The Cutting Garden has been a source of joy since spring, and continues to bring new surprises on a weekly basis. The abundance right now is amazing, so I thought you might enjoy seeing what’s in the cutting buckets this week. Of course, since my favorite colors are orange, apricots and yellows that’s the main color scheme in the Cutting Garden as well as all the flower borders, but it still surprises me with the range of subtle color shifts that can happen with various combinations. The “Madame Butterfly Bronze” snapdragons have been available for weeks, along with the “Coronation Gold” yarrow and the tall purple verbena bonariensis. More recently, the “Golden Jubilee” anise hyssop has been added to the mix, along with white yarrow and the brilliant orange balls of gomphrena. So here’s what’s new in the buckets this week!
WAAAaaaayyy back on January 7th, the lisianthus seeds were sown in the basement. I have to say, I think these are THE slowest things I’ve ever grown in all my fifty plus years of gardening! Finally, this week the first blooms opened, and I have to say I think they were worth the long wait. Reputedly, lisianthus has an exceedingly long vase life, so I’m giving it a test. I love the color, and the stems are reasonably long.
The only thing that bothers me is the abundance of beautiful blooms that are possibly “lost” when the stem is cut for the first flower. You may not be able to see them, but there are 10 buds above the flower that’s ready to cut. Will any of them open? And, will that plant produce more stems, or is it a one and done? We’ll have to wait to see…..
The photo really doesn’t do this velvety dark beauty justice. This is Scabiosa “Black Knight” from Renee Shepherd seeds. The stems are very long, the blooms are two inches across and nearly black. Then above those black petals, tiny pinheads of white stick out.
Those little pinheads turn a pretty pale lavender. You really just need to see it in person. I’ve already decided I need scabiosa in “blue” and white next year, as well as “Black Knight” again.
Statice was a main crop on my first farm in southern Indiana, but I hadn’t grown it for several years. Then the rabbits ate most of my plants, but those that are left are doing quite well and providing lots of colorful “filler” for bouquets. Any that isn’t needed for bouquets is hung in the Lady Cottage to dry, along with the gold yarrow to the right, and the Spike Celosia to the left of the statice. Also in this photo is the first “David” phlox bloom picked for bouquets. I’m not thrilled with the vase life of phlox so far, but maybe I just need to learn the proper conditioning technique for it. Any clues?
The “Queen Lime Orange” zinnias have been ready to cut for a while, but I just couldn’t make myself remove any from the gardens, even the Cutting Garden!!! They are just so gorgeous and perfect. There are some slight variations in color and shading which make each one precious. Finally this week, there seem to be enough that I could part with a few, so some lucky people received them as gifts.
Bouquets all need some kind of filler, and if that filler can also provide a lovely fragrance it gets major bonus points. Apple Mint is one of my favorites. It’s graceful white blooms hold well in the vase, so well that often I can hang them to dry for winter work after the bouquet has “passed.” The gray-green foliage has a lovely scent and also dries well, adding a softness to the bouquet appearance with the “fuzzy” leaves.
Another valuable filler is “Golden Jubilee” agastache or golden anise hyssop. The gold foliage makes a bouquet pop, holds up well, and fills a vase quickly. The soft lavender spikes of fuzzy flowers provide a vertical element, and the fragrance is lovely. And the butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds love it.
So, that’s what’s in the vases this week, and probably for a few weeks to come. There are still a few new things coming on, which makes building bouquets fun and ever-interesting. I hope your gardens are filled with blooms and happiness!