For the cutting garden in 2010 consider some of the new cut flower varieties. Here are some recommendations.
Agastache Summer Fiesta
This new plant will be available at garden centers. Summer Fiesta makes a great cut flower. It has lovely bicolor flowers that blend white highlights with reddish-orange. The dense flower spikes are covered with small blooms. Both the flowers and foliage have a spicy aroma. Reaching over two feet in height, this perennial is hardy in zones six through nine.
The stems are ready to cut when the flowers are half open. These have a vase life of over a week. The anise hyssops need full sun and a light, well drained soil.
Park Seed has added a new color to its ornamental cutting kale offerings. Crane Bicolor is a delightful cut flower for spring and fall. This is white with red centers. These plants are up to seven inches in diameter. The strong stems reach two feet in height.
Flowering kale is used as a large mass flower. The leaves add color and texture to floral designs. The vase life can vary somewhat, but it is typically about five to seven days. The stems are ready to cut as soon as the leaves have attained good color.
In the cutting garden flowering kale needs full sun. They’re adapted to most reasonably fertile, well drained soils.
Thompson and Morgan has added a delightful sweet pea to its flower selections. Heirloom Bicolor Mixed includes a number of two-toned varieties with scented blooms. These include Cupani, Painted Lady, Lady Turrall, Indigo King, and Butterfly.
Sweet peas can take 1˝ to three weeks to sprout. A temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit is suitable. The stems are used as a small filler `flower. They can be used alone. Their vase life is about a week or so. The stems are ready to harvest when a couple flowers on the stem have started to show color and open.
In the cutting garden, sweet peas need full sun. They’re adapted to most any rich, well drained soil.
The Fandango series of dianthus has a new color. Purple Picotee makes a great cut flower. The tall stems are well branched. Purple Picotee Fandango is a lovely bicolor. With pinked edges, the petals have a pinkish-purple cast over which dark red shading appears. These flowers are multi-layered, semi-doubles with ruffled petals.
This variety is fairly quick to bloom. The stems reach 1˝ feet in height with a matching spread. Earlier releases in the Fandango series included crimson.