Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For 2009, Thompson and Morgan is introducing a number of new cut flower varieties. These will be of particular interest to those with cutting gardens.
Floral designers are going to love Cherry Brandy coneflower. This has been selected as one of Thompson and Morgan’s Flower of the Year. If you’re looking for a change from yellow black eyed susans, here’s your answer. This is the very first one with red petals.
Recommended as a cut flower, Cherry Brandy plants reach about two feet in height. Throughout the summer these bushy plants will produce lots of stems for cutting.
This is an award winning variety. It received a Fleuroselect Novelty award. For early flowering, start the seeds of Cherry Brandy early indoors.
Cosmos has long been a favorite cut flower. For 2009, Thompson and Morgan has added Double Click Rose Bonbon to its cosmos selections. The blooms are so fully double that they bear little resemblance to cosmos. Rose Bonbon is a lovely pale pink. While the Double Click series has only been available as a mix before, Rose Bonbon is the first single color offered separately. The plants reach about three feet in height. These can be direct sown in the cutting garden. Or they could be started early indoors as well.
Love-in-a-mist has long been a favorite cut and dried flower. For 2009, Thompson and Morgan is introducing Moody Blues mix. This has fully double blooms in various shades of blue. The plants reach about two feet in height. The seeds can be sown directly in the cutting garden. Be sure and plant enough to use as an everlasting. For drying, allow the unique seed pods to develop.
Black Beauty dahlia is a delightful new variety from Thompson and Morgan. It blooms the first year from seed. In cold climates, the bulbs can be dug at the end of the season and saved for next year. Black Beauty has exquisite, blackish-red petals surrounding the shocking yellow centers. The stems are about two feet tall. This will bloom non-stop until frost. For early flowering in the cutting garden, plant the seeds early indoors.
For 2009, Thompson and Morgan is adding a new sweet pea. Perfect for cut flower gardens, Melody Rose is a sweetly scented bicolor with frilly blooms. The lower petals are white, which contrasts beautifully with the vivid rose pink of the upper petals.
For tropical and exotic cut flowers, try something different for 2009. Thompson and Morgan is introducing seed of a rare variety of the flamboyant bird-of-paradise. Mandela’s Gold is a golden flowered variety from South Africa. The plant will take several years to reach blooming size, but it is well worth the wait. The petals that form the crest of the ‘bird’ are gold, while the lower part of the flower is dark purple.
Mandela’s Gold can reach about six feet in height. In cold climates, this can be grown outdoors during the summer. Bring it indoors for the winter months. It is winter hardy to zone 11. These stems have a long vase life.