Simple Tips for Planning a Cutting Garden & Arranging Backyard Blooms

Photographs by  Kerry Jean  Featuring  Botanique Flowers

Photographs by Kerry Jean Featuring Botanique Flowers

I have been wanting to teach a workshop integrating time in the Cutting Garden with design time in the studio for a while. Late Summer is a time of such abundance when the garden is overflowing with so much beauty—it seemed like a natural fit.

Attendees arrived at the studio in the morning, greeted by fruit, pastries, and tea. We spent the first half of the day in the garden—I shared how I plan and care for my garden, including lots of information about specific plants and techniques. We also talked about how to harvest flowers. At that point, each attendee was given clippers and a bucket, and set loose in the garden to cut whatever they wanted!

We processed the flowers, took a lunch break, and then it was back to the studio to arrange what we had chosen. I demonstrated my method of creating a lush, natural arrangement in a compote vase, and then each attendee created their own beautiful piece.

A few tips for readers wanting to create a cutting garden and arrange flowers from their garden:

Grow what you love, and learn to embrace the “mistakes” and “failures” in the garden along with the successes.

Start small. It can be daunting to try and care for a large parcel of land. Begin with a small area, and once you feel like you have learned how to care for that space, expand if you want.

When arranging, let the natural shapes and lines of the materials you are working with dictate your choices rather than trying to force flowers into positions they don’t want to be in.

Create focal points, and allow all the rest of your design decisions to keep pulling the eye back to those points- this helps to create a cohesive and beautiful arrangement, rather than one that feels chaotic.

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