Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Of the new perennials for 2009, a number of these make wonderful cut flowers. These include the following.
There are several new black eyed susans for cutting gardens. These make great cut flowers. Sundance Rudbeckia grandiflora is a delightful new black eyed susan or gloriosa daisy. The golden petals, which curl downwards, are much more reflexed than those of the purple coneflower. This makes the large chocolate brown centers much more prominent. The sturdy stems are several feet in height. Sundance is recommended for zones four through eight. This plant can be grown from seed. Plants will also be available at garden centers.
Early Bird Gold black eyed susan is a new long-blooming variety. This extends the season considerably for black eyed susans. It begins flowering much earlier and continues for much of the summer. The golden yellow petals surround the brown centers. It is hardy to zone four or so.
Blue Horizon is a new hardy pincushion flower or scabious. This can be grown from seeds. You can also buy plants from nurseries and garden centers. The fluffy, blue-violet blossoms open from mid-summer to early fall. The stems are about two feet in height. This is recommended for zones four through nine.
Beaujolais Bonnets pincushion flowers are noted for their gorgeous bicolored blooms. These feature red petals around a dark burgundy center. The white stamens are quite prominent. The stems are around 1½ feet in height. This is hardy to zone four or so.
Burning Hearts is a very unusual new bleeding heart. While most bleeding hearts are pink, this has dark rose blossoms. The stems are nearly a foot tall. The plants bloom for a long period from spring into the summer. This plant does best in partial shade. It is hardy to zone six.
All of the hellebores make great cut flowers. For 2009, there are a number of new varieties. These include the new Winter Jewels series, which has five separate colors. For cut flowers, the picotees are the most intriguing. Peppermint Ice hellebore has lovely double blooms. The petals are pink with a picotee. Cherry Blossoms hellebore is also a picotee. These single blooms are pastel pink.
For an unusual cut flower, try the black flowered hellebores. Onyx Odyssey hellebore has double blooms that are almost black. Black Diamond is also black, but these are single blooms.