Garden Photo of the Day

Garden Bouquets from San Diego

Turning trimmings into bouquets

Sweet peas in a vase in front of some houseplants

Today we’re off to San Diego to visit with Catherine Dickerson.

One of the things I love about growing lots of flowers is the abundance of bouquets that come from the necessary trimming and cleaning up. I used to complain that most of my work here in San Diego is hacking and trimming. Now I think of it as tender care, and that shift in perspective makes it all very enjoyable.

For over half the year, we have the delicious luxury of flowers in every room. Here are a few bouquets.

cerinthe in a small vaseA little powder-room bouquet of overgrown cerinthe (Cerinthe major, annual) and geranium.

bouquet with cerinthe and snapdragonsMore cerinthe, with broken snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus, annual) and trimmed ligustrum (Ligustrum species).

Sweet peas in a vase in front of some houseplantsSweet peas (Lathyus odoratus, annual) in front of two Moses-in-a-boat (Tradescantia spathacea, Zones 9–11 or as a houseplant), the first of the latter I’ve been able to grow after failing with several. Sweet peas have to be cut daily, as they rush to produce seeds, which of course reduces flowering. I get most of my vases from local estate sales—on Sunday afternoon when the prices are cut in half. This vase is a treasure I brought home from a charity shop in the UK while visiting my sister over 10 years ago.

Alstromeria in a vaseAn abundance of alstromeria (Alstromeria hybrids, Zones 8–10). We have this very determined and expansive plant growing in five colors around our yard. The orange ones grow to 5 feet tall. Visitors often go home with a large bouquet.

broken stem snapdragon in a vaseA modest bit of broken-stem snapdragon and trimmed ligustrum.

lots of colorful flowers in vasesLots of sweet peas! The purple flowers outside in the background are cineraria (Pericallis × hybrida, Zones 9–10 or as an annual). We brought two from a trip to Northern California a few years ago, and they reseed every year. A vigorous abutilon is growing behind them. (The sign in the window has pictures of our cats, in case of emergency.)

purple cauliflower growingAnd last but not least, my first ever cauliflower. Broccoli, beets, kale, spinach, assorted lettuces and snow peas are delicious, but not as photogenic.

Thanks so much for this opportunity to share these wonderful treasures with people who share the same great joy!


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View Comments


  1. gardendevas 05/24/2021

    WOW! Such lush and lovely “cuttings”! Thanks for sharing this bountiful abundance. I like to leave most of my flowers out in the garden, but can’t resist bringing some in, especially little “casualties”. :)

  2. User avater
    simplesue 05/24/2021

    Your lavender Sweet Peas are making me want to try to grow some myself- so pretty!
    Nice story about the little vase from UK, it always amazes me how vintage and antiques find new homes, and travel around the world- if only antiques could talk, because they all have a story behind them.
    Also I enjoyed your story about shopping on Sunday afternoons at estate sales for vases!

  3. Sunshine111 05/24/2021

    Nice job! Making bouquets out of flowers from my garden is one of my favorite things as well.😊

  4. btucker9675 05/24/2021

    Oh those sweet peas - I am so jealous as I have yet to have good success with them. I also love to put little flower arrangements around the house, makes every day a little special. Thanks for sharing yours!

  5. user-5117752 05/25/2021

    Simply marvelous! They're all so charming and creative! I'm not good at flower arranging but I do soooo appreciate yours!!!

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