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!