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Report From PIA – May 29

When we moved to Poison Ivy Acres, one of the items on my wish list was a cutting garden. Fortunately, at the top of the property there was the perfect location for annuals and perennials intended solely for bouquets.

We can, of course, cut flowers from all places on our properties, but there is something about having a designated cutting garden that appeals.

A garden devoted to cut flowers doesn’t have to look good through the entire season. We don’t have to balance foliage color and texture, or think about four seasons of interest. A cutting garden only has to produce flowers and foliage for the vase.

Beyond not being bound by the usual constraints of garden design, however, cutting gardens speak to other aspects of life. We feel enormously grateful to be able to devote a section of the landscape to lovely bouquets; unlike much of the rest of the world, we don’t have to dedicate our entire surroundings to raising food for the table.

Cutting gardens also speak to the significance of beauty in our lives. We can celebrate the importance of bringing Nature’s splendor into our environments. Flowers lift our spirits and speak to our souls.

What other places do we cultivate in our lives that are devoted solely to such pleasures? Joining a poetry group, or regularly visiting a museum, might qualify. Even the wine tasting group I belong to fits, I think. When we put effort into something purely for the pleasure and beauty it produces, we’re nurturing a “cutting garden.”

Last year I planted three peonies in the cutting garden, and today I started picking. The big balls of petals in the bottom part of this photo are 'Top Brass' - a yummy, fragrant power puff!

This is how the zinnias in the cutting garden looked last year, as seen on a foggy day.

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