If you love having a bouquet of fresh flowers to brighten up the indoors, planting a cutting garden is the best way to ensure you always have lots of flowers for picking.

by John Bagnasco

Think about plants that look good together and will bloom in pleasing color combinations, but most of all consider production. Long-stemmed annuals can provide the most flowers, so that’s where to start.

Here are some tried and true All-American Selection award-winning flowers perfect for your garden:

  1. Sunflower ‘Concert Bell’ – One of last year’s AAS winners, this sunflower boasts a unique flower presentation of multiple clusters of 10 to 12 flowers on an erect columnar stem. Each plant grows to a very uniform height of 5 to 6 feet and if used as a cut flower, makes an instant, ready-made bouquet from just one cut. It’s very easy to grow and is perfect for continuous sowing to keep blooms going through the end of summer
  2. Verbena bonariensis ‘Vanity’ – The perfect accent filler for bouquets and delicate arrangements. Not only does this verbena create a pollinator paradise in your garden, but also the compact habit makes it sturdier and easier to maintain. Deep blue/purple flowers are 1-1.5” across and continue to attract butterflies day in and day out. It performs well in hot dry conditions while remaining a showy garden plant.
  3. Shasta Daisy ‘Snow Lady’  – Here’s a daisy with an extra-long blooming period. It’s tough in the garden and is a very healthy bloomer. The 2 1/2″ flowers literally cover the plants from spring all the way through late summer. Snow Lady is great for pots, baskets and window boxes. In a large border planting or edging, it is spectacular.
  4. Celosia ‘Asian Garden’ – A spiked beauty that was the first ever AAS Winner from the Japanese breeding company, Murakami Seed. In the garden, Asian Garden Celosia continues to bloom on sturdy stems, keeping the bright pink color all summer long, holding up even through some of the first frosts of the season.