Many plants can be cut frequently with little impact on the garden display; they just keep on producing more flowers. Plant a cutting border full of such varieties.
When to plant: Autumn or spring.
At their best: Spring to late summer.
Time to complete: 5 hours for sowing and pricking out; 2 hours for planting.
You will need: Seeds of annuals, bulbs, perennials, spade, well-rotted organic matter – such as manure, watering can.
Plant in swathes
Clear the area of weeds, and dig in organic matter. In autumn, plant bulbs and mark their positions. Then, in spring, plant large swathes of perennials and annuals, so you can cut the flowers regularly without leaving large gaps in the border.
Pick and mix
When you are planning to pick your flowers, water the area well the night before. This helps stems plump up, and the cut flowers will keep for longer. It is best to cut first thing in the morning, plunging the stems immediately into a deep bucket of water. Always cut to just above a leaf.
Flowers for cutting: Allium, Alstroemeria, Antirrhinum, Chrysanthemum, Cleome, Cornflower, Centaurea, Cosmos, Daffodil, Dahlia, Foxglove, Digitalis, Peony, Rudbeckia, Sunflower, Sweet pea, Sweet William, Tulip, Zinnia.