February 1, 2023

A flower garden of your own

Do you fancy yourself as an amateur florist? With a little bit of planning, you can save money and have cut flowers to pick from your own garden throughout the year.

Are you the sort of person who loves to have a vase of flowers on display at home?

I love having fresh flowers in the house. When I was younger, I used to treat myself to a big bunch from the markets every weekend, but now – with young children – I tend to spend my money on other things.

So, like many people who want to save money, I have started growing flowers in my own garden. With a bit of planning and good advice you can have flowers blooming all year round in your garden – and with a pair of snips and an eye for detail you can make the most gorgeous displays for your own home or bouquets to give to friends.

Here are a few tips to add colour to your home inside and out.

First, look at what you already have in the garden. It doesn’t have to be flowers; it could be some lovely foliage or herbs. Look for texture, leaf size and colour. You don’t have to just feature flowers in your arrangements – a single branch of leaves can look stunning as a table centrepiece or in an entrance hallway.

If the idea of figuring out what to grow and when seems daunting, you will be happy to know there is a fabulous new smartphone app called “Grow Flowers” developed by a local Adelaide Hills mum and part-time
flower grower.

Fenella Claire Dermody started growing flowers on her half-hectare of land in Aldgate. After trying to figure out the best times to plant from the back of the tiny seed packet, she realised there was a need for an app to make life easier for other flower enthusiasts. You simply select your location and the time of the year, and the app gives you options of all the flowers you should plant and how.

For example, in Adelaide in September you could plant:
Cornflowers – outside in direct soil
Snapdragons – outside in trays

The beauty of this app is that it tells you how to propagate your seeds inside or outside and has an A-Z of flowers and how to grow them.

As well as planting some new varieties of flowers, have a look at what is already growing in your garden and consider the following:


Evergreen magnolia
Sweet peas


Natives that bloom in winter

Once you have planted and started picking, the next task is learning how to display them.

I have a collection of many shapes and sizes, some were expensive gifts and some are recycled old jars or bottles. You can even display flowers in an old teapot! A good tip is to have a look in your local op shop for great finds. A lovely way to display flowers is to group different sizes of vase together in a theme. This can add height to your display, especially if it’s occupying a larger area.

Posies and bunches
A posy is a small bunch of mixed flowers, it can often contain sprigs of herbs, flowers and a few leaves. A posy is a very sweet way to give a thoughtful gift that the recipient is sure to love.

A bunch is usually much bigger and you can either mix and match different flowers and foliage or use just the same variety, such as roses.

If you are mixing your flowers, select either colours that go together such as white and green, or pinks. Or maybe you want a colour explosion – if so, just go for it.

Pick a few feature stems (a picked single flower) and hold them in your hand. Then, continue to add flowers or stems of leaves to bulk up the bunch, hold them tight and turn them around to see the overall effect. When finished, secure the stems with some string or a rubber band.

Then snip off the bottom of all the stems so they are even.

For a gift, add a ribbon and wrap in some brown paper or cellophane for an extra special touch.

Fill your vase with clean water and change it every couple of days to keep your flowers fresh.


This article first appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of SALIFE Gardens and Outdoor Living magazine.

Subscribe Today! Subscribe to South Australia's biggest-selling magazine, showcasing the best of Adelaide and South Australia. From only $9 per issue
including free delivery to your door.
Share —