Your garden can provide everything you need for creative bouquets. When cutting plant material, place it directly into water, so it will stay well hydrated. Splice the the ends of woody stems, so they can take up water properly. Plant perennials flowers, so they will provide cut flowers for years to come. Shrubs can provide cut flowers, and also greenery for your arrangements.
The cutting garden is not complete without roses (Rosa). Choose continual blooming roses, and they will provide cut flowers from June through October. Tea roses are known for their strong stems, and for their tight buds. Shrub roses will also work as cut flowers. Choose varieties with long, straight stems. Look for plants with thick, glossy foliage. Rose hips can also be included in fall arrangements.
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) has a strong stem that will hold up well in a vase. The blooms are long-lasting, and the cone adds interest. The species is pink to purple, but coneflowers come in many varietal colors. You can find them in shades of purple, white, pink, orange, red, gold and yellow.
Lilies (Lilium) make good cut flowers. The best lilies for flower arrangements are the oriental hybrids. Most lilies are perennial bulbs, so choose varieties that are hardy to your region. Oriental lilies have large, fragrant flowers with attractive orange, brown or black stamens. Avoid getting the pollen from the stamens on tablecloths or clothing, as it will stain. Tiger lilies are wild lilies with multiple small flowers on each stem. Wild lilies look striking in a vase mixed with fern fronds and other woodland greenery. Do not use daylily, because they wither in one day, as the name implies.
Plant crocosmia (Montbretia) for tall arrangements. These perennial flowers have bright colored arching flower spikes. The most popular is a red variety called 'Lucifer.' There is a yellow crocosmia with red strap-like foliage called 'Solfatere.' They can be found in numerous shades of orange. The flowers open in late summer, and are followed by ornamental brown seed heads. The seed heads can be used in fall flower arrangements. The thin leaves can be added as an exclamation point in arrangements.
Evergreen viburnums can provide both flowers and greenery for cutting. Spring bouquet viburnum (Viburnum tinus 'Spring Bouquet') is one of the best. It develops umbels of fragrant white flowers in early spring. The evergreen foliage is useful throughout the year for arranging. Clusters of ornamental metallic blue berries follow the flowers. Cut the berry clusters from the plant along with the stem for bouquets.
Hydrangeas are valuable shrubs for the cutting garden. There are two flower types that can be used for arranging. The mop-head hydrangeas are a ball of small flowers in shades of pink or blue. Lace-cap hydrangeas are flat umbels of single flowers, and are most often white. Fresh hydrangea flowers can be used, as well as the dried flower heads.