The (un)cutting garden

I have a cutting garden. . . it was one of the first gardens I planted as the gardening fever hit me just over a decade ago. It was a brilliant idea, I thought—it’s placed on the south side of the house, where it is bordered on one side by house and on two other sides by fence. My idea was that, since I can’t see it from inside the house, or even from the back yard unless I’m in that particular little area, I wouldn’t miss the flowers there when I cut them to bring them inside. I had visions of gorgeous bouquets gracing my living room coffee table all summer long.

Cutting garden

There is just one problem with my cutting garden—I have a dickens of a time actually cutting anything out of it. Which makes a bit of a problem, for a cutting garden. I don’t know what it is—the flowers probably last almost as long inside in a vase as they do blooming on their stems out in the garden. But I just always feel like I’m ruining the garden when I cut blooms out of it. I have all these feelings of turmoil. . . “It’s so beautiful right where it is! I can’t steal color from this bed just to have flowers inside!”

And then, if I do cut any flowers, I feel guilty. And as soon as they are past their prime in the vase and start dropping little bits of things all over my living room, I think, well, guess I should have just let them be outside.

The one exception to this rule is peonies—they seem to look nice for such a short time on the plant, and since it seems like every year as soon as they start to bloom we have a storm that renders them ratty and unattractive, I don’t have trouble cutting them off. Plus, the spent bloom heads always need to be cut off the bushes pretty much right away anyway, or they look shabby. So I sort of think of it as deadheading in advance, I guess.  :)

In the past two weeks I have cut two bouquets of peonies for the office—they smell fabulous and they are truly beautiful. And I really think peonies, for some reason, seem to last longer in a vase than on the plant (for one thing, the wind seems to be particularly hard on them).

But I have yet to take anything else out of my cutting garden so far this year. . . I guess we’ll see how it goes.  ;)

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3 Responses to The (un)cutting garden

  1. Karen Clark says:

    Great article! It was like you were reading my mind about the cutting garden. I, too, have a couple small gardens for that purpose, but just can’t bring myself to cut the flowers and ruin the look after they start blooming! I just can’t do it! Was so funny to read your words, and realize that I am not the only one who takes this gardening thing way too seriously!! :) Maybe if we put in some additional gardens about 1/2 mile away so we couldn’t see them, tHEN we would cut the flowers! Is quite a problem! Kc

    • Avatar of Sandi Sandi says:

      Haha–yes, I’m sure you’ve got the answer there–if we couldn’t actually see the gardens ever, it would be much easier to cut from them!! :)

  2. Pingback: More signs of spring | the Dirt

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