Tips for Growing a Cutting Garden to Create Gorgeous Bouquets
by Katie Dubow
June 23, 2013

One of the hottest home décor trends is the “slow flower” movement. Freshly picked flowers from a home garden make instant bouquets that brighten an entryway, kitchen counter or dining room table, and make a perfect heartfelt gift.

According to Debra Prinzing, author of The 50 Mile Bouquet and Slow Flowers, flowers are not just a luxury or a frivolous expense for special occasions. “A vase of flowers is like a little garden, connecting us with nature and reminding us of the way things grow - slowly. Each bouquet tells a story about one moment in time. Those are the intangible gifts of bringing flowers into our lives.”

Renewed interest in cutting gardens, gardens planted with flowers that perform well when cut, is popping up amongst the Do-It-Yourself crowd as an easy and affordable way to spruce up the home. One of the easiest ways to start a cutting garden is with quality flower bulbs from Longfield Gardens because they provide a kaleidoscope of color, have huge flowers and are simple to grow.

“Flower bulbs are extraordinary,” says Hans Langeveld, a third-generation Dutch plantsman who knows his bulbs and is passionate about sharing this knowledge. “From tulips to dahlias, hyacinths to gladiolas, there is a shape, size and color to suit anyone’s tastes.”

Prinzing agrees. “From springtime when tulips and narcissus fill my garden—and vases—to summer's stylish dahlias, lilies and ornamental alliums, bulb flowers are essential players in my own floral arranging.”

Additionally, Langeveld says freshly cut flowers from a home garden last for weeks when grown yourself. Along with being able to be more creative in color and variety selections, it’s also a more economical way to have an abundance of fresh cut flowers during the spring and summer.

Best Bulbs for Bouquets

As co-owner of, a retail website for quality bulbs and perennials for home gardeners, he feels using bulbs for cut-flower bouquets is underutilized.

On the top of Langeveld’s list of bulbs to use in cut-flower bouquets are alliums, tulips, peonies and lilies for their big blooms, dahlias and calla lilies for their long vase life and tulips, gladiolus and ranunculus for bold color. He suggests selecting a variety of bulbs to have fresh flowers in the home from early spring to late fall.

Tips to Cutting Longer Lasting Blooms

Creating beautiful and long-lasting bouquets can be a breeze if a few easy tips are kept in mind.

“Cut flowers first thing in the morning and after the dew has dried,” says Langeveld. “The flowers have had all night to “rest up” from the previous day.”

Select flowers that have just begun to open but are still days away from full bloom. They will last longer in the vase.

Langeveld suggests putting cut flowers immediately in a bucket of fresh cold water. This lessens the shock on the flowers and ensures they stay hydrated until brought inside.

Once inside, remove any spotted leaves and leaves submerged when placed in the vase. “This bit of cleaning goes a long way in extending the life of your bouquet,” Langeveld notes.

Finally, and this is the most important step, he suggests one more cut at an angle at the bottom of the stem—this time as the stem is submerged in water. “This bias cut allows more water to be drawn into the stem and helps it live longer in the vase,” says Langeveld.

Fundamentals of a Great Bouquet

Arranging cut flowers can be really simple, says Prinzing. Here are a few her professional tips:

Use odd numbers of flowers—three lilies and one dahlia, for example

Create some variety in height, with some tall and some shorter stems

Place the bouquet in indirect light

Change the water every one to two days

Remove dead or dying leaves and blooms to prolong the bouquet’s life

With a few simple techniques, the garden’s beauty can last for days—even weeks—indoors. “Cut bulb bouquets create simple elegance and brighten any spot in the home,” says Langeveld.

Longfield Gardens is one of America’s top importers of quality flower bulbs. Longfield’s mission is to bring bulb gardening into every home, offer common sense planting information and stretch your dollar by offering competitive prices that are transparent. This simple approach to selling bulbs saves their customers time and money while increasing gardening success. Longfield Gardens carries an impressive selection of spring-planted, fall-planted and winter product lines, as well as information and inspiration. For more information, visit or

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