Taller flowers need to be placed on the north side of the flower bed, so they don’t shade the shorter flowers and everyone can get the sunshine they need. Some annual flowers like zinnias and cosmos will get huge and need staking, without it, once full grown a strong wind can topple them easily. This 4x4 garden has a spacing of six inches for each plant so as they grow you need to support the larger plants with twine.
Cut Flower Supplies
~ Flower seeds: Johnnys Selected Seed is a great company for cut flower sized flower seeds. If you buy from a local store, just check the back of the packages for stem length. Don’t purchase anything less than 14”.
~ twine for marking off the grid
~ a butter knife
~ optional: gloves and flower fertilizer
~seed starting trays and a good organic seed starting mix (Take it from me, don’t go cheap here or you’ll have to sift out mulch chunks in order to plant)
Annuals have the longest flowering season and will bloom continuously for 3 or months if blooms are removed. Cutting encourages rebloom! So make sure you’re dead heading regularly to get the most reward for your time. In order to start seedlings, follow the back of the packet. When it’s time to plant, that’s when you ignore the packet haha and plant according to our chart. We’ve listed some garden work horses in our grid to take the guessing out of your plan, but some honorable mentions are:
Now, I can’t say enough about perennials, tubers and bulbs as garden workhorses BUT some of my favorite greenery is the mint family. This bed does not have enough space to grow mint (which can become invasive, so plant contained) or bulbs, but I definitely encourage you finding the room for a bulb/perennial bed. Some great perennials are:
· Shasta Daisies
· Black-eyed Susan
A raised Cut Flower Garden is easy to maintain, but you will get the most blooms if you make sure to water your cut flower beds regularly. Do not rely on the rain as the flowers in the bed don’t have access to the moisture that in ground plants so. In the hot heat of summer, plan on watering once a day. Ad they’ll thank you for regular fertilizing with a simple fertilizer like Miracle Gro.
Once your plants are grown there’s just a few things to keep in mind. Cut your flowers deeply. This means reaching into the plant and cutting a 14’ stem, every time you cut. Cutting short to save a few blooms will stunt the growth of the plant and it will only send up more short stems. Cut long for long growth.
When recutting flowers to arrange, cut the stem at an angle to create a straw type suction. This will help your flower rehydrate easily. Floral preserver is helpful but adding a tablespoon of sprite to your vase of water will do just fine. Recut stems and provided fresh water to a clean vase, every two or three days.
And that's the basics. With this info alone you are well on your way to growing plenty of Gods beauty to share. And don't we need it more now than ever! Always feel free to reach out with any questions and drop a line on our socials about what you're planning to grow. We love photos!