Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Many kinds of perennials make wonderful cut flowers. The following kinds are recommended for cutting gardens.
Hummingbird mint or anise-hyssop is a great perennial for the cutting garden. There are several new varieties available for 2009.
Pink Pop hummingbird mint plants can be found at garden centers. Flowering throughout the summer until fall, this is hardy to zone six. The pinkish-lavender blossoms open at the tops of the flower spikes. The upright stems are over two feet in height.
Amethyst Dream is a fabulous new variety of the mountain bluet. The cornflower-like blooms are a deep purple. These are 2˝ inches across. This plant starts blooming in May. There is a repeat blooming period later during the summer. The stems are about two feet in height. Amethyst Dream withstands heat and drought. This perennial is recommended for zones three through nine. This species is native to Europe.
Big Blue sea holly plants will be available for 2009. This hybrid has deep blue flowers that are up to four inches in diameter. With Big Blue, the color doesn’t stop with the blossoms. The flower stems are also blue as well.
The green leaves are spiky. The strong, sturdy stems are nearly three feet in height. This perennial is hardy to zone three.
There are several new gaillardias or blanket flowers that are suitable as cut flowers. Frenzy gaillardia is a new addition to the Commotion series. The fluted petals make this a very appealing variety. The deep orange blossoms look semi-double, and have a chocolate center.
Tizzy Commotion gaillardia also has fluted petals. These petals come in various shades of red and reddish-brown. The edges of the petals are yellow.
Frenzy and Tizzy gaillardias are around two feet in height. These are hardy to zone five or so. Gaillardia stems have a vase life of about a week.
Blushing Short garden phlox is a delightful new variety for cutting gardens. This summer blooming plant has deliciously fragrant blossoms. The strong stems reach 2˝ feet in height. The pastel bicolor blooms have white highlights on a medium pink background. The eye is pink as well. This perennial is winter hardy to zone four.