Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
When it comes to the four seasons, spring is probably the best loved. It offers hope and a new beginning. During this season, we tend to see an increase in the kinds of cut flower stems that are available.
It is often said that the earth laughs in flowers. This becomes obvious when we consider tulips. Like many hardy bulbs, tulips need some exposure to cold in order to bloom. This gives us a reason to appreciate winter for the good things it has to offer.
When it comes time to choose spring cut flowers, don’t forget to exploit the decorative woody branches. Some of the more popular ones include cherry blossoms, which are often either pink or white.
Sometimes you’ll even see branches of flowering quince for sale. These tend to be a rosy-pink. The flowering plum also has lovely flowers as well for cutting. For hot colors, forsythia stems can’t be beat. Spirea stems are also delightful, and are generally white or pink.
So far as the budding willow stems are concerned, these can be used in more ways than we can imagine. These are so pliable they can be bent and shaped to form circles and other shapes.
Regarding other seasonal blooms, what would spring be like without daffodils? Though ordinary yellow ones are the most commonly seen, these come in various other shades from subtle pastels to hot colors as well as bicolors. There are ones to suit every décor. My favorites are the whites, creams, apricots, and pinks.
With tulips there seems to be no limit to the colors except for the absence of true blue and true black. In addition to traditional reds, there are yellows, oranges, pinks, and purples. These come in many shapes and sizes. While some are fully double, others are single flowering. In some varieties, the petals will have plain edges. In other cases, these will be frilled or ruffled.
Thanks to a new kind of special packaging material developed by a Dutch company, cut tulip stems should arrive in better condition at your local stores. Flowpack Tulip packaging is designed to protect the flowers and prevent the leaves from turning yellow. This was introduced at the Super Floral Show in June 2005 in Houston, Texas.
Spring is a great time to think about what kinds of flowers you want for your cutting garden this year. When you're shopping for seeds and plants, check out the wide selection of flowers offered by Territorial Seed Company. They have a wide selection of sunflowers, which are just perfect for cutting gardens. In addition, the catalog also has all sorts of garden supplies. It even has Floralife Cut Flower Food to keep your cut flowers fresher longer.
Before spring arrives, we can start planning our cutting gardens and decide what new varieties we want to grow.
When it comes time to buy seeds for the cutting garden, Territorial Seed Company is a great source. For 2006, they are offering Neon Calendula, which grows to over two feet in height. These fully double, daisy-like blooms are vivid orange edged with burgundy. Up to two inches across, they open throughout the growing season until frost. Calendula is also called pot marigold. The stems have a vase life of about a week.