cutting flowers

jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)June 6, 2011

I am in a dilema my daughter is getting married on saturday. The plan for the last year was to use peony's from my garden for table decorations. Well you guessed it, while last year on this date they were all in full bloom this year not one is blooming yet. It's been to cold! She doesn't have money in the budget for flowers, and wants simple casual arrangements.

SO I want to use some of the other blooms from my garden, if I can. I have blooming right now, Allium, chives, irises, May night salvia, Catmint, Columbine and verbascum.

My problem is that the wedding is on saturday, I will have to cut the flowers on Thursday, so the blooms will have to hold until Saturday. Does anyone know if most of these will last (in a bucket of water of course) or should I skip some? I don't cut and bring these in often enought to know!


Jenny P

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My iris' didn't hold up well...not sure about the other ones. Alliums should be okay (you can let them dry on the plant and then bring them in and spray paint them for christmas decorations (so even if the blooms don't last, you can spray paint them purple and no one will know!!!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 8:07PM
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You might have better luck if you can wait and cut the flowers Saturday morning or afternoon depending upon what time the wedding is. Do any of your neighbors have blooms you can beg? There is a Cutting Garden forum on GW, I don't go there very often, but I do believe a Cott.Garden poster has a cut flower business, too. Anyone remember his name?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 8:47PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Schoolhouse, would that be Thinman? He's recovering from a recent heart attack, but might be more than happy to offer some advice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thinman

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 9:50PM
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jennypat Zone 3b NW MN(Zone 3b NW MN)

Thanks, my issue is that the wedding is 6 hours away from my home. I need to cut them on Thursday as we are driving down that day. Rehearsal is friday, wedding is saturday.....and I don't know anyone down there that has a garden.

I am going to cut some today, and test them.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 10:00PM
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Oh gosh, natal. I saw that posting heading -"Checking in, TM" but didn't read through. I didn't realize he had had a heart attack. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 5:11PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Jenny, how far along are the peony buds? Are they not even far enough along that if you cut them on Thursday and put them in warm water they won't begin to open? I'm a little worried about some of your other choices becuase of the smell of some of them. Allium, chives, catmint and salvia can be pretty potent on a table. I'm not convinced iris would last long enough as cut flowers.

How many tables are there? Do you have any little local flower stands that have things like roses or carnations for $5 or $10 or any local farmers markets, and maybe use them to make little arrangements? Even just a couple stems per table would still be pretty. Do you have any hefty fern in your garden that you could cut as well for a filler?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 7:22PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I have quite a bit of experience with this, as I do many of the flower arrangements for our church including all weddings and funerals. Unfortunately, garden cut flowers have not been chemically treated like store purchased cut flowers and simply just don't stand up to being cut for many days for the most part. They would be much, much better arranged late the evening before or the day of the wedding.
Chrysanthemums are often very inexpensive and hold up for days in bloom - if I need filler I often choose those to add to my flowers. Thyme2dig is right, greenery can really fill out arrangements, especially variegated greenery. And if you live in an area that has vacant lots or wild areas, consider culling from them. I recently supplied flowers for a wedding and used purple top grass. It is gorgeous in bloom, and we also have queen anns lace to go with it. Some ferns and a variegated evergreen pittosporum and the table decorations were lovely.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:51PM
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You can try google books for Allan Armitage's Specialty Cut Flowers book and look up some specific flowers to see what is recommended to prolong their life. You library may have this book too. :) Probably though, just cut what you can, keep it cool and dark and the morning of wedding see what looks good enough for the day. You could try adding some sprite and aspirin to prolong them. Good luck and try to not let the sudden change in flower plans cause too much stress.

Does the wedding happen to be near Iowa City...we might be just about 6 hours from you up in MN. Dianthus, campanula nd larkspur blooming here. Actually the peonies are almost done around town--late start and then heat wave and rain seems to have done a lot of them in.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 1:09PM
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