Cut Flower Gardens: Planting the Best and Brightest Blooms

Looking to add a burst of colour and fragrance to your garden? Planting cut flower varieties in the spring is the perfect way to build your supply of blooms for your home and to share with loved ones in the summer! Fresh flowers, simple as they may be, always cheer up a space. During the dark winter months, a vase filled with bright blooms is a reminder that spring is on the way. As the days lengthen and the temperatures rise, I start planning out the details of my cut flower garden. In the summer months, I harvest a bounty of stems that I grow myself. Nothing is more satisfying! From classic roses to whimsical zinnias, here are some top picks to consider, along with tips for successful growing and arranging.


Dahlias are renowned for their stunning blooms, which come in a variety of colours, shapes, and sizes. Dahlias are one of the most asked-about plants here at Florissa! From small pompons to dinnerplate-sized flowers, there’s a variety to suit every taste. While some dahlia heads get to be quite large, they have strong stems that make them ideal for use in bouquets. Some of our favourite cut flower varieties include Café au Lait, Penhill Watermelon and Cornel Bronze. The soft peaches, pinks and creams are dreamy feature flowers in bouquets. Plant dahlias in a sunny spot with well-drained soil and water regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. Dahlias benefit from regular deadheading to encourage continuous blooming throughout the summer. Take a deeper look into information on growing and caring for those dahlias you will be growing!


Lilies are prized for their elegant, trumpet-shaped flowers and intoxicating fragrance. While there are many different types of lilies available, this season our favourites fall under the Double Oriental Roselily category. These lilies don’t carry any pollen and have beautiful double layers of blooms. Pollen from blooms can get quite messy once brought into the home as it easily stains. Some of our favourite varieties include Roselily Anouska, Roselily Sita and Roselily Samantha. These long-stemmed beauties also have an excellent vase life. Lilies thrive in full sun to partial shade and prefer slightly acidic, well-drained soil. Consider planting a variety of lilies to enjoy a succession of blooms from early to late summer. Looking to learn more about growing your lilies? Let us help you get on your way towards success!  


Roses – need we say more? A classic by any measure, and yet, so many variations and forms keep this timeless flower feeling fresh in a bouquet. Choose from a vast array of hybrid tea, floribunda, and climbing rose varieties to suit your bouquet style. While hybrid teas are traditionally thought of as the classic cut flower (single, long stem with well-formed singular rose buds), Grandiflora and floribunda types are equally magical in a bouquet. Floribunda roses like Julia Child offer a bouquet on each branch! Each stem produces a cluster of buttery yellow blooms, perfect for filling out vases. Other ideal roses for cut flowers include Pope John Paul II, Hot Cocoa, Love Song, Firefighter and Barbra Streisand. Roses love a sunny spot with well-draining soil in your garden. Pick an area that receives at least 4 hours of sunlight. If you are working with a smaller garden space, roses can also be planted in containers. If you are looking for more tips on rose care, check out our helpful post on growing and caring for roses.


Zinnias are beloved for their cheerful, daisy-like flowers that are easy to grow. You can find annual zinnia seeds at any local garden centre. Once planted, it takes about two months for the first flowers to appear. These annuals thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, tolerating heat and drought once established. With its blend of rosy pink and soft blush hues, Zinderella Lilac is our favourite for this summer. Zinnias are easy to grow and add a fantastic punch of colour to any bouquet. The petals offer many different textures that create subtle interest and depth in your arrangements. Make sure to deadhead spent blooms regularly to encourage continuous flowering.


Echinops, also known as globe thistles, add a unique architectural element to floral arrangements.  Their spherical, steel-blue blooms are loved by pollinators and make long-lasting cut flowers too. These hardy-to-zone 3 perennials prefer full sun and well-drained soil and are relatively low-maintenance once established. Look for Echinops Veitch’s Blue at your local garden centre. The dark violet blooms mature to the size of a golf ball while the stems grow to about 80 cm (32”) tall – perfect for cutting!

Bells of Ireland

Bells of Ireland, Moluccella laevis, are prized for their tall, spiky stems adorned with bell-shaped vibrant green cups called calyxes. These annuals thrive in full-sun areas, with well-drained soil. The towering height of 60-90 cm (24-36”) makes this graceful annual the perfect addition to an arrangement. The emerald spikes are a unique colour that isn’t often found in cut flowers but adds texture and contrast. Make sure to provide support for tall stems to prevent bending or snapping in windy conditions.

Tips for Arranging Flowers

Creating stunning bouquets with freshly cut flowers from your garden is a rewarding and creative endeavour. Here are a few tips to help you arrange flowers like a pro:

  • Start with a focal flower, such as a dahlia or rose, and build around it with complementary blooms and foliage.
  • Use differently shaped blooms in your bouquet to add interest. 
  • Vary the heights and textures of the flowers and greenery for visual balance.
  • Remove foliage from the lower portion of stems that will be submerged in water.  This prevents them from decaying in the water and clouding the vase.
  • Change the water and trim the stems every few days to prolong the freshness of the arrangement.
  • When trimming the stems, cut each stem at an angle to increase the surface area that can drink water.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours and let your creativity shine!

This spring, consider planting these popular cut flower varieties to fill your home and heart with the beauty of summer blooms. Whether you have a sprawling garden or a cozy balcony, there’s a perfect flower waiting to brighten your space and lift your spirits.

Don’t have a garden space to plant a cut flower garden? To make your own gorgeous bouquets, visit your local farmer’s market! Grab a selection of beautiful blooms, a creative spirit, and get to work!

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