The best cutting garden flower arranging tips from an expert and that person is my friend Sandy of The Collected Garden. Sandy is an avid gardener and only recently (thank you pandemic) has she taken on growing seeds all winter and spring and selling her bouquets to local farm stands and independent grocery stores in her area. Sandy started her garden with pollinator-friendly plants, and today she has so many she can’t even begin to estimate!
Today, I’m joining my friends Mary Ann, Cindy, and a few friends to share our flower arranging tips with you. Since my way of arranging flowers is basically to cut a handful of flowers and put them in a jar, I thought I would ask my friend Sandy to walk us through how to arrange cut garden flowers from your yard or property and arrange them in a vintage vessel and use a flower frog. I ordered this one that Sandy recommended.
A 600 sq. ft. cutting garden just 20 miles from NYC
Sandy lives in New Jersey, just about 20 miles from New York City, and has about 600 square feet of growing space in her backyard. For the last 20 years, Sandy has been filling her property with plants. When they bought the property, she said it had not even a foundation plant or shrub. Then she started taking mini-courses from Erin of Floret Flowers. She did this for about two years. During the fall of 2019, right after taking a free mini-course and doing some fall cleanup, she took some bouquets to a local market and asked if they would be interested in selling them. She meant next spring, thinking she would have time to prepare, but they said yes, and they wanted to start selling right away! And just like that, Sandy was in the cut flower grower business!
Preparing for the next season
Once Sandy had a few customers and her flowers were selling out, she knew she would need to have more seed growing space than her dining room window sill. She bought a greenhouse kit and constructed it (with the help of her boys) during the coldest days last winter. It’s a 6″ X 4″ walk-in aluminum greenhouse. By the end of February, she had a portable heater going and was growing seeds for the upcoming season.
Bouquets in jars and wrapped in kraft paper
A mix of flowers in a basket vase
What’s in a name?
Sandy chose to call her business The Collected Garden because that’s exactly what it is. It is a garden that has been collected over the last 20 years. Sandy and her husband looked at over 70 properties before choosing their current home. She liked it for the fact that it was a clean slate. Not a single shrub, tree, or foundation plant had been planted on the property, which backed to state-protected “green acres.” Over time, Sandy planted things and figured out what grew through trial and error. She’s all about adding those layers over time to have that collected feel. Plants, pots, tools have all been thoughtfully considered before being added to the garden. Just like a home that has that collected over time feel to it, Sandy’s garden is very much like that. Make sure to follow Sandy on her beautiful Instagram and be on the lookout for her website to launch this fall!