Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Choose the best cut flowers around. The best choices of all are top performing award winning varieties. Here are some suggestions.
Cut Flower of the Year for 2009
Each year the Association of Specialty Cut Flower growers select an annual cut flower of the year as well as a woody cut flower.
For 2009 they selected Uproar Rose zinnia as the fresh cut. This was the best of all the seed-grown plants during their 2008 trials. Throughout the summer months, this variety produces lots of stems for cutting. If you live in the South, it is best to stagger plantings about a month apart so there will be flowers all season long.
This is one of the dahlia-flowered zinnias. The well branched plants have strong, sturdy stems. The plants are very tolerant of heat. This was chosen for its unique color and the perfect shape of the blooms as well as the size of the flowers.
This is an exquisite, deep pink-rose flowering variety with richly double blooms. These are five inches in diameter. They open on stems that are 2˝ to three feet in height. The plant has a spread of about two feet. Very early flowering, the first stems are ready to harvest in about 2˝ months from the time the seeds are sown. Seeds of this variety are available from Johnny’s. and Park Seed
Dianthus Bouquet Rose Magic was a favorite at the Oklahoma State University trials at Oklahoma City. The Bouquet series has been available for several years. However Bouquet Rose Magic is a new color in the series. The well branched plants reach two feet in height. This new shade is a delightful new perennial that is hardy to zone four. It has classic, pinked, frilly looking petals in a wonderful shade of deep rose. These are very fragrant. This perennial blooms the first year the seeds are planted.
Originally introduced in 2009, this quickly became a favorite. It was chosen as a favorite variety at the Colorado State University trial gardens in Fort Collins. It was also chosen as a favorite at the Gardens At Ball in West Chicago. This annual does very well in hot, dry sunny areas.