Here’s how to cut blooms from your garden to enjoy indoors

If you’ve managed to keep your flowers blooming in the heat, you may want to cut some now to brighten up the inside of your home.

From fragrant sweet peas to blousy dahlias and zingy yellow rudbeckias, there are plenty of blooms which are ideal for cutting in late summer.

Mix them up with fragrant herbs such as mint and rosemary, which will provide both texture and colour to the arrangement.

Here are five of the best.

Cut flowers can brighten a home

Cut flowers can brighten a home

  1. Dahlias

These impressive blooms are the ultimate grow-your-own cut flower – the more you cut, the more flowers they seem to produce. Cutting a handful of blooms every few days is like deadheading early.

Cut them early in the morning, making a diagonal cut so the surface area is as big as possible when in contact with the water. The flowers you pick should be almost fully open, as if you cut them as buds they may not bloom. Make sure you put them in water as soon as you cut them, as they’ll soon start to wilt in a trug without moisture.

  1. Alstroemerias

Also known as the Peruvian lily, these late-flowering beauties are easy to grow and can last up to two weeks in a vase.  Grow them in shades varying from purple and pink to white, orange, yellow and rust and they will give you clusters of delicate trumpet-shaped flowers off a single stem.

When picking mature plants, hold the stem low down and pull it upwards, which will sever it below ground and stimulate another bud to encourage more blooms. Then you can cut the stem to the desired length.

  1. Rudbeckias

These dazzling yellow daisy-like blooms with deep brown centres come into their own in late summer and autumn, their cheerful flowers brightening up indoor displays. They can spread to fill large areas of the border and will last up to two weeks in a vase if you change the water regularly. A good choice is the yellow variety ‘Marmalade’ paired with the more unusual ‘Cherry Brandy’, which has deep chocolate-burgundy flowers.

Again, they are really easy to grow – you can buy both annual and perennial types – and are particularly suited to prairie planting schemes, preferring moist but well-drained soil in full sun.

  1. Sweet peas

Who could fail to love these climbing beauties, which are richly scented and flower profusely throughout summer and into autumn if you cut them frequently.

Cut them at the base of the stems soon as the blooms appear – if you don’t cut them regularly, their flowering season will be much shorter because the plant thinks that it’s time to set seed. Put them en masse in an informal bunch in a shallow jug or vase for best effect. They may be fleeting, lasting only a couple of days, but the more you cut, the more will come back which should give you plenty of richly scented blooms into mid autumn.

  1. Cosmos

These annuals are long-flowering and come in an abundance of colours, from white to pink and purple, with delicate feathery foliage. Keep them well watered in pots and in the border throughout the warmer months and they won’t disappoint. Their attractive, single, open-faced flowers are also a magnet for bees and other pollinators.

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