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Quick and Easy Garden Flower Arrangements

Even with a small garden, it’s possible to make quick and easy garden flower arrangements to brighten your home and share with loved ones. Just as with the vegetables you harvest, the flower arrangements from your garden will change with the seasons.

Flowers are naturally beautiful, and perfection is not required. Seasonal bouquets are simple to make, and you will improve with practice. So give flower arranging a try today! 

Quick and Easy Garden Flower Arrangements
Recipe: Ranunculus

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5 Tips for Quick and Easy Garden Flower Arrangements


Quick and Easy Garden Flower Arrangements
Recipe: Dahlia, celosia, lisianthus, scabiosa, feverfew, skyflower stems, globe amaranth, bay laurel

1. Grow a variety of flowers

You don’t need an extensive cutting garden to have a steady supply of fresh flowers for arrangements.

Learn which flowers grow well in your area and plant various flowers each season. Dedicate a part of each bed for flowers.

Try to have a variety of styles each season, including focal flowers, disk flowers, spike flowers, filler flowers, and foliage. 

Quick and Easy Garden Flower Arrangements
Recipe: Dahlia, shasta daisy, rudbeckia, amaranth, celosia, globe amaranth

Focal flowers: Sunflower, lisianthus, zinnia, daffodil, dahlia, ranunculus, tulip, rose.

Focal flowers: Sunflower, lisianthus, zinnia, daffodil, dahlia, ranunculus, tulip, rose.

Disk flowers: Cosmos, rudbeckia, marigold, echinacea, phlox, strawflower, shasta daisy, gaillardia, calendula.

Disk flowers: Cosmos, rudbeckia, marigold, echinacea, phlox, strawflower, shasta daisy, gaillardia, calendula.

Spike flowers: Foxglove, delphinium, snapdragon, amaranth, stock, celosia, salvia, bee balm, clarkia.

Spike flowers: Foxglove, delphinium, snapdragon, amaranth, stock, celosia, salvia, bee balm, clarkia.

Filler flowers: Globe amaranth, Queen Anne’s lace, scabiosa, bachelor buttons, feverfew, statice, verbena, coral vine.

Filler flowers: Globe amaranth, Queen Anne’s lace, scabiosa, bachelor buttons, feverfew, statice, verbena, coral vine.

Foliage: Artemisia, dusty miller, basil, eucalyptus, lemon verbena, mint, oregano, perilla.

Foliage: Artemisia, dusty miller, basil, eucalyptus, lemon verbena, mint, oregano, perilla.

Solo arrangements (en masse) or one type of flower in a vase are also beautiful. Well-suited flowers include sweet peas, roses, ranunculus, tulips, and daffodils.

Solo arrangements (en masse) or one type of flower in a vase are also beautiful. Well-suited flowers include sweet peas, roses, ranunculus, tulips, and daffodils.
Ranunculus

2. Pinch back flowers when young for multiple, long stems

Several types of flowers benefit from an early pinching back. Cutting back flowers while young encourages the plants to branch out near the base of the flower, producing longer stems and more of them

Pinch back flowers when they are 8-12 inches tall by cutting off the top several inches above two sets of leaves. The plant will send up several stems below where the cut was made. 

Flowers that benefit from pinching: amaranth, artemisia, basil, calendula, celosia, cosmos, dahlia, dusty miller, marigold, snapdragon, branching sunflowers, sweet peas, sweet william, zinnia.

Don’t pinch single-stem sunflowers, flax, stock, or single-stalk celosia.


Flowers to Plant Outside & Seeds to Start Indoors Each Month in the Low Desert of Arizona.
• PLANTING GUIDE: Each month lists annual flowers and bulbs to plant outside & seeds to start indoors.
• BLOOMING GUIDE: Photos show what may be in bloom that month.


3. Harvest flowers at the right stage

3. Harvest flowers at the right stage Bee on echinacea flower
Bee on echinacea flower

Blooms in flower arrangements will last the longest if they are picked at the correct stage. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Harvest flowers before they are pollinated. Pollination tells flowers to shift their focus from blooming to producing seeds. 
  • Many flowers continue to open once picked. Generally, pick flowers when they are ⅓ open. 
  • Harvest most spike flowers when the bottom ⅓ of flowers are open.
  • Harvest foliage stems when they begin to stiffen, and the ends do not flop over. 
3. Harvest flowers at the right stage Recipe Ranunculus, stock, snapdragon
Recipe: Ranunculus, stock, snapdragon

Special instructions: 

  • Check gomphrena and zinnia’s readiness for harvesting by shaking the stem. If the stem wiggles, it is not ready and will not hold up in a vase. 
  • Harvest poppies, cosmos, scabiosa, ranunculus, peonies, and tulips in the bud stage before they open.
  • Harvest lisianthus, snapdragon, foxglove, and carnation when 2-3 blooms are open.
  • Marigolds are ready to harvest when the flowers are about halfway open.
  • Harvest sweet peas before the last 2-3 flowers on a stem open.
  • Harvest sunflowers and echinacea when the first petals lift off the center (cone).
  • Let dahlias, yarrow, and calendula open 75% before harvesting. 
3. Harvest flowers at the right stageRecipe: Dahlia, snapdragon, feverfew, gaillardia, strawflower, Dara, larkspur, scabiosa
Recipe: Dahlia, snapdragon, feverfew, gaillardia, strawflower, Dara, larkspur, scabiosa

4. Harvest correctly for the longest vase life

  • Use clean, sharp snips to harvest flowers. Dull clippers can crush the stem and shorten bloom time. 
  • Completely clean pails and vases before using hot, soapy water. Small dirt particles can clog stems. 
  • Harvest in the morning when temperatures are cool and the moisture level of plants is highest. 
  • Strip leaves from the bottom ⅔ of the stem and immediately place the stem in a pail of water. 
  • Bring the buckets of flowers and foliage inside, and allow them to rest for an hour or so to rehydrate the stems. 
Make quick and easy flower arrangements with the harvested stems
Rose, foxglove, bachelor buttons, Dara, strawflower, scabiosa, dusty miller

5. Make quick and easy garden flower arrangements with the harvested stems

My favorite type of vase is a mason jar. I use pint, quart, and half-gallon sizes, depending on the stem length of the flowers I’m arranging. Ensure the jar is clean and fill it ¾ with water and add a packet of flower food to the water. 

Lay out the flowers by type, so you can see what you have. Then, trim the stems to size (and refresh the bloom) as you add them to the arrangement. 

To begin, add the focal flowers to the vase. You may need to hold them in place until additional flowers are added. Next, add foliage around the perimeter of the vase. Continue by placing disc and spike flowers around the focal flowers. Finally, complete the arrangement by adding the remaining flowers until the desired look is achieved. 

Quick and Easy Garden Flower Arrangements Recipe: Dahlia, coleus, lisianthus, scabiosa, feverfew, skyflower stems, globe amaranth
Recipe: Dahlia, celosia, lisianthus, scabiosa, feverfew, skyflower stems, globe amaranth

Step back and look at the arrangement from all sides. You may need to move a stem or two to even out the flower arrangement. 


Seed Box Labels with planting dates for vegetables and flowers


Quick and easy garden flower arrangement tips: 

Quick and Easy Garden Flower Arrangements Recipe: Dahlia, scabiosa, feverfew, shasta daisy
Recipe: Dahlia, scabiosa, feverfew, shasta daisy
  • If I need several arrangements, I usually make 2 or 3 at a time dividing the flowers between the vases as I go. 
  • Have a general color scheme in mind and select flowers to harvest by color.  
  • Hold stems next to the jar to see how tall they are before cutting.
  • Replace water in jars and add new flower food every couple of days for the longest vase life.
Sweet peas (left), snapdragons (center), and sweet peas
Sweet peas (left), snapdragons (center), and sweet peas


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