Top 15 Cut flowers and 8 Foliage Plants To Grow This Year

  • 19.1.20

Growing a cutting flower garden for the last four years has brought so much happiness.  It began with a few wooden crates and has quickly moved to several flower beds. The joy of growing flowers, bringing them inside our home and sharing with the family has been amazing.

In the last few years, I have seen some plants perform really well in the garden and then last year not grow so well with too much rain. I hope this list might help you to get started with a cutting garden or perhaps just add a few new additions to your garden.

For my top-performing fifteen flowers, I have chosen the constants of my flower garden. These are great when cut for vase life and for an abundance of flowers. To see more on cutting and conditioning cut flowers the RHS has a good article to help prolong vase life.

Homegrown Zinnia Giant Red With Bee
Top Fifteen Cutting Flowers To Grow 2020

These are in no particular order but they give an abundance of flowers and were some of the first flowers I grew on the flower garden.
  1. Dahlia Brown Sugar 
  2. Zinnias Giant mixed
  3. Cosmos Cup Cake Blush
  4. Dahlia Linda’s Baby
  5. Mixed Cut Flower Seeds (Sarah Raven)
  6. Icelandic poppies Sherbert Mix Papaver nudicaule
  7. Zinnia ‘Early Wonder Mixed’
  8. Sunflowers ‘Helianthus annus ‘Sonja’
  9. Dahlia ‘Bishops Children’
  10. Stocks ‘Vintage Antique Mix’
  11. Icelandic Poppies Giant Peach Paver Nudicaule
  12. Ranunculus Picotee Pink
  13. Calendula officinalis ‘Indian Prince’
  14. Red Parrot Tulips
  15. Peter Beals Rose ‘Desdemona’ 
August 2019 Flower Bed Two
For my top eight to grow foliage plants, I selected on what works really well when making homegrown flower arrangements and bouquets. See 18 Easy Flower Arrangement Ideas to fill your home for more inspiration on filling your home with flowers. 

Top Eight Foliage To Grow This Year
  1. Cerinthe major ‘purpurascens’ 
  2. White daisy flowers
  3. Orlaya grandiflora (white Lace Flower)
  4. Euphorbia Oblongata (Eggleaf Spurge)
  5. Eucalyptus gunnii Azura (Cagire)
  6. Moluccella Laevis (Bells of Ireland)
  7. Amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis’ (Love-lies-bleeding)
  8. Ammi Majus
I live on Hayling Island in Hampshire Uk, which is a 9a Zone. Look here to find your British planting zone or here is a plant hardiness global zone useful when thinking about the types of flower and foliage to grow. Although weather patterns are definitely changing so I do try and test my own flowers to see if how they grow.

Dahlia Brown Sugar Homegrown DIY Bouquet
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Pick Your Own Flower Events - Family Activities and Fun

  • 17.1.20

We love to pick your own flower events and Sams Sunflowers on Hayling Island with the golden sunflowers and expanse of blue skies was a perfect afternoon.

Sams Sunflowers Hayling Island
We also like to visit Selborne Lavender fields on their open days. Although this is not a pick your own event it is a lovely day out as there are drinks and you can visit the lavender shop too. You can also take a little picnic and sit on the edge of the fields for a lunchtime rest.
Family at Lavender Fields Open Day Selbourne Hampshire
Lavender Fields in Selborne Jacob, Oakley, and me (Kelly Rideout)
At Sams Sunflowers we played the game of who could find the best-looking sunflowers, the happiest looking sunflower and of course the tallest sunflower with a beautiful face. The aim was to collect these sunflowers for a jug at home, some for nanny and another bunch for grandma. 
Sunflower Fields Pick Your Own Hampshire
The highlights of visiting pick your own for us is supporting local farms, having fun together outside, helping the environment by choosing seasonal flowers with no air miles. Seeing friends and the community coming together. There are lots of people smiling with arms filled with sunflowers when the fields are open in July.
Boys in sunflower field - Hampshire
Family fun at Sams Sunflowers
It also turns out to be a great place for natural photographs of children in the flowers and these are a few I took at Sam’s Sunflowers Hayling Island and the Lavender Fields in Selborne.
Sunflower bouquet in Rainbow Flower Wrap

Grandma love x

We cannot wait to visit more pick your own flower events and open days on flower farms this year. With us, we will take some Flower Wrap and Sticker Kits, to quickly make some bouquets to deliver with delight on the way home from the flower picking. I am already on the lookout for new places to visit, and Garsons Garden Centre is definitely on the list. A good place to start looking for events is Flower From The Farm.
Above is a very happy grandma giving out cuddles to the pickers of her fabulous bunch of sunflowers. 

Eighteen Easy Flower Arrangements To Make At Home With Cut Flowers

  • 13.1.20

I love to fill our home with flowers from the cutting garden, over that last three years of growing, there has been an abundance of flowers. I love to arrange them in pretty colourful tins, vases, jugs, Babycham glasses, and vintage china tea sets. Most vessels I have collected from vintage shops, car boot sales, been gifted, eBay, and local fairs.

Decorating tables throughout our home, adding flowers to guest rooms, and brightening up small areas of the home allows me to bring the garden inside. Even when it can be too cold or hot to sit outside you can enjoy flowers throughout your home all year round. 

These were easy flower arrangements to create, for beginners and seasoned flower arrangers alike. I hope you find them fun and inspiring, as I loved creating them using my homegrown flowers. You could recreate with garden flowers or locally brought blooms. 
Vintage Tea Cups and Jugs
18 easy flower arrangements ideas to try at home to get more creative with garden flowers and bring the flowers inside to make your home bloom. 

DIY Cosmos Flower Arrangement - Garden Flower Display Ideas
Homegrown Cosmos, and sweetpea mix
#1 The key to this design was to offset the blue tin with brilliant pinks, whites, and purple colours in the flowers. I used a square of wax-coated chicken wire, crumpled into a ball inside the container. Then places the sweet peas, cosmos, and foliage through the wire. 

Vessel: vintage Kellog's Rice Krispies tin. Any bright and colourful tin could work well for this arrangement. 

Highlight: The floral scent of sweet peas was wonderful and the colourful display made a great eye-catching centerpiece for a tea party get together. This display was quite large so I set up a little table clear of things to show it off. 

Flowers included: mixed sweet peas, with Cosmos bipinnatus 'Purity', Cosmos bipinnatus 'Dazzler', and Cosmos 'Cupcake Blush’.

Spring Flowers Arrangement Idea - Tea Cups 
Flower Arrangments For The Home - Spring Floral Inspiration
#2 Spring flower displayed in a vintage teacup and saucer, looks great as a group or as a single display. Although they need to be low ideally on a low table or window sill. 

Vessel: vintage English teacup and saucer.

Highlight: Easy to place around the home and ideal in guest rooms as a little flower treat. I especially liked the turquoise inside of the cup and jug set as it offsets the colours of the flowers beautifully.

Flowers included:  purple Anemone, orange Freesian, yellow ranunculus, and eucalyptus gunnii. 

Camellia Sasanqua Cleopatra White

Vintage Sugar Bowl - Flower Display Idea
#3 Pretty simple flower display of two Camellia's from the garden. I used this for our bedroom next to the bed as it made the table look pretty and these are not scented it was ideal.

Vessel: vintage china English sugar bowl.

Highlight: really easy to recreate with a pretty bowl and a couple of medium-headed garden flowers. 

Flowers included:  Camellia Sasanqua Cleopatra White

Homegrown Garden Flowers - Do-it-yourself  Floral Arrangements
Mixed flowers with Giant Zinnia's, Oxeye Daisy, California Poppies.
#4 Hallway display of three garden flower arrangements, created in August when there was an abundance of flowers from the cutting garden. Lined up these look eye-catching in a miss-matched jar, jug and milk bottle.

Vessel: The jar had been filled with coffee and with the wide neck I thought it would be great for displaying flowers. Simply tied with a VV Rouleaux ribbon around the top. The blue and white jug Heron Cross Pottery 1876 brought on a trip in Haworth and a glass milk bottle.

Highlight: making three mini flower arrangements which were grouped along the hallway really made an impact on entrance. I refilled these up in a row many times with different flowers. 

Flowers included: giant zinnia's, oxeye daisies and California poppies.

Cherry Blossom Flower Ideas
Cherry Blossom Mini Flower Arrangement
#5 May Cherry Blossom in a mini glass jar attached with wire to hang on a wall or window sticker hook. Picked simply from our Cherry Blossom Tree which flowers every May. 

Vessel: small glass jar with wire attached. 

Highlight: these little jars can be filled with pretty flower displays all year round and you only need a couple of small flowers to make it look really attractive. Add a group of small jars with wires and create a beautiful flower display, ideal for a party.

Flowers included: cherry tree blossom.

Blush Climbing Roses and Icelandic Poppies - Flower Arrangement
Homegrown Flowers To Decorate Your Home
#6 Kitchen window sill display idea with blush climbing roses and Icelandic Poppies. Spanish style glass blue water bottles with wide necks so perfect for popping flowers in to display.  

Vessel: blue glass Spanish water style bottles.

Highlight: I love these blue bottles with garden flowers as they set a lovely bright tone in any area of our home. Great to arrange together or one on their own in different areas. 

Flowers included: blush climbing roses and Icelandic poppies.

Dahlia Linda's Baby  displayed in a glass milk bottle with a wooden flower decoration
Homegrown Cut Flowers - Dahlia Linda's Baby 
#7 An ideal desk or bedside flower arrangement to brighten a small area. Great as a gift for a friend or family member. Very little time to make and such a pretty little display, the Flower Decoration was from Kelly Rideout.

Vessel: glass milk bottle and wooden flower decoration.

Highlight: Pretty gift idea and flower arrangement which takes very little time to put together. Add your name or a message on the back of the wooden take for an extra keepsake gift. 

Flowers included: Dahlia Linda's Baby.

British Flower Display Inspiration
Peony Itoh 'Bartzella
#8 Although Peony's are not a cutting flower as they don't come back again I did decide to include this beauty as it smells so lovely of lemons and I am not a flower farm just growing at home for flower inspiration and fun. One of my favorite plants are Peonies, I just wish they had a longer flowering season.

Vessel: mini glass bottles.

Highlight: Great as a table display across the middle to make a statement for a garden party or simply to make a special afternoon tea. Although I would keep them out of direct sunlight or you may see them physically wilt. Wonderful in colours, textures, and shapes. 

Flowers included: peony itoh 'bartzella, cerinthe major 'purpurascens', orange rose, euphorbia oblongata, pink climbing rose, mathiola incana 'vintage antique mix'.

Parrot Tulips Red and White - Coco-Cola Bottle Display
Spring Red and White Parrot Tulip Flower Decoration

#9 When these glorious red and white parrot tulips came though they made me think of coco-cola and the branding. I do enjoy a diet coke from time to time so these glass bottles seem the idea vase for them. Lots of fun and a great spring display. 

Vessel: glass Coco-Cola bottles.

Highlight: Fun to display and easy to recreate or have fun with other bottles and flower colours. Maybe Fanta and orange flowers next time. These also received lots of attention on social media too, do follow me on Instagram @kellyrideout_d

Flowers included: red and white parrot tulips.

Homegrown Garden Flower Display Ideas
Love Dahlias, Cosmos, Poppies, roses and more
#10 This colourful display was created in late summer using the pinks from the dahlias and the fun tin box together. The cute little tin box looks like a little french bakery and really caught my eye.

Vessel: Pink Tin Box

Highlight: Fresh fun and uses lots of big hero flowers, which are blooming late in the summer with the long nights. This range of pinks and a few added whites really enhances the flowers and the tin together. 

Flowers included: Cosmos bipinnatus 'Dazzler', poppy heads and foliage.

Cosmos Cupcake Blush - Homegrown Flowers with Bag Art

Homegrown Cut Flowers - Cosmos Cupcake Blush
#11 These are flowers I picked straight from the flower garden and popped into glass vases outside. I used them inside next to my handmade bag artwork and across the house. These cosmos are great cut flowers as they come back in abundance when cut.

Vessel: Glass jars filled with beautiful Cosmos Cupcake 'Blush' and Cosmos Cupcake 'White' brought from Floret Flower Farm which is great for seeds, advice on flower farming and stunning flower photography. 

Highlight: These lovely light flowers last a long time in the vase and look great in any room. I love the delicate flowers and colours of these Cosmos. One of my top performers on the cutting garden and just lovely to watch blowing lighting in the summer breeze. 

Flowers included: Cosmos Cupcake 'Blush', Cosmos Cupcake 'White' and foliage Amaranthus caudatus 'Virdis'.

#12 Brilliant bold magenta, canary yellows, fresh greens, and sunset oranges. Ideal centerpieces for a party with fun style and with a great floral scent. 

Vessel: Babycham blush pink glasses

Highlight: Eye-catching and bright these flower displays worked really well for a friends cocktail party. 

Flowers included: Anemone Flowers and Freesias, with rosemary and eucalyptus gunnii.

The ideal time to pick flowers is first thing in the morning as they are more hydrated than at the end of a hot day.

How to Arrange Flowers: Step-by-Step

Step 1: Gather your materials
Step 2: Remove extra leaves to create clean stems for inside the vase or vessel
Step 3: Measure the flowers against your vase of choice and cut the stems to size
Step 4: Fill your vase half full with water 
Step 5: Pour the plant food into the vase

See more on my cutting garden on Pinterest and you can read How Nurturing A Flower Cutting Garden Has Created New Possibilities 

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  • 6.1.20

We love growing our own flowers and vegetables in the garden, the children like to pick their items to grow and each has a little area. 

I find growing with children is a great way to get them outside, enjoying some fresh air and exercise. Learning about plants, nature, looking after something other than themselves and how it feels when a slug strikes!

Previously we have grown giant Zinnia's, Sunflowers (every year) in a number of colours, heights, and head sizes. Cucumbers did very well last year along with cherry trailing tomatoes and Slovacina peppers which were given to us as a gift. 

This year our two boys Jacob (eight) and Oakley (six) have chosen to grow, pumpkins, carrots, cucumbers, sweetcorn, sunflowers, calendula, and zinnias. As their planter broke last year I am thinking of trying them with crates this year. I will update you with some photographs once we are underway. 

Some great cut flower seeds we have tried and are great to try with children I think ar, Calendula officials ‘Indian Prince’, Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Dazzler’, Sunflower Vanilla Ice and Centaurea Cyanus ‘Polka Dot’ mixed’. These are easy to grow and make great cut flowers. 
Flower cutting garden Hampshire
Plant them inside to get them growing early in Spring or sow them directly outside in the sunshine when the frost has passed. Direction for the best growing tips can be found on the back of the seed packets, so great to read with children. 
Sunflower Seeds Grown With Children To Gift As Presents
Benefits of planting flowers and vegetables with children include
  • Reducing pollution
  • Eating homegrown food from the garden
  • Reducing carbon footprints
  • Helping Bees and insects 
  • Well being for gardeners (mindfulness)
  • Healthy exercise benefits
  • Social activity for the family to enjoy together
  • Cut flowers can fill a home or be gifted to friends and family
  • Children learn to nurture and watch for nature in the garden
  • Having fun together
Flower Journey A4 Keepsake
Here are some children’s activities I have tried and enjoyed with my children, great for school holidays and having fun together. 
1. Paint or draw pictures of the seeds and the plants as they grow. 
2. Keep a plant diary over a period of time.
4. Photograph the children and yourselves while you are gardening together. Create your own ‘Flower Story’. A collage of pictures while you grow the flowers as a reminder and keepsake. This could be gifted with some flowers as an extra special gift. 
5. Learn to wrap flowers like a florist with this handy our handy six-step guide. Ideal for Mother Day Gifts or special end of term teacher presents. For more ideas on flower wrapping ideas follow me on Pinterest or Instagram
6. Make up a story or poem about your garden.
7. Collet the flower seeds and use them with glue to make patterns.
Chilrdens Flower Wrap for Homegrown Flowers
8. Press flowers and keep in sketchbooks with labels.
9. Flower petals can be used for art, style the scene and take a photograph to print out. See below or look at Bridget Beth Collins as her flower art is stunning as she tells stories with flowers. Flower Art Handmade From The Garden
Having fun in the garden and creating thoughtful gifts with flowers can be lots of fun. A gift where someone has taken time can mean so much to someone special. When life can seem so fast-paced, gardening can really help time slow down and create last memories by bringing family together. 
"You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry. Don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way." - Walter Hagen
To begin your own flower journey with children be sure to look at the new Children’s Flower Wrap Set with flower seeds or the rainbow flower wrap and sticker kits. 

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