Cutting gardens
Special to the Tribune Cutting gardens are areas planted expressly for the purpose of cutting flowers. Pollinators will be pleased, and so will you.

At a recent Celebration of Life for a fellow Master Gardener, we were reminded of Betty’s penchant for cutting flowers from the Master Gardeners Demonstration gardens — in particular, the cutting garden. (These gardens, behind the Senior Center on Univeter Road, are open to the public.) The comment got me to thinking … I have a hard time cutting flowers in my yard; it bothers me that they die so quickly in the house when I could have enjoyed them so much longer outside. I actually try to schedule events here in April, when I can shamelessly raid the azaleas which produce so many blooms anyway. But what if one were to plant an area expressly for the purpose of cutting flowers — in essence just like a vegetable garden?

A little research tells me that is exactly the tack to take. The key is planning. To start, decide what you want to grow: you can have annuals or perennials (the latter my preference — why not, since annuals have to be planted … annually.) I’d suggest choices with long stems that bloom at different seasons and think about how much space each variety must have to succeed. You don’t want a bed that is too large to enjoy caring for — maybe three-by-six feet.

Now, where to put that bed? Remember that most flowers prefer full sun (six hours or more per day) and well-drained soil. It isn’t supposed to look like a mixed border enhancing your property — there are no design principles at work here. You are essentially planting crops in rows. Obviously, get rid of…