Flower Gardening

Cut worthy Flowers Come in Many Forms

By Jean Starr

Perennials make great bouquets too!

Annual flowers aren’t the only bouquet-worthy components in the garden. Lots of perennials make great bouquets, even plants that grow in shade. For extreme bouquet persistence, Heuchera leaves have no peers, and make great “collars” around a bouquet of blooms that can last more than a week.

Epimedium flowers also work well, especially if you cut them after the top few flowers on the stem have opened. One variety that is easy to find and offers up lots of flowers is Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’, whose primrose- yellow flowers bloom in mid to late spring. Although most Epimediums take a couple of years to reach a mature size, plants are long-lived and very sturdy.

Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle) happens to be another shade or part sun-loving perennial that is great in a vase. Whether you use its blue-green leaves or its chartreuse flowers, lady’s mantle is one of those plants that can look after itself, creating an attractive ground cover in the shady zones of your garden. It will self sow, which offers more reason to cut the flowers before they go to seed.

There is still time to sow seed of some annuals to use as cut flowers, but don’t overlook perennial plants that can be found at your local garden center.

Additional Resources

Helpful Books:

Annuals and Tender Plants for North American Gardens by Wayne Winterrowd

Flowers Are Almost Forever: The Care and Handling of Cut Flowers by Libbey Oliver

Park’s Success with Seeds by Ann Reilly

Specialty Cut Flowers (second edition) by Allan M. Armitage and Judy M. Laushman

Seed Sources:

Burpee one of the oldest seed companies offers a wide selection of seeds and plants.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds has a good selection of seeds, including hard-to-find bouquet fillers.

Renee’s Garden Seeds has more poppies than Dorothy and her friends outside of Oz.

Select Seeds offers both seeds and plants of unusual and heirloom flowers

Swallowtail Garden one of the best selections of Calendulas and Zinnias

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