The Summer Cutting Garden

The Summer Cutting Garden

Why not plan to create a summer picking garden from which you can fill your house with armfuls of scented, stunning flowers.

Often when you see your flowers looking so beautiful in the garden you often don't want to cut them to bring inside and that is why having an area that is allocated to only flowers that you can pick is the way to go if you don't like to cut them from your beautiful display gardens.

Its sometime hard to want to pick from the garden when you have it looking picture perfect, so having your own little cutting patch is a great idea. This photo is in one of our Dahlia cutting gardens

Puriri Lane | Cutting Gardens

You need to find a sunny spot on your property and then be selective over what it is that you want to grow - you want to choose plants that are perfect for cutting.  That way you can use your cutting garden as your private source of flowers specifically for picking for bunches of flowers either for the house or to give to friends and neighbours.

Plants to Grow in a Cutting Garden

Traditionally annuals are the most used flowers for cutting although it is absolutely possible to have a perennial cutting garden.  Many annuals are repeat flowering and in addition to that they tend to be fast growers, but whatever you decide, there are a few points to consider.

When we are choosing what to put in our cutting gardens, here are some of the things that we consider.

  • We like flowers with long stems as that make them easy to both cut and makes them easier for displaying rather than shorter stemmed flowers which are too hard to arrange with other than for use in a bud vase. 
  • We love fragrance so always tend to include some that are scented.
  • Grow plants that can be used as fillers.  Fillers are flowers that can bulk out a floral arrangement.  These can be foliage plants such as Physocarpus opulifolius or plants with berries such as Callicarpa dichotoma or plants with attractive foliage and flowers such as Artemisia lactiflora 
  • Flowers that look great when dried will extend any floral bouquets into winter such as Briza grasses or Echinacea.
  • Make sure you grow what you love and that way you will be sure to tend to your cut flower patch.
Dahlias are a staple of our summer cutting garden.  Below is Cafe au Lait which is probably the most requested Dahlia flower! 

Puriri Lane | Dahlia Cafe au Lait

Plan your area

  • One of the things that we find important with our cutting gardens is ease of access and we like to have nice wide paths so that we can easily access flowers for cutting. If you don't have a good amount of space then you will find it very difficult and awkward to cut your flowers easily.
  • Remember you will have a bucket of water with you to be able to cut your flowers into so you need to have room to be able to put that down whilst harvesting your blooms.
  • Once you know what flowers it is that you want to grow, you need to do some research into how best to plant them  - how much space do they need between plants to be able to thrive.
  • You also need to put the plants that have the same types of preferred growing conditions together and that way it will make caring for everything a lot easier.

Here's one of our cutting garden areas - we have this now planted with Roses for picking as well as some perennials and a space at the end for a few rows of annuals. The hedging in front also provides greenery for picking.

Puriri Lane | The Cutting Garden

  • Think about the the heights of your plants as you don't want to put plants that are short next to those that are taller or the shorter ones will be swamped by their neighbours preventing them from growing as well as they should.
  • All plants dont flower at the same time so think about putting your plants in the order in which they flower which can be as simple as early season, mid season and late.  As an example we plant our tulips but also plant early summer annuals with a little bit of height so that they can hide the bulbs foliage as it dies back.
Some of our cutting beds filled with different height plants so that we can put in as much as we can to be productive. The paths are wide as we have groups to the gardens and people like to inspect what we are growing

Puriri Lane | The Cutting Garden

  • As most of your annuals won't last for the full growing season, you can work on a succession plan so that you have the next plants coming through to replace those that are spent. After you have removed the spent plants, remember to add some more compost before planting something new to ensure your new plants have some food to get them growing strongly from the outset.
We made sure we used a great growing medium to get our plants off to the most productive start.Puriri Lane | The Cutting Gardens

 One of our Dahlia cutting garden areasPuriri Lane | Dahia Cutting Garden

Use Mulch

    • We love mulch here at Puriri Lane and particularly in summer when we have limited rain mulching helps to maintain any watering that we are doing.  We also use layers of mulch through the pathways between our cut flowers to keep the weeds at bay and this works well for us. Just make sure you keep it topped up. All of our hedge trimmings are mulched and left for a couple of years to break down but everything here is added to our compost pile or mulched so everything is returned to the soil.  Mulching also keeps weeds at bay and we love that and so will you!


    • The most important thing to do is keep cutting and using your flowers. The more you cut your flowers the more they will flush again, particularly with your annuals.
    • Keep an eye out for pests and disease and remove any affected plants before they have a chance to spread disease amongst the others.
    • Ensure you water at least weekly - in the height of summer we can often water deeply three times a week.

    Picking is the key to getting your flowers to flush again

    Puriri Lane | Debbie In The Cutting Garden

    Puriri Lane | Picking Garden

    The above a just a few tips and tricks for starting a cutting garden and we have lots of fabulous books on growing your own cutting garden so be sure to check out our collection of books which you can find here.
    We have lots of plants that will give your cutting garden a wonderful point of difference that you won't find everywhere that will add a touch of pretty to your cutting garden. Keep an eye out on our Instagram page to see posts of some of the beautiful flowers we grow for cutting.

    Thanks for stopping by - have a great week in the garden


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