Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For 2009, a number of fine cut flower varieties will be available. Some of these will be especially suitable for cutting gardens. The following cut flowers can be grown from seed.
Arrow Yellow snapdragon is a wonderful variety that is particularly reliable. Blooming throughout the season, this has stems that are up to two feet tall. The scented blooms are a strong yellow that really stands out.
Elegance Dark Purple lavender is a gorgeous English-type variety. For earliest blooms, start the seeds indoors. This will bloom throughout the summer and fall. The upright plants have sturdy stems that can reach 1½ feet in height. All parts of the plant are sweetly scented.
Hardy to zone five, Elegance Dark Purple lavender can be grown as a perennial. Because it blooms the very first year from seed, this variety could also be treated as an annual. The plants need full sun.
Flowerburst Red Shades yarrow is a delightful new herb that is used as an everlasting. This also makes a great cut flower.
The fragrant blooms open in very large clusters that can be up to eight inches across. The blossoms come in a mix of colors. In addition to soft toned pastels, the mix includes various violets as well as reds, and cerise.
Recommended for full sun, this perennial is recommended for zones three through ten.
For fall floral displays, be sure and plant some Hooligan miniature pumpkins. The ghostly white fruits are about three inches in diameter. The plants are very vigorous, and will produce lots of fruits. These are ready to harvest in about three months.
Also for fall decorations, there’s a new ornamental corn from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Oaxacan Green has unique emerald green kernels. This can be used both as food and decoration. The ears can be up to ten inches long. These are ready to harvest about three months or so from the time the seeds are planted. These are borne on sturdy plants that are seven feet tall.
Lauren’s Grape is a wonderful new variety of poppy. This annual can be used either as a cut flower or everlasting. The sturdy stems are up to three feet in height. The exquisite blossoms are deep violet-purple. They’re up to two inches across. For a dried flower, allow the seed pods to develop.
Purple Flash ornamental pepper makes a delightful cut flower. The stems are nearly 1½ feet in height. This plant produces masses of gorgeous fruits about the size of marbles. These ripen to purple. When cutting the stems, you’ll likely want to leave the foliage in place as this is very colorful as well. The leaves have tinges of white and purple on a dark blackish background.
For 2009 there are several new sunflowers that will make great cut flowers. Garden Statement has rather unusual blooms. The petals are a lovely lemon yellow. These are separated into three layers around the center. Very floriferous, the branched stems will produce lots of blooms. The plants are three feet tall.
Zohor sunflower can reach five feet in height. The deep orange petals surround the dark chocolate/blackish centers. These blossoms can be up to six inches across. This is a pollenfree, single stem variety.
For something a little different, try cauliflowers for floral designs. This would be great for creating centerpieces and summer displays. Graffiti cauliflower has delightfully dark purple heads that would be perfect for floral designs. The heads are up to eight inches across. Plants should be available at garden centers whi