Making The Cut: My Raised Bed Gardens
My mother and I recently added four raised beds to Badlands Ranch. We put them right in front of the chicken coop where our old, lackluster cutting garden had been the year before. We didn’t have much success with last years garden and are hoping this year the raised beds will not only be beautiful to look at but will supply us with an abundance of arrangement worthy flowers.
Last year we made the mistake of waiting too long to plant and not being thoughtful enough about what we planted. So this year I turned to Pinterest to curate a board of inspiration and information. I learned so much in such a short amount of time and now have a better understanding of how to get the most out of our cutting garden. We probably still waited a bit too long to start planting bulbs or seeds but the good news is we have a greenhouse where we can plant all year long despite Utah’s super short growing season. So instead of letting the greenhouse beds sit dormant once we’ve harvested the veggies we have growing in there over the summer, we’ve decided we’ll plant them up with seeds and bulbs to keep our cutting garden going all winter long!
I was most inspired by the beautiful blog Floret Flowers and Erin Benzakein’s gorgeous dahlias, zinnias, ranunculus and poppies. Her flowers are unique specialty blends of colors and blooms and aren’t something you’re going to find at your local Home Depot or neighborhood nursery. Sadly I didn’t know about her soon enough to order some seeds and bulbs before they all sold out. Now that I do I’ll make sure to order as soon as my favorites are back in stock! Despite the fact that I couldn’t get any of Floret’s dahlias or zinnias I was still able to find some more traditional ones that were perfect for our cutting garden. Next year I envision beds filled with single varieties of her unique collections in ombré waves of color!
I followed the example of Catherine Mix whose article in Sunset magazine is not only inspirational but informative to boot. I loved the idea of designing by color zones and convinced my mother to go along with this more uniformed look. We ended up with a white and cream color bed, a blues and purples bed, a citrus color bed and a hot color bed filled with deep reds, burgundies and hot pinks. We’ll see how it ends up looking once the flowers really take bloom and fill in. Hopefully it will look as beautiful as I imagine!
Once the beds really start to take off I’ll do a part two to this post and let you know if our efforts were a success! My hope is that I’ll have plenty of gorgeous blooms to fill my vases with all summer long, and if we plan it right all winter too!