Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
There are any number of fine perennials that are suitable for cutting gardens. Here are some new ones for 2010.
Hypericum Ignite Series
Now floral designers can grow their own beautiful fruited stems. The Hypericum Ignite plants are hardy to zone five, making them very suitable for cutting gardens. The plants bloom in late summer. Very soon after that the lovely, exquisite fruits begin to form and ripen. These plants have wonderful clusters of shiny berries.
The Ignite plants are three feet tall, making the plants tall enough for cut flowers. The fruits are beautifully displayed against the large, glossy foliage. The series includes three varieties that are named for the color of their berries. These include Scarlet, Scarlet Red, and Red.
The berried stems of hypericum are ideal for fall floral designs. They’re also perfect for Christmas when red berries are needed. These stems are used as a medium filler flower and provide a wonderful texture. They have a vase life of around one to two weeks. They’re ready to harvest when the fruits have developed their rich color.
In the cutting garden, these plants will need full sun. They’re tolerant of heat and humidity. Hypericums need a reasonably fertile, well drained, moist soil. Ignite Hypericum plants will be available at garden centers and the usual plant sources.
Thompson and Morgan is adding a delightful new foxglove to its selections. Pam’s Split reaches four feet in height, and makes a great cut flower. You’ll get lots of stems for cut flowers from this plant. The lovely white blooms have spotted throats. One of the unusual things about this is the split petals. This gives the flowers a frilly look. This variety will bloom the second year after the seeds are planted. Pam’s Split is a selection of Pam’s Choice.
Foxglove seeds can take two to four weeks to germinate at a minimum temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. These do best in partial shade. They prefer a rich, moist, fertile soil. Foxgloves need watering during dry spells. This variety is hardy in zones four through seven.
In floral designs, these have a vase life of a week or more. They’re used as a large line flower. These are especially suitable for formal arrangements.