Making The Cut: My Raised Bed Gardens

Raised flower beds

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.

Our new raised beds ready for planting!
Our new raised beds ready for planting!
Katherine Heigl ready to start planting.
Ready to start.

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!

Katherine Heigl planting golden hued marigolds in the bed designated for yellows and oranges.
Planting some gorgeous golden hued marigolds in the bed designated for yellows and oranges.
Helping my mother plant some of her blooming babies that she started from seed.
Helping my mother plant some of her blooming babies that she started from seed.

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!

Blooming red flowers
I can't wait to see how the beds look once the flowers fill in!

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!

Raised flower beds
Raised flower beds

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!

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  • TL Hayden of

    I love your garden!! So much inspiration. I can’t wait to be a home owner soon and have fresh food out of my own!

    June 30, 2017 at 11:32 am Reply
  • Beth

    I love your raised gardens, you have the perfect space for it. I unfortunately live in a condo and can’t have a garden like this, but plant pots with geraniums & dahlias every year. Blogs like this inspire me to get out and help my sisters & parents with their flower beds. Happy gardening!!!

    June 30, 2017 at 1:29 pm Reply
  • Irene Garcia

    Love your raised bed garden. I had one at my old house (l live in Central Texas) and really enjoyed planting wild flowers and marigolds. Loved having fresh flowers in the house to add that beautiful splash of natural color. Have fun with your new garden. Looking forward to seeing the pictures as the flowers grow.

    June 30, 2017 at 1:52 pm Reply
  • Karin Pike

    Love the idea of that! Can’t wait to see it all in full bloom. Sadly, we don’t really have the room in our tiny garden for something like this, even though I’d love to be able to do it. Some day.

    June 30, 2017 at 3:38 pm Reply
  • Kathy Ramirez

    Love the new raised bed garden! Thank you for the inspiration! xx

    July 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm Reply
  • Anna Darwish

    These are gorgeous Katherine! Truly inspiring. I loved the idea so much my husband is going to make me some so I can plant my own herb and vegetable garden. We are expats living in Dubai so our climate during Summer is extremely hot and humid, but our Winters are amazing! We have a small backyard not yet properly established and I’m positive I can turn the space into a tropical budding peaceful sanctuary that my whole family can enjoy and spend time in. Love reading your blog xxx

    July 3, 2017 at 4:07 pm Reply
  • John Wilwerding

    I have one raised perennial flower bed on my farm, and the pink lilies just started blooming yesterday too! Thank you for sharing your love of flowers, as I. A beautiful reflection of natures beauty!

    July 4, 2017 at 3:18 pm Reply
  • Elisabeth

    Good luck! I am a first year flower farmer and will be trialing some raised beds next year to hopefully help with weed management. I’m constantly learning more about growing cut flowers from books, blogs and Facebook groups. Glad I stumbled upon your post!

    August 2, 2017 at 2:27 pm Reply
  • Elaine C Stackhouse

    Do you find the raised beds work better for cutting gardens? I am considering doing them to grow some cut flowers also. Direct sowing into the ground works good with some things. I have a small lavender farm – about 300 plants. They are in the ground. It was a big undertaking though. Weed barrier the rows and mulched with river rock. Looks nice, but still needs weeding. I tried a trial plot with zinnas, sunflowers, and wildflowers. They are growing, but so many weeds and grass. I am thinking multiple raised beds are the way to go.

    June 24, 2018 at 2:26 pm Reply
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