The perfect cutting flowers

A little snapshot of my cut flower garden in September

My first year growing cut flowers has definitely been a steep learning curve but overall I’m really pleased with the result. 

For those of you who have been following me, you’ll know that I’ve already started my outdoor Autumn planning, and this also applies to my cut flower garden. 

Beautiful flowers still providing gorgeous colour in the garden

I’ve already got an extensive shopping list which includes revamping a shaded border as well as my large list for cut flowers. I’m also going to try some new bulbs, but to save the bank balance I’ve narrowed it down to three:


Image of Ranunculus from Sarah Raven

If you are growing Ranunculus in your borders or cut flower beds then make sure you choose a spot where the soil drains well.  Adding organic matter will help to improve drainage, but if you see water pooling on top of the soil then it is best to find another location. The bulbs need to be planted 5cm apart and to a depth of 5cm. Once planted, always give them a good water and then you just need to wait until you see them sprout, which is likely to be in the Spring. They do need full sunlight, so remember not to plant them in shaded areas.

I’m purchasing the following collection from Sarah Raven –


I’m absolutely in love with these flowers and can’t wait to grow them myself! I’ve gone for an all-white collection from Sarah Raven – because there’s something so delicate about these blooms and white, feels the ‘right’ choice.

Like the Ranunculus, you need to plant these bulbs somewhere where the soil does not become waterlogged. They can cope in full or partial sunlight but are best placed somewhere where they receive between half-day and full-day sunlight. When it comes to planting them, it’s advised to soak these bulbs for a few hours in lukewarm water first to give them a little wake-up call, rather like us having our morning showers! I would put at least 10cm between each bulb and plant them to a depth of 5cm. After planting, make sure you water them well. Roots may form in the autumn and, if you live somewhere relatively warm, then some foliage may start to grow but the buds and flowers won’t appear until the spring.


Crocus are one of the first spring bulbs to flower and are such a welcome sight after a long winter. Again, they need to planted somewhere the soils drain well and benefit from being planted where they receive full to half-day sun. These are quite small bulbs and can be planted about 6-7cm apart and to a depth of 5-7cm. Again water well after planting and then just wait for them to bloom as one of the very first heralds of Spring.

Here’s my choice for this year –

Planting in containers

If you have been unable to find somewhere in your border for these bulbs, or you don’t have a border, then they will all do well in containers. Here are my tips to growing them successfully in pots:

  • Always make sure your pot has holes in the bottom to aid with drainage 
  • Try to use a good quality compost and follow the instructions as you would do for when planting them in a border or raised bed 
  • Always water after planting, and then place the pot where it can get lots of sunshine, but only when the danger of frosts has passed.
September offerings from Karen’s cutting garden

I often get asked what to do after a bulb has flowered. For the majority, and very much the case for these bulbs, leave the foliage in place; don’t cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulbs for the future. Wait until the foliage has completely died back before removing the bulbs from the soil and leave them to rest until they spring back the following year.

With love and stay safe, Flowers and Lifestyle by Margot –

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