Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
With so many kinds of flowers available, it can be hard to choose. Consider award winning varieties of cut flowers when planning your cutting garden. Here are some suggestions.
The globe amaranths or gomphrenas are among the all-time favorites for cut and dried flowers. A number of varieties have received numerous awards, especially during the 2010 growing season. Audray Purple Red and Audray Bicolor Rose were among the top ten varieties at the Mississippi State University Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station in Crystal Springs.
Audray Purple Red was a top performer at the University of Georgia trial gardens in Athens. It was popular among visitors to the garden.
The Audray series also includes one other color, the Pink. This has pale to medium pink blossoms. Audray plants reach about two feet in height with a spread of nearly a foot. These can be used as both a cut and dried flower.
Gomphrena Fireworks was a 2010 Mississippi Medallion Award winner. These plants reach four feet in height with a spread of four feet. Especially free flowering, the robust, bullet proof plants are tolerant of storms, bad weather, and drought. The very long lasting flowers are neon pink with a touch of vivid yellow.
As a fresh cut flower, gomphrena stems are used as a small filler flower. They have a vase life of about a week. The stems can be air dried very easily for use as an everlasting.
Make room in your cutting garden for these award winning gomphrenas for they will earn their keep. They’ll provide you with fresh flowers for throughout the summer and fall. Any stems that you can’t use fresh can be dried.
This lily was very popular during the cut flower trials. It was well liked by the cut flower growers. New for 2011, this has striking green blooms. There are over three flowers per stem.
Lilies are used as a medium form flower. They have a vase life of about five days or so.