When I first began growing flowers specifically for cutting, flower farmers were my teachers. Erin Benzikin of Floret, Melanie from Dahlia May Flower Farm, Zoe Woodward, and as time went on, an assortment of women who were growing cut flowers on smallish acreages.
However, there was a slight complication. I live in a fairly large city with a city-sized garden. It was not a flower farm. My enthusiasm had me looking for extra space to grow flowers. A friend (and neighbour) lent me a few raised beds in her garden. I took the grass out of the narrow strip between the sidewalk and street, and my youngest son made me 18-inch-wide raised beds that ran the width of our property in the back alley. All this is in addition to a tiny cutting flower plot at the back of the garden.
Each year, I fell short when it came to growing like a flower farmer. And it was fun. And frustrating and a little overwhelming. But... if you want to grow cut flowers for beautiful arrangements, that's what you do. Abundant bouquets require large assortments of flower varieties and lots of greenery as fillers.
Then one day, I was gifted a stunning, large bouquet created by Vanessa at vvplantspeak, and it was glorious. The stems were long and luscious. The sheer variety of flowers made my plant-loving heart sing. It was everything I'd been working towards.
Except... my house is small. In nearly every spot I put it, the scale was wrong. The bouquet took up half the island in my kitchen. The arrangement overpowered the space instead of enhancing it. Plus, with all those lovely flowers snuggled up in one bouquet, I couldn't enjoy the intricate details of each one. Yet, details are the thing I'm most drawn to in flowers.
I did the only thing I could do. I deconstructed the bouquet, raided my collection of glass vessels, and spread those blooms all over the house in little clusters, here, there, and everywhere. It was perfect.
And that's the lesson I've been gradually learning, even though it doesn't come naturally to me. Sometimes, less truly is more, even when it comes to cut flowers.