June 3, 2013
Perennials for cut flowers

Having fresh flowers in your home every day is one of life's many pleasures. With even a small perennial garden you can enjoy fresh flowers from spring to fall. To be able to step into your own garden, make your selection of flowers in bloom and arrange them in a water-holding container is itself a pleasant and satisfying action.

Many plants that grow from bulbs, (tulips, daffodils and hyacinth), provide beautiful cut flowers through April and May. The dying foliage of bulbous plants is masked by the foliage of other emerging perennials.

Yarrow (Achillea)
Available in yellow, white, pink, red and orange. The flowers are long lasting and the foliage is fine and feathery. The cultivar 'Moonshine' has lemon yellow flowers and silvery foliage.

Lady's mantle (Alchemilla)
A flower arranger's favourite. Unusual chartreuse flowers and attractive foliage. They last a long time in water.

Columbine (Aquilegia)
Beautiful June blooming plants that come in many colours and colour combinations. Their unique spurred flowers can better be viewed close up. An excellent cut flower.

'Silver King,' 'Silver Queen' and other varieties provide silver foliage that combine well with strong colours like purple or deep blue.

The arendsii hybrids that bloom from late May through June, have feathery plumes of pink, red or white flowers and highly attractive foliage. In many varieties, the spring leaves are quite red. Astilbe tacqueti superba flowers in July.

A large family of plants that provides many good cut flowers including shasta daisy which have single or double white blooms. Pyrethrum provides pinks and reds and is known as the painted daisy. Hardy mums bloom from August to October and come in many colours.

Leopard's bane (Doronicum)
Bright yellow daisy that combines well with bright red Tulips in spring.

Blanket flower (Gaillardia)
Wonderful border perennials that flower all summer and are good cut flowers. Daisy-like flowers in yellow, red, mahogany and two-tone combinations.

Baby's breath (Gypsophila)
Very useful filler in flower arrangements. Airy clusters of tiny pink or white blooms available in single or double forms.

Dwarf Iris bloom in spring followed by the tall bearded Iris in late May and early June. Flowering next are Siberian, Japanese and flag Iris. All have sword-like foliage and all are good as cut flowers.

Species lilies and Asiatic hybrids are beautiful flowers that work well in arrangements. Grown from hardy bulbs that can be planted in spring or fall.

Bee Balm (Monarda)
Available in white, red, pink, purple in 'Panorama Mix.' Named varieties are 'Cambridge Scarlet', 'Croftway Pink' and 'Blue Stocking.'

Many varieties are available both double and single in red, pink or white. Bloom time is from late May through June and the handsome foliage can provide greenery for floral arrangements later in the year. DO NOT TAKE BLOOMS UNTIL YOUR PEONY IS AT LEAST THREE YEARS OLD.

Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
Summer phlox or tall phlox have rich vibrant colours of white, pink, red and orange. Some varieties are bicolour with a contrasting eye. Very long bloom time from midsummer to fall.

Our alphabet of some favorite cut flowers ends with Salvia, Scabiosa and Veronica. The tall forms of Salvia are long lasting when cut. Scabiosa is called the pincushion flower and are usually blue, but white is also available. The tall spikes of Veronica are invaluable to the flower arranger. Pink, white and deep blue colours are available.

Happy gardening!