Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Those with cutting gardens will be delighted with two new Fleuroselect winners. When it comes to cut flowers, there’s no need to settle for second-best.
Sydney Light Blue Larkspur
The annual larkspurs are among the most popular cut flowers. With the arrival of Sydney Light Blue, this will certainly increase their popularity even more. This Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner was chosen partly because of its unique color. It is a new addition to the Sydney series.
Very easy to grow, Sydney Light Blue larkspur is very early flowering. The plants produce lots of stems for cutting. Richly double, the exquisite pale blue blooms open on tall, stately spikes. The stems can be nearly four feet in height. The blooms are nearly 1½ inch across.
The seeds can be sown early indoors or direct sown in the cutting garden.
These stems have a vase life of about a week. In addition to being an outstanding cut flower, they can also be dried for everlasting. For fresh cuts, start harvesting when about a third of the blooms on the stem are open.
For dried flowers, wait until most of the blossoms are completely open. The first fresh flowers are ready to harvest in about four to five months from planting.
Fairy Queen Mealycup Sage
The mealycup sage is typically grown as an annual in cold climates. Elsewhere, it is a perennial.
The fact that they are quick flowering makes them perfect for cutting gardens. Now, there’s a wonderful new color of mealycups. The Fairy Queen was named a Fleuroselect winner for 2008. This species is sometimes called blue sage.
Fairy Queen reaches about two feet in height. This upright, shrubby plant has lovely bicolored, tubular blossoms. These appear in clusters that are eight inches long or so. These are blue and white. The name Fairy Queen refers to the tiny white specks on the blooms, which are said to resemble fairy dust.
The individual blossoms are around ½ inch across. This has large, attractive, scented foliage. The blooms have a vase life of about seven to ten days.
If you don’t have enough space in the cutting garden, this can be grown in pots. In the cutting garden, give it a sunny spot in a well-drained spot.
Seeds can take two to three weeks to germinate at a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or so.
Fairy Queen stems also make a great everlasting. You can get quite a few stems from one plant. This will start blooming about three to four months from the time it is planted.