Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
An abundance of cut flowers are available during the summer months, including some species typically grown in perennial beds and borders. Here are a few.
For the most part, the foam flowers are native wildflowers. While the plants are often grown for their evergreen foliage, they produce lovely airy flowers, mostly during the spring. The bloom period lasts for about six weeks or so. Depending on the type being grown, the blossoms can be white, pink or red. These flower stalks can reach one to 1½ feet in height. This is one cut stem that is just as lovely in bud as it is when the flowers completely open. Only ¼ inch across, the star-like blossoms appear in clusters that are up to four inches in length.
Foam flowers need a moist, rich spot in full shade. Keep them watered well, and they will reward you with lots of blooms. They are recommended for zones three or four through zones seven or eight, depending on the species. These are easy to grow from seeds. Or divide existing plants.
Foamy bell is an unusual hybrid that was created by crossing coral bells with foam flowers. The new Latin name was a combination of both names, Heucherella.
Foamy bell flowers are very much like those of coral bells. Opening in panicles, the small blooms are pink. These appear during the spring. Sometimes, the plant will bloom a second time during the fall. The stems reach about two feet in height.
Foamy bells need a moist, shady spot. They are recommended for zones three through eight.
This perennial has stems that can reach two to three feet or so in height. Depending on the species or variety, this can have either pink, red, or white flowers. Opening in late spring, the individual blossoms are small. They appear in round flower heads. These are noted for the large colorful bracts that surround the flowers, making them appear star-like. They give off a slight odor, which is unliked by some.
These plants prefer areas with cool summers, and do best in zones four through seven. They need a reasonably moist spot in partial shade. Some find them hard to grow from seeds. So, you may want to just buy some plants.
As cut flowers, these stems can last for about ten days to two weeks. Used as a filler flower or mass, these are sometimes available commercially. Let the top blooms on the stem open before you harvest.