Cutting garden inspiration



The Flower Recipe Book came out last spring to all kinds of rave reviews. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up this beautiful and affordable (under $15!) hardback book and read it cover to cover. It definitely delivers on how to structure a better bouquet. But maybe even better is the “ingredient chart”– it’s a ready-made shopping list for choosing plants for your cutting garden.

The ladies of Studio Choo borrowed the recipe construct and artfully applied it to flower arranging. For each bouquet, they offer a list of flower “ingredients.” Then they walk you through each step to create their sometimes sparse and sculptural, but more often lush, modern arrangements. Plus, there are lots of stunning photos.

Two summers ago, I started a cutting garden in my backyard. I love the idea of growing most or all of the flowers I need for bouquets throughout the growing season. I was hoping this book would help me fill in my flower garden, as well as create better arrangements from what I grow. It did not disappoint.

I found the ingredients chart towards the front of the book to be super useful as a sort of pantry list. I took stock of what I was already growing and compared it to their suggestions. It turns out I have lots of base flowers and secondary flowers, but need some more focal flowers, base foliage and textural “bits.” Such useful insight! And better yet, I’ll know exactly what to do with the flowers once they’re growing in my garden.

Béa’s story and pumpkin cranberry flax no-bake dog treats


Meet Béa, she’s our 5-year-old rescued pound puppy that we adopted not quite a year ago.  She came from a really awful place before she was taken to the Humane Society by the police. When we brought her home from the shelter two days after Valentine’s Day, she was still nearly 10 lbs underweight with injuries that hadn’t been healing.

Over the last 10 months, Bea’s life has changed dramatically and so has her personality. She was sweet and smart from day one, but she was also anxious and uncertain, with not many manners.

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Backyard bouquets: Add herbs to your cut flowers


For me, herbs are one of the most rewarding things to grow. You plant them and can start using them almost immediately. This is good news for impatient me. Plus, they grow pretty quickly and often produce more than you can manage to eat.

So besides using them in salads, smoothies, lemonades (more on this soon), and seasonal dishes of all sorts, I’m happy to report they make lovely and long-lasting additions to cut flowers.

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