Perennials are the best and easiest investment you can make in your cut flower garden since they come back every year. While traditionally planted directly in the ground, they can also thrive in a pot if you are renting, limited in yard space, or if you want to keep them at an off-site studio.
Perennials, like all plants, do require some maintenance to keep them their most productive. Consult with your local garden center (locally owned places are usually more knowledgeable than a big box store) about what will grow best in your zone, sun exposure, and soil, as well as how much water it will require. Regular waterings after planting will encourage established roots!
My Three Favorite Perennials for Bouquet Work:
Garden-grown ferns have all the color, flourish, and attitude that other ferns often miss and are my favorite addition to my yard. Autumn Ferns particularly express brilliant hues, from golden yellow, to lime, to bronze. Talk about a color story! Just one or two stems can wonderfully pull together a complex palette. Bonus: they tolerate my dry, rocky soil, and the deer leave them alone. Double win!
Ferns are a real heavy-hitter when it comes to design. The shape of ferns added to the outside of bouquets creates a beautifully framed or collared appearance. Ferns can also add a feminine, romantic, transparency to bouquets to keep the aesthetic light and airy. These examples include just a touch of fern in one area as an accent for the color and shape.
Bonus tip – another favorite, asparagus fern, is an easy-to-grow HOUSEPLANT! If you’re hesitant about gardening and worry about not having a green thumb, give this one a try. Plus, a piece or two can really add a lot to a bouquet if you feel like something is “missing,” but you aren’t sure what. Here’s a helpful article to get you started on how to grow it!
Grasses create beautiful texture and line in designs (read more about texture here). They are very easy to grow but check to make sure the ones you buy aren’t invasive or too big for your space, as they can get quite large. They work very well in pots as well and can easily be cut back each year to encourage all new growth the following season. From lime green to dark brown, there are so many varieties that work beautifully in bouquets and add that soft, airy quality I love.
Vines of all types are a treasure in design work. I often use them to extend visual lines and negative space. Clustering vines together is a helpful way to create more impact but just a few can be layered in or collared around a bouquet to add that much needed movement!
Depending on your growing region, there are lots of different vine options to choose from. Some will need a trellis or other support to help climb, while others will scramble up whatever they can find all on their own.
Check with your local nursery on what is native to your area and what will perform well in your specific growing conditions. You will also want to check how big the vine you are considering grows. Some vine species can take over an area quickly, which could be good or bad, depending on how much you are going to cut and how big your area is! Also check to make sure the plant is non-invasive, meaning that it won’t spread to the wild and compromise local flora.
Are you inspired to plant one of these in your yard this year? I would love to know!