I’m intrigued by the idea of a cutting garden, but I’m...

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Question: I’m intrigued by the idea of a cutting garden, but I’m uncertain how one keeps such a bed generating new flowers. Any advice?

Answer: Different gardeners have different ideas about what a cutting bed should be, but generally speaking, it consists of unpretentious rows of flowers, sometimes planted in a large vegetable garden, and the intent is that the flowers will be decimated. A cutting garden is best situated in some sunny, out-of-the-way spot. A skilled gardener will plan successive plantings to produce a steady supply of various cuttings as the summer progresses. Some good choices for cutting beds are taller, longer-stemmed, and not-so-neat varieties of flowers that work well in bouquets but can make a formal border look disheveled. They may be annuals, perennials, or a mix. Shasta daisies, feverfew, baby’s breath, statice, zinnias, cosmos, strawflowers, poppies, delphiniums, sweet peas, and ornamental grasses are all good choices. Think of what you like in your bouquets, both as centerpiece flowers and as fillers. Cutting gardens are also prime locations for uninhibited experiments.