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Want endless bloom? A cut flower garden’s all you need

?A well-planned cut flower garden will fill your backyard with endless bloom and supply your vases and flower arrangements for months on end. Here are some tips to help you set up one:

A cut-flower garden has a lot in common with a vegetable garden than a flower garden. As in a vegetable garden, it should not be the most prominent feature in your backyard. Its location should be carefully chosen and camouflaged into the rest of the backyard design.

For instance, you can screen it off with an attractive picket fence accentuated with an arbour at the entrance or even a series of flower beds planted with flowering shrubs that are not meant for cutting.

Choose a spot that receives at least six hours of sun a day. Most flowering plants require as much sun as they can possibly get. The soil must be well drained and enriched with compost. It should also be near a water source since flowering plants require a lot of watering.

As in a vegetable garden, the cut flower garden is planned for easy care and cutting. This is done by arranging the flowers in one-metre wide beds, leaving paths in between. The paths may be finished with stepping stones or other attractive paving to give the garden structure and allow you to reach every flower effortlessly.

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You could also consider raising the beds, especially if you find that the soils in the chosen location are not rich and you have to import new soil and soil amendments. Raised beds also have the advantage of presenting the flowers at a nice height so you can tend and harvest them without too much stooping.

Mix flowering annuals and perennials so that you have something in bloom throughout the year. Annuals will bloom their hearts out for a season but require you to replant each year while perennials return to grace the garden year after year. This gives the garden some permanence and reduces maintenance.

Select flowers you love but leave some room for experimenting with new plants and colour combinations. For instance, you could try mixing your favourite colours with a complementary or contrasting colour to make it stand out.

Flower colour is important but it is not all that you need. Go for flowers with different forms and sizes to add visual interest to your flower arrangements. Finally, remember that good cut flowers have sturdy stems and long vase lives. Visit your nearest nursery to find out the available options.

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