One of the joys of a cut flower garden is seeking out the best flowers to cut for floral displays each month. One of the best things about having your own flower garden is being able to have your choice of beautiful blooms for fresh and dried arrangements in your home throughout the year.
How To Choose Flowers to Cut for Floral Displays
When you are choosing flowers to cut for floral displays in August, there are a number of different things that it is a good idea to bear in mind. You should think about:
- The colour, shape, form and texture of the flowers and how they will look when combined.
- Whether the blooms have fragrance that would be pleasant inside your home.
- How the flowers in your floral arrangements will look in relation to your interior design.
- Whether you will use the blooms for fresh or dried arrangements.
- How long the flowers will last (fresh, in water, or in oasis or something similar).
When to Cut Flowers
Once you have selected your blooms, cut them in late afternoon or evening, or early in the day. The best time to cut your flowers is later in the day, as they will have more stored food at this time. Morning, when flowers tend to be more turgid, is the next best time. Avoid cutting flowers during the warmest part of the day, as they can be somewhat wilted by the hot sun and may not last as long.
It is best to select blooms that have not quite opened fully, which will reach their peak shortly after you bring them inside to use in your floral displays.
How to Cut Flowers
Flowers should always be cut with a sharp pair of secateurs or a sharp knife. It is best to cut off the blooms from shrubs or multi-flowered plants with a slanting cut. This will help to ensure that the cut end does not become rotted or become an entry point for disease.
Cutting off the stems at an angle rather than straight across also allows the cut blooms to take up more water. This is because the slanting angle increases the surface area of the stem, allowing more water to flow through it. Ensuring good water uptake for fresh floral displays will help ensure a longer lasting display, since flowers that do not get enough water can quickly wilt and droop, or drop their petals prematurely.
Flowers To Cut for Floral Displays This Month:
Below you will find a list detailing some of the very best flowers to cut for floral displays in August. The suggestions below might give you some inspiration for the creation of your cut flower garden, or remind you of all the beautiful flowers that you could harvest at this time of the year.
Achillea for Floral Displays
The bright and pastel shades of Achillea will endure well when dried and these tend to look great to brighten up displays between now and October or, once dried, beyond and into the winter months.
The dramatic blooms of Amaranthus will bloom between July and September. They can be great as statement pieces in indoors displays and they will also tend to dry well for later use.
Cheerful and varied, these blooms can give some height to any floral display and give a pretty sense of drama to any indoors arrangements as well as to a bed or border throughout the early summer and again at this time of year.
Calendula for Floral Displays
Calendula is a versatile plant, great in mixed borders. This is a good cut flower because it lasts a long time when cut. It also has a long season, usually flowering between May and August. With benefits in the garden and indoors, calendula is a great choice for informal gardens.
Celosia’s fiery flower heads are perfect for bold and beautiful displays that really capture the warmth and vibrancy of the summer season. In bloom throughout the summer, these are a great addition to a cut flower border.
Chrysanthemums will be in bloom between now and October and are great as a long-lasting filler flower in a range of arrangements for use as gifts and in your home.
One of the staples of late-summer season displays, both in borders and beds and in displays inside your home, cosmos are bright and cheery and come in a wide range of colours and varieties. No matter how grey it is outside, cosmos can brighten your day.
A popular flower for summer borders, dahlias make excellent cut flowers – used for their vibrancy, large size flower heads and dramatic forms. There are a huge range of dahlias, many of which are ideal for cutting for floral displays in August.
Delphiniums make spectacular cut flowers. Their height, their texture and their drama makes for some magnificent arrangements. These blooms are perfect for bold and impressive displays.
Pretty little dianthus blooms are perfect for small posies. Dainty, fragrant and colourful, they can be great for adorning your dining table or for placing on a windowsill somewhere in your home.
Hollyhock for Floral Displays
Hollyhocks’ big and blousy blooms can first appear in June and can enliven the garden right through until August. One of the great things about using hollyhocks as cut flowers is that they will dry well for winter colour as well as being appealing in summer displays.
One of the great ornamental foliages, kochia may not exactly be a flower but it definitely deserves a place in your cutting garden. The foliage is pale green and turns to a bright copper in the autumn. Like all ornamental grasses, it works well as a foliage filler in displays.
Lavender for Floral Displays
Lavender is perhaps one of the most delightful scents in the garden. Bringing some indoors will fill your home with a delicious smell. Not only does lavender smell lovely, it also dries well and will last a long time when cut and brought inside.
In bloom throughout the summer, Linaria has brightly coloured flowers that resemble little snapdragons. It is easy to grow and could be a staple for summer bouquets and posies.
The stunning tassel-like flowers of this plant are fantastic for adding a rich body and texture to taller displays and these can bloom right into September.
Everyone should have some marigolds in their garden. They are beautiful, relatively easy to grow and are not only great companion plants and wonderful for pest control throughout the garden, they can also make lovely cut flowers too.
Almost the opposite of the above and yet equally useful for floral displays, Mignonette has small-headed, pretty and delicate flowers which might get lost in a larger arrangement but which are perfect in a smaller display.
These pretty spears of colour that come in various hues add substance to larger displays and these summer steeples will bloom right through the summer and often well into September. They are great for informal displays of cottage garden style flowers.
Rubeckia’s lovely daisy-like flowers are pretty and long lasting, the perfect plant for colourful borders and for cut flowers to bring inside your home as focal blooms for a variety of displays.
Statice is widely considered to be one of the best plants for cutting and for dried flowers. They also make a great, colourful addition to your beds and borders and can be in bloom into the early autumn.
Sunflowers for Floral Displays
A favourite for many, sunflowers are cheerful and bold. They are easy to grow and are a must for flower arranging. They also dry well, so you can keep that summer feeling going for that little bit longer. Sunflowers look wonderful in harvest time displays.
Of course, there are also plenty of other flowers that you can cut for floral displays in August, and the above is far from a complete list. The options above, however, should give you a great place to start, providing inspiration for your cut flower garden and for your floral displays this month.
Cutting flowers from your very own garden for floral displays inside your home can give you a great sense of satisfaction. And bringing elements of the garden into your home can give it a truly delightful look, feel and even smell. No matter which flowers you choose – floral displays can help make your house a home.
Do you create your own floral displays using flowers that you have grown in your polytunnel or elsewhere in your garden? Share your tips and suggestions for flower choices, techniques, designs and flower combinations in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.