Small Scale Cut Flower Beds

Planting a Flower Cut Garden

Every year when spring approaches my first thought is, “Which cut flowers should I plant?”  Flowers are wonderful and the idea of skipping them during planting season isn’t an option.

Since I’m going with smaller raised beds I’m focusing my energy on simplicity and a statement, which means we’re planting Startle Garden style.

Flower beds prepped and ready to plant

Begin by Prepping the Raised Beds

Before I could even entertain the idea of planting the raised beds needed filling.  I love this part of the process but honestly, it’s hard work especially when the main ingredient involves working with clay.  Establishing a base to get the amending process moving forward takes several ingredients and you can get those tips here. 

I’m not like most gardeners, I don’t buy my garden soil, for me it’s about getting down to the basics, embracing nature and letting it work for me.  To do this I walk through my environment seeking the materials under my feet, it’s a matter of seeing what can be incorporated before moving forward.

This year I’ve discovered a neat combination and after mixing them together in the wheel barrow this consistency surprised the day lights out of me.

  • Tree ash from our burn piles
  • A variety of clay, hard and soft
  • Leafs

We also had a great deal of top soil deposit through our property from the creek during the flood rains back in February.  I saw all of these elements as gifts including pieces of sticks and debris that worked great for layering.

Over time additional kitchen ingredients will be added to continue the amending process and eventually these beds will be a nice genuine loam, be warned this could take a good 3 years but if I keep up the amending process it’s easy enough to speed that up.

The beauty of working with nature is uncovering how perfectly everything works together.  I love that!

Storing seeds in vintage lunch box

Choosing Flower Seeds to Plant

When it came time to choose flower seeds I grabbed my vintage seed box.  This was my grandpa’s lunch box and it seemed fitting to use it for storing seeds.

There were many seed packages inside; this was a nice surprise so I planted them all because some have been hanging around for a while.

  • Larkspur and Delphinium
  • Jade Sunflowers
  • Zinnias and Cosmos
  • Lisianthus and Dianthus
  • Bells of Ireland

Choosing seeds for a flower cut garden can sometimes be difficult.  If this is a new concept then begin with easy to grow options that are suiting to your climate.  This may take a little research or you can just dive in and know that zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers are three very easy to grow cut flowers.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds is also one of my favorite cut flower seed suppliers; they offer growing details for each variety.

Soil consistency for planting seeds

Direct Seed, Will They Germinate?

I’m a huge fan of direct seed planting because it’s simple and normally involves very little thinning or transplanting. The direct approach takes me back to how we gardened when I was a kid and those are some neat memories.

When you’re starting from scratch sometimes you have to weigh your options, keep things uncomplicated so you can reach your goals.

So it’s easy to say, I’ve been weighing options left and right and so far it’s working.

Germination should be positive because most of the seeds were under 2-years and because I have tall raised beds very few weeds will appear which means seedlings will be easy to spot.

Raised beds planted with flowers

After the seeds were planted I noticed the day lilies over in the herb garden tripled so I propagated and moved about five new plant bunches over to the edge.  I’m not really thinking they’ll be good for cut flowers but I needed a place for transplanting and their bright yellow color will be welcoming.

I’m finding that small scale gardening is a lot of fun and this cut flower garden is going to be a wonderful place that would be easy to expand because who doesn’t love fresh cut flowers?

Small scale cut flowers in raised beds


  1. daisy says:

    How much do I love that you have your grandpa’s old lunchbox as seed storage?! ;0D

    You gave me a great idea about adding some of our leaf mulch (and what’s under it), to the front garden beds. I think it will make a wonderful addition to our clay soil, and maybe in a couple of years, it will be a breeze to work in.

    I was looking over my flower seeds yesterday, and I definitely need to beef up my stockpile. I was thinking of ordering from Johnny’s, as I’ve never bought from them. They do have a lovely selection in their catalogue.

    Enjoy watching your beauties come up!
    Happy Easter to you.

    1. Carole says:

      Good Morning Daisy – Happy Easter to you too. We had rain after I planted so I’m hoping I should be seeing green soon. Absolutely yes take the leaf’s and top layer and work it in -it’s so amazing and start using that direct composting it will really help. Sand though is the best ingredient to get it moving forward. Enjoy seed shopping they have a nice selection for flowers.

  2. Patti says:

    Oh I can’t wait to see these flower beds. I love all the flowers you suggested and they will be beautiful to cut and bring inside or adorn your outdoor table in the summer. I’m going to try and do a little direct sowing this year. I usually opt for transplants because I’m impatient and our growing season is so short. Thanks for the inspiration. Happy Easter!!

    1. Carole says:

      Happy Easter Patti – you know I love direct seed always have and this weekend I’m hoping to get veggie seeds in the ground over in the quail sanctuary. That project is taking forever but I’m hoping to make some headway. It’s a mess here right now, septic project well like I said….this to shall past.. it’s not done. Anyways it’s all good I just walk in a different direction and pretend things aren’t a mess. Not even sure when they’ll be back to finish. So I’ll focus on flowers and yes this assortment is a wonderful mix.

  3. Bonnie says:

    I always enjoy reading and learning from you. Because of you, I was encouraged to finally start those flower beds I’ve been talking about forever. I’m looking forward to seeing the colors pop and bring dazzling beauty to my gardens.

    1. Carole says:

      Good Morning Bonnie – Colors pots are sweet they just add something to each day that is often overlooked. So glad you got started on your garden, you’re setting a positive example and I know it brings you joy. Happy Easter – Enjoy!!

  4. mickie mclaughlin says:

    There you go again getting me up off of my duff and thinking spring gardening. It’s too early to plant flowers here, but I am concentrating on lettuce and herbs at this time. Thanks for keeping me inspired.

    1. Carole says:

      Inspiration is good – glad I could help. Concentrate on those herbs especially you will be so glad you did later. I love love mine… Hope you enjoy a nice Easter weekend.

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