I used to be afraid to cut the flowers in my garden to bring indoors. It was a classic case of flower fear.

Other people, I have heard, experience the same phenomenon. It is the fear that if you cut the flowers in your garden, it will take away from the outdoor beauty. Who wants a bald, flower-free garden, right?

For me, the flower fear ran so deep that I would buy flowers every week, even in the summer, to use in the kitchen, family room, bedroom and bathrooms rather than cut the ones right outside my back door.

But I want my own fabulous flowers in the house, darn it. And I also want my garden filled with an abundance of flowers. In short, I WANT IT ALL!

Why can’t I have it all? Martha Stewart has it all. Oprah has it all. Heck, Angelina Jolie has it all. Angelina even has Brad Pitt! Heck, if she can have Brad Pitt, why can’t I at least have indoor/outdoor flowers? Is that asking too much?


Last fall year I decided it face my flower fears.

I added my own little cutting beds so that I could give myself permission to invite some of them indoors. I stocked up on tulip bulbs. Red tulips, purple tulips, white tulips, pink tulips. Tulips, tulips, tulips. I think I must have been a bit single-minded the day I was stocking up on bulbs, because I came away with about six dozen tulip bulbs and very little of anything else.

If my selections lacked in imagination I can’t say that the execution was especially stellar either. I managed to get about half of the tulip bulbs planted in October before freezing rain and demanding clients drove me indoors. The unplanted tulip bulbs languished in a bucket in the garage. Every time I walked past the bucket to my car the little florist in my head would say, “You’re horrid! You’re killing the flowers. You’ll never have flowers in your house. You don’t deserve flowers in your house!”

The little florist in my head is mean. And sometimes she says bad words.

Finally, one warmish day in February I headed outside with the offending bucket of bulbs and dug them all in. I had no expectation that they would grow. After all, fall is the time to plant tulip bulbs, not February. But at least it shut that miserable little florist voice down for a while.

Amazing, but true, all of the tulip bulbs, including the February planted bulbs, grew and bloomed. And I’ve been cutting and cutting to keep the house tulip-filled for about a month now. I have another bunch of summer blooming flowers all planted and will be inviting them indoors as well.

I still don’t have Brad Pitt. And that miserable little florist in my head still nags at me about my arrangements. But I believe you can say I have recovered from my flower fears.

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  • […] Shelbi Roach wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptFor me, the flower fear ran so deep that I would buy flowers every week, even in the summer, to use in the kitchen, family room, bedroom and bathrooms rather than cut the ones right outside my back door. … […]

  • gina says:

    BB – I have this fear too! I think I’ll do what you did and plant some just-for-cutting bulbs in the fall.

  • Kim says:

    YAY for the tulips!

    I must admit, I’m still giggling about “The little florist in my head is mean. And sometimes she says bad words.”

    I think you ought to tell her that if she can’t say anything nice, you’re going to stuff a block of that godawful green florist’s foam in her mouth!

  • I totally wimped out and started growing orchids indoors. So I don’t have to face my fear of cutting the garden flowers nor buy them.

    Total cop-out.

  • Jane Marie says:

    A lot of people say to me, I’ll bet you have lots of flowers in vases in the houses. Rarely! I hate to cut them too. At least now I know I am not alone.

  • Diana says:

    I’m glad you finally have flowers from your garden in the house. And I’m glad you have a little florist in your head! I was just blogging about talking to myself, in fact. Think we all do it — have little ‘sit-downs’ with outselves? Seems like one of the two little voices in my head ought to be getting paid a therapy fee!

  • Robin – would you email me the Spring Fling photo you took of me with Dee at dinner (high res)? It is one of 5 lifetime photos of me that I can actually live with! Thanks.

    I did find it! It’s finally on it’s way!


  • Lisa says:

    Oh this is so true. My biggest problem is that mine is a newer garden so I cherish every little bloom that sprouts outside. I think planting a part of the garden dedicated to cuttings is a great idea–and maybe a little less painful, LOL.

  • Brenda Kula says:

    I have the perfect excuse. My cat eats every flower I bring into the house. So I have to indulge my love of flowers outside for that reason. But a cutting garden is an excellent idea!

  • Curtis says:

    Those tulips will look great indoors or out. They are lovely.

  • eliz says:

    I do a lot of tulips in containers for just this purpose. I have to keep the containers in the garage over the winter, but they work great as a back-up spring flower source. But still, the inside/outside problem remains.

  • Layanee says:

    Ahhh tulips! It is so hard to find nice ones in the florist shops and stores for some reason. The white is beautiful.

  • Good for you! I have the same hang-up about cutting flowers to bring indoors, but I so love it when I bring them in! 🙂
    Beautiful bouquet.

    Yes! Thanks for the complement about the flowers.

    Robin at Bumblebee

  • Once it starts getting in the 80s and 90s down here in Austin, the only way for me to enjoy flower is to cut them. Roses, for example, will unfurl and wilt in a matter of hours during summer.

    I guess if I look on the bright side I can use the idea that my entire garden is a cutting garden as an excuse to why it doesn’t have a strong underlying design. As such, when I cut flowers, it doesn’t affect any planting schemes really.

    Ah, a whole garden of cutting flowers. What a great idea! I would love to see your garden in person someday.

    Robin at Bumblebee

  • Kate says:

    So glad for you that you’ve conquered your fear! I’m sure it’s nice to see fresh flowers, that you grew yourself, in rooms of your house.

    Congratulations to you!

    Hey Kate,

    I hope you’re getting around better. Hobble out and cut some flowers.

    Robin at Bumblebee

  • […] time I told you about how I overcame my flower fears. Several people confessed to similar flower issues and coping strategies. Linda grows orchids […]

  • Jessica says:

    OMG, it’s like you read my mind!!! I am sitting here laughing because I am going through the exact same thing…This is my first garden, and I’m very anti-cutting, despite having an abundance of flowers..just.can’t.do.it.!

    You know, I do think you have to reach a critical mass with the number of flower you have before you are willing to cut. Perhaps I have reached that point. And you’ll get there!

    Robin at Bumblebee