Local grower Heather Griffiths is passionate about sharing beautiful flowers and herbs with the Utah community. As the creator of the Utah Cut Flower Farm Association, she promotes local, sustainable growers as part of the slow flower movement. Here, Griffiths shares tips for picking some of her favorite annuals:

Sunflowers

Sunflowers, Annuals

 “You want to harvest them early in the morning when they’re just starting to open. That way they’ll open in the vase and you’ll be able to display them for a longer time.”

Basil

Basil, Annuals

“With annual herbs like basil, it is best to wait until they are flowering and the stems are woody before cutting for a bouquet. When harvested at this stage, they last longer in a vase and don’t droop as easily.”

Zinnias

Zinnias, Annuals

When harvesting these annuals, try the “wiggle” test. “Grab the stem about eight inches below the flower and give it a gentle shake. If it’s immature, the stem will be soft and bendy; once it’s ready to harvest, the stem will be stiff and firm when you wiggle it.”