Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Among the top performing cut flowers are a number of varieties. These include some wonderful English lavenders and others.
Lavenders were among the top five perennials in British Columbia. At the Stokes Seeds Trial Farm in St. Catharines, Ontario, one particular lavender variety, Ellagance Snow, was the trial manager’s favorite. This was also named a Fleuroselect Novelty winner. With an upright growth habit, the lush, well branched plants are wide and bushy. The greenish-gray foliage is resistant to foliar diseases. These plants have strong, sturdy stems. The flower spikes are very large and full. Snow is the first 100% pure white flowering lavenders that can be grown from seed.
There is also a wonderful Ellagance Purple as well. It was named a Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner. The flower heads are especially large and dense. This begins blooming in mid-summer and continues into early fall. This variety is fast growing. The uniform plants are very full and bushy.
Ellagance Sky also received a Fleuroselect Gold Medal as well. It is similar to the Purple and the White varieties. Sky is unique for its unusual violet-blue blossoms.
The Ellagance series plants are nearly 1¼ feet in height with almost a matching spread. Hardy to zone five, these plants bloom the first year from seed.
Lavender stems are prized for their delicious fragrance and their beautiful flowers. These are used as a small filler flower. The stems have a vase life of about five days or so.
Limelight Hydrangea paniculata
This variety was a top favorite of visitors at the University of Georgia trial gardens in Athens. Limelight has received so many awards. It received a Pennsylvania Horticultural Society Gold Medal. It was awarded an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Society at Wisley Gardens. It is one of the P. Allen Smith Platinum Collections. Of all the Proven Winners varieties, this was rated as number one by consumers.
A very reliable free flowering shrub, this can reach eight feet in height. Hardy to zone three, it blooms hear after year. When the blossoms emerge, they’re creamy white. Over time these change to a lovely lime green, which accounts for the name. During the fall these turn deep pink. Limelight was bred in the Netherlands by Pieter Zwijnenburg Jr.
Hydrangea stems are used as a large mass flower. They have a vase life of about five to seven days.