A vase of fresh flowers cut straight from the garden and brought into the house can instantly brighten up a room and in many cases fill it with scent. One of my favourite garden activities is picking flowers I grow in my garden. It certainly beats other garden chores like weeding. Growing your own flowers is fun, it’s easy and it’s a great way to save money. So it’s surprising that more people don’t try growing their own flowers. There are plenty of cut flowers that you can grow at home, it’s easy if you choose the right plants. Not convinced yet? Here are 5 reasons to grow your own flowers.
1. It’s fun
This is probably the best reason to grow your own anything: vegetables, herbs, flowers. It’s fun to see a tiny seed sprout and turn into a plant. My latest project is growing an avocado tree from seed. Not a tiny seed by the way. I love avocado sandwiches but I have always thrown the seed away. Being in the mood for spring and growing things, I thought I’d give the avocado seed a try. Will it ever grow fruit? Probably not, but that’s not the point. It’s fun!
2. It’s easy
Gardening is easy if you choose the right plants. Maybe you are uncertain about growing flowers from seed. It’s not difficult, but it does require starting seeds indoors, repotting seedlings, hardening off seedlings and transplanting them into the garden. If this is just too much information, try growing dahlias. In my experience, they are fairly carefree. Still not sure? Why not join a community garden like I joined the neighbourhood dahlia association. Last year was my first year growing dahlias. When I was told to spread manure on my plot, I did. When I was told to plant the tubers, I did. When I was told to lift the tubers, I didn’t ;-). Experienced members of the society are always willing to explain how to care for your plants.
3. It’s a great way to save money
I you find yourself frequently buying flowers, why not grow your own? Starting your own seeds is the most inexpensive way to fill your vases. A packet of poppy or sweet pea seeds only costs 2 euros and contains 20 to 100 seeds. That’s a lot of flowers! Dahlia’s are somewhat more expensive, around 2 euros a tuber but they are well worth the investment. By digging and dividing them they will return year after year and you can easily increase your stock of dahlias.
4. It’s good for the bees
A report published by the United Nations just last month warns that many bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are shrinking toward extinction. According to scientists, the implications for humans can be huge. Many of the world’s food crops rely on insect pollination, including foods that are part of our daily lives like fruits, vegetables, coffee and cocoa. These products may eventually even become scarce. What, coffee ànd chocolate!?? If that isn’t reason enough to plant a bee-friendly garden, I don’t know what is. Well known flowering plants attractive to bees are rhododendron, Buddleja (butterfly bush) and Sedum spectabile. They like dahlias too!
5. It’s the most sustainable option.
There is no fuel needed to deliver the flowers to your home. I don’t use any pesticides, I hand pick slugs and snails from my garden. Yes, it’s a disgusting job to do, but it is much better than killing them with pesticides. I wouldn’t want our hedgehog to get killed by eating dead or dying slugs. There is no waste, all wilted flowers end up in the compost heap that will eventually feed the garden.
3 reasons nót to grow your own flowers
If you are a working mum with little time or you just don’t have a green thumb, please don’t feel guilty. You can’t do it all! Besides, there are plenty of ways to meet your flower needs. Growing your own isn’t the only one. Here are 3 good reasons not to grow your own flowers:
1. The cost
When buying flowers, always look for seasonal blooms. They will fresher, healthier and less expensive. While dahlias and sweet peas are cut-and-come-again flowers, daffodils and tulips are not. This means you will only get one or two stems from a bulb. Daffodil and tulip bulbs aren’t very expensive but look at the prices at the flower market! In season, you will be able to find 5 bunches of daffodils or tulips for 5 euros. You can’t grow against that.
2. The cutting garden
If you don’t have the time or the place to grow flowers but you do want to hand pick your own flowers, why not visit a cutting garden? You can stroll through the flower field, scissors in one hand and a basket over your arm, and choose from whatever flowers are in season. It’s a fun outing. For a PYO farm near you, just google “pick your own flowers” or in Dutch: “pluktuin”.
Queen Anne’s Lace, or Daucus carota is one of my favourite flowers. They are so airy and elegant. Some flower farmers even grow Queen Anne’s Lace as a cut flower. But the best thing is: you can find them flowering abundantly in any roadside in summer. I like my bouquets a little wild, so even though I grow my own flowers, I will definitely be picking some wildflowers this summer.
Do you grow your own flowers? I’d love to hear. Share it with us in the comments below, or share this blog post by using the share buttons. Thank you!
6 thoughts on “5 reasons to grow your own flowers (and 3 reasons not to)”
Het klinkt gemakkelijk, zaai je eigen bloemen, maar er zijn veel valkuilen. De grootste de slakken. Nu al weer met de narcis ‘Tête-à-Tête’, de bloemen worden opgevreten. Zo ook vaak met jonge plantjes, die zijn lekker. Toch heb ik weer bloemen gezaaid in bakjes o.a. Lathyrus, Eschscholzia, Impatiens, Anjer, en Thunbergia alata. En wat zie ik vandaag bij de bloemenwinkel, een mooie Thunbergia en in bloei. Zo denk ik ieder jaar: ik ga niet zaaien en dan doe ik het toch, want het is leuk om iets te zien groeien.
Ik zou die Thumbergia ook gewoon kopen 😉
Bij mij gaat het tot nu toe goed, de Lathyrus staat buiten, de slakken kunnen er niet bij. De Cobaea staat binnen.
The Romans have a lot to answer for: it is they that introduced snails into the UK, because they wanted to eat them.
I used to go out at one or two in the morning to squash the snails with my boots. Slugs are too horrible to step on, so I cut those in half with a spade. Torch in one hand and often a brollie in the other, as it always seemed to rain at night.
These days I don’t have to do that any more: I plant my best things in large tubs, and paint a thick layer of car grease round the tub, halfway up. They can’t cross that barrier, and for the first time even my hosta leaves are perfect.
Worth trying if things get really desperate.
You certainly are a dedicated gardener, Joanna, staying up till one or two in the morning to go snail hunting! You are lucky to have perfect hosta leaves, mine already have small holes in them. I am thinking about planting garlic between the hostas, have you ever tried that?
inspired by your last years post about growing sweet peas, I will definitely give it a try again.
I even bought some Dahlia tubers ;0))
In Germany we unfortunately don´t have such gorgeous and large flower markets as in the Netherlands but in our region we can find these cutting fields which is also a very nice chance to get fresh and seasonal flowers.
Last year, when we visited our German family, we bought them gladiolus, fresh from the field! They were gorgeous. Looking forward to seeing your dahlias!