Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Each year brings new exciting varieties for the cutting garden. Here are some new offerings for 2008.
One of Renee’s Garden specialties is cut flowers. This year they’re adding some superb new cuts to their lineup. I especially like Apricot Blush zinnias from Renee’s. This yields lots of sturdy, high quality stems for cutting throughout the summer and fall. The fully double blossoms come in various shades from true apricot to salmon. You’ll be very happy you planted this variety.
Polar Bear zinnia is also new from Renee’s. This heirloom variety has long been a favorite for cutting. Opening on tall stems, this has dahlia-type blossoms. The name refers to the snow white, deliciously double blooms.
Though sunflowers may be available at other times, they’re at their best during the summer months. Renee’s is adding Moonshadow to its sunflower varieties for 2008. Moonshadow is a tall, sturdy, branching plant that yields an abundance of blooms. These can reach five inches in diameter. They open in clusters. The dark brown centers contrast wonderfully with the creamy beige petals.
Whether you use it as a fresh cut flower or as an everlasting, lavender belongs in every cutting garden. Renee’s has a new one that blooms the very first year the seeds are planted. French Perfume lavender is a space saving variety that can also be grown in containers if space is tight. This compact, award winner provides lots of stems for cutting. It is especially fragrant.
For 2008, Thompson and Morgan is adding a number of varieties that would be suitable for cutting gardens. If you’re hankering for annual types, there’s a wonderful wildflower now available. Eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthi) is a prickly blossom that resembles sea holly. This particular species is native from Kansas and Arkansas to Texas. It blooms during late summer and fall.
Reaching 1½ to three feet in height, eryngo has white to blue bracted blossoms that open in dense clusters. They’re ideal as a fresh cut with a very long vase life—up to two weeks. These can also be used as an everlasting.
Also new from Thompson and Morgan comes Antiquity Cosmos. This award winner received a Fleuroselect Novelty award for its very unusual color. This reaches about two feet in height. Very free flowering, it begins blooming during mid-summer. There’s a bicolor effect to these gorgeous blossoms. Initially, the petals are vibrant burgundy. Later, they develop undertones of bronze-salmon.