Cram Your Way to Spring Gardening Success

Pack in plants for seasonal glory

By Kate Bryant May 1, 2013

Q: I want to grow my own flowers for bouquets, but I don’t want my yard to look like a U-pick farm! What can I plant?

A: The average 50-by-100-foot lot doesn’t leave much room for a separate garden for cut flowers. And most beloved seasonals— peony, daffodil, hyacinth, tulip, lily, and iris—don’t look so hot after their spectacular but fleeting bloom. The solution? Cramscaping!

Plant those froufrou one-hit wonders in between more versatile garden perennials that look great through the seasons. Cram-?scape skillfully, and everything that’s bloomed and faded will hide among taller summer- and fall-blooming bouquet flowers like zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, and dahlias. Basically, decide which bouquets you can’t live without and find a spot for those plants. 

Otherwise, don’t be afraid to broaden your perspective on bouquet-worthy plants: consider seedheads from ornamental grasses, interesting foliage, and architectural stems like twiggy dogwood. Trees—magnolia, dogwood, flowering cherry, and even Japanese maple—yield branches that look fantastic in big vases when in bud. Consider yourself lucky if you already have old specimens in your yard, and get creative.

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