Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
When it comes time to select plants for your cutting garden, the best choices of all are award winning ones. Here are details on award winning Russian sage and other cut flower varieties.
This was among the best performing plants at the University of Guelph trial gardens in Canada. This was also named a Plants of Merit selection. A consortium, which includes the Missouri Botanical Garden, selects plants that are suitable for the Midwest, and are underused in area landscapes. In addition, this plant was also named a Perennial Plant of the Year for 1995.
Hardy to zone four, this shrubby perennial can be over four feet in height. The greenish-gray leaves are finely cut and aromatic. It blooms over a long period during the summer, typically for around four months. Very free flowering, this has stems covered with tiny blue-violet panicles.
The cut stems are used as a filler flower. They have a vase life of about five days.
Several of the garden phlox achieved various honors during the 2010 growing season. Peacock White garden phlox was a favorite at the University of Georgia trial gardens in Athens. This was also named a Classic City Award winner in 2009 by the garden. Peacock White has pure white blooms that can begin opening in mid-June. The plants can remain in bloom over a long season, well into the fall. Reaching nearly two feet in height these plants have a spread of over a foot. They have deep green, attractive, clean foliage. The plants are quite vigorous and sturdy.
Peppermint Twist garden phlox was also a favorite at the Athens garden. This variety is resistant to mildew, and is hardy to zone four. Reaching about 1½ feet in height, Peppermint Twist is named for the lovely white and pink striped blooms that look like a pinwheel.
New Dimensions Sage Series
These are varieties of Salvia nemorosa. Both the Blue and the Rose were named Fleuroselect Novelty award winners.
Rose is the darkest rose sage grown from seed, while Blue is the darkest blue from seed. These are bushy, well branched plants that reach a foot or so in height with about a matching spread. These perennials are hardy to zone five. They bloom the first year from seed. The vivid blossoms keep their color.