Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Whether you buy all your cut flowers or grow some in your cutting garden, you can choose from a number of award winning varieties. Here are details on some basils and campanulas.
Cardinal Basil was in the cut flower trials of the Association of Cut Flower Growers. On a scale of 1 to 5, consumers rated Cardinal as 3.8.
The plants are nearly 1˝ feet in height with a matching spread. This has attractive, dark stems. The well branched plants have a pleasing fragrance. This produces lots of stems for cutting. They have a vase life of nearly nine days. The lovely maroon blooms open in large rosettes that are quite colorful. Seeds of Cardinal basil are available from Harris Seeds.
Basic Pesto Perpetuo
This variety of Greek columnar basil was named a 2011 Plants of Merit selection by a consortium in the Midwest that includes the Missouri Botanical Garden. The group singles out underutilized plants that are suitable for Midwestern landscapes. Pesto Perpetuo has vivid green foliage with lovely white variegation along the edges. This plant reaches three feet in height. It is one of the very few variegated basils, and is non-flowering. The large plants are bushy, vigorous, and well branched.
Also called cups and saucers, the Campanulas are delightful cut flowers. The Champion series had several colors that were top performers at the Bear Creek Farms cut flower trials in Oklahoma, located in zone six. The Champion White and the Champion Lavender were among the most popular varieties in the cut flower trials. There are four colors in all available in the series. The others include Deep Blue and Pink. The Blue Improved is deep intense blue.
The series was also awarded a Fleuroselect Gold Medal. These plants reach about two feet in height. They make a top quality cut flower, and are mostly in bloom during June and July. The well branched, uniform plants bloom the first year from seed. Sometimes, the Canterbury bells aren’t long-lived perennials, so they’re often grown as annuals and biennials.
They have delicate looking, bell-like flowers. The stems have a vase life of about a week. The plants produce lots of stems for cutting.