Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Each year, many new varieties of cut flowers are introduced to the market. Most of these will be available in the retail outlets where you usually buy your flowers. In addition, some of these varieties will be suitable for your cutting garden.
For cutting gardens, I recommend the following new 2004 varieties. Seeds or plants should be available at various retail sources, including online shops and local garden centers.
In an A-Z list, the zinnias would be last. But they’re bound to be first
when it comes to summer cut flowers. ‘Swizzle’ zinnias feature supersized, double bicolor blooms. The full plants are bushy, and produce lots and lots of flowers. The ‘Swizzle’ series includes ‘Scarlet and Yellow’ and ‘Cherry and Ivory.’
Several unique sunflowers will make their appearance in 2004. Among these is ‘Pacino Cola.’ This is a new addition to the Pacino series of sunflowers. ‘Pacino Cola’ features a dark eye in the center of rich golden petals. ‘Pacino Lemon’ has primrose yellow blooms. All of the Pacino series plants have strong stems with many blooms on the side branches.
‘Sunrich Gold’ is a new addition to the Sunrich series from American Takii Seed Co., a wholesale firm. Up to six inches wide, the pollenless, long-lasting blooms are packed with rich golden petals. The flowers face upright on the sturdy stems. ‘Sunrich Gold’ can grow to 5 feet tall, depending on how close you space them. The closer the spacing, the smaller the plant.
Of the new carnations and dianthus, the Amazon series is notable. For 2004, several new colors have been added to this series. These include ‘Rose Magic,’ ‘Neon Purple,’ and ‘Neon Cherry.’ All of these plants, 1½ to 2 feet in height, feature vivid blooms and attractive, glossy, dark green foliage.
“Festival Star’ Gypsophila or baby’s breath is new to the Proven Winners line. This should be available at local garden centers. Suitable for full sun to partial shade, ‘Festival Star’ blooms throughout the growing season. It is very free flowering, and produces tiny white blooms that have a green center with a very slight tinge of pink on the petals. This compact plant is about a foot tall and about as wide. It is quite tolerant of hot weather. The blooms can be used as both a cut and dried flower. Hardy to –10 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be grown as a perennial.
‘Gypsy Deep Rose’ gypsophila has semi to double rose blooms. This All-America Selections award winner will be featured in future articles.
No article on new cut flowers would be complete without mentioning two new Celosias, “Fresh Look Red’ and ‘Fresh Look Yellow.’ Another article in the future will focus on these two All-America Selections award-winning varieties.