A cut flower garden – a few notes from a talk by florist Jonathan Moseley

This post isn’t a ‘how to make’ a cut flower garden, rather it’s tips that
Jonathan shared at a South Pennine Hardy Plant Society talk, 6th March 2019, based on his over 20 years experience.
My first attempt of some cut flowers from my garden using this small flower display stand.
The dark purple flowers areHelleborus x hybridus Harvington dusky,
and the white with orange trumpets are Narcissus ‘Cragford’.
The foliage, which you cannot hardly see(!), is Oregano.

Tips I picked up from Jonathan’s talk
When picking flowers, bring along a bucket and put each flower you
pick in water immediately. This helps retain their freshness and longevity. The
general rule is, cut Narcissi (daffodils) ‘on the flat’, meaning a straight
cut, and everything else, at a 45 degree angle.

Some people make the mistake of not picking in their cut flower garden
because they loose sight of the reason they planted it, and think cutting it
will spoil it. No – keep cutting and the plants will keep producing more
flowers! Sweet peas are an excellent example of this: if you don’t cut them, it
will stop producing and go to seed very quickly.
Use foliage first as a framework. 80% foliage, the rest flowers.
A great cut flower are Astrantias. After they finish flowering, cut
them hard, to the ground, and you will get a 2nd flush of flowers in
about 6 weeks. I checked about the cutting hard part and he said yes, try it!
If you want to have Hellebores are cut flowers, score the stem down 2
sides with a sharp knife and they will last longer.
A wonderful winter cut flower is Lonicera fragrantissima which flowers
in winter and spring. I can add Lonicera x purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ to this. For
both, the fragrance is wonderful.
He uses Ivy a lot in his floral arrangements and loves it. He says,
despite the bad press ivy gets, it’s not definitive as to whether ivy can
actually kill trees. I did some research into this after the talk. I found that the general view appears to be that its presence on a tree trunk is not damaging, and
where it grows into the crown this is usually only because the trees are
already in decline, or are diseased and slowly dying. See https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=192
for more info on ivy and when you do need to control it.
Another good evergreen foliage plant is Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’,
where the tops of each stem are flushed yellow and slowly fade to green.
When tying up your bunch of flowers/foliage, tie it where you were
holding it.
Spray the arrangement morning and evening with a mister, such as in the photo below.
He highly recommends the RHS Cardiff flower show as a great Spring event for getting ideas for your garden.

* * * * *
Jonathan said more than this and also did several demonstrations on creating cut flower posies and displays, but I wasn’t able to capture everything! He was a great speaker and a font of knowledge. If you get the chance to hear him talk, I highly recommend it.

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