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Mastering Cut Flower Gardening

Some say that it takes 6-10 years and 10,000 hours to master a skill depending on how often and how much you do it.

In 2019 I spent months reading books and planning our garden on 1/4 acre. I used sheets upon sheets of grid paper covering them with Post-it notes and using colored pencils to represent different flower varieties, perennials vs. annuals, bloom times, heights etc. All in all, we ended up with 156 flower beds measuring 3' x 12' each.

I couldn't wait to get started. I sowed thousands of seeds in our basement on wire shelves and hanging shop lights. Nothing fancy but it worked. I purchased seeds based on what I liked and what would grow in our zone (5b), looking for tall varieties best suited for cut flowers, turns out there are a lot of choices. I must have picked well over 300 varieties and colors of seeds, a mixture of Annuals and perennials, plus many bare root plants, bulbs, and tubers. In our 156 flower beds I would plant several different varieties and type of flowers as not enough of one variety germinated, while others went bonkers. It was beautiful! I did it, I had lots and lots of choices of flowers! What I didn't know was when it came time to harvest and arrange the flowers it was a disaster. I barely had enough of any one color or type to make but a few bouquets. Cutting and arranging all the different varieties was extremely time consuming and stressful as deadlines loomed. Considering I was the only one cutting and arranging, I would literally be running to get everything done in time for the Farmers Market, but I did it.

I am far from a master, but I look forward to the next 10,000 hours on my path to mastering the cut flower garden.

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