When it comes time for flower gardeners to pick their favorite flowers for a cutting garden, many find themselves choosing perennials instead of annuals. Perennials, after all, bloom for one growing season before dying back to the ground for the next growing season. Annuals, on the other hand, bloom year round and need to be replanted each year. So how do you know which is right for your garden and your budget?
There are several different kinds of fast-growing flowers that make excellent cut flowers. Not a perennial? These speedy flowers are ideal for filling in bare areas in the flower garden left by summer frost. Talk about a perennial gift that continues to give!
Perennial roses are the perfect flowers for an upswing in a garden’s style. They bloom from early spring through late fall with beautiful shades of pink, orange, yellow, or red. The foliage remains green year-round, but changes color to purple during the colder months. Toho Tip, Showko, and Japanese Anemone are roses that will fill all but the most severe winter blues. They come in a variety of zones, from cool to warm.
The tropical bloom of Papaver paeoniflorum also blooms profusely year-round, as well as perennial shrubs such as the Leylandii, which blooms into purple. These plants are planted in full sun, but need only moderate fertilizer. If the leaves appear to be covered with yellow scales, this may mean that the foliage is not growing well. Fertilizer should be applied at the first sign of leaf yellowing. If leaves are turning yellow instead of green, cut the plant close to the base.
Careful planting of these perennial flowers will bring out their full beauty. Toho Tip, Showko, and Anemone, blooms from early spring to late fall. Landscape planting is encouraged around the perimeter of a shrub or flower bed, allowing the flowers to bloom from early spring to fall. This planting will allow them to reach full growth before the foliage begins to wilt in late fall. Landscaping can be done around the perimeter with small stones and planting creepers and bushes, both of which are great climbing options.
If you’re looking for a very early bloom time, Landscape with Rocks will work well. Landscaping can be done with the help of a wheelbarrow, a planting fork, or a rented fork. The compact size of this perennial is perfect for a container garden, and blooms fairly quickly, providing continuous color year-round. Three feet in height and three feet in width, Landscape with Rocks will provide blooming color through May and June. Landscape with Rocks is not hardy, however, so care should be taken to keep the roots healthy.
Flowering Papaver somniferum blooms in June and July. A perennial, Papaver somniferum grows from three to six feet high, providing a lush green backdrop to small fences or trellises. Three to four feet in length, with a two to three foot wide blossom head, Papaver somniferum is an ideal landscape plant for a cutting garden.
Shasta Alpacas provides an abundance of blooms from June to August. Since these are drought tolerant, they’re suitable for an urban gardening setting. In spite of their miniature size, Shasta Alpacas is quite robust plants, with the ability to grow up to four feet tall. They are best planted in thickets, but can be strung around fences or archways with success. With annual pruning, they will maintain their shape.
Incense Cedar provides a welcome change from the traditional cedar. This species of cedar blossom between July and September. The fragrance from these blooms is strong and refreshing; a perfect aroma for a summer garden. Three to four feet tall, with a three to four foot wide bloom head, the Cedar incense is a lovely addition to a flower bed.
The aromatic White Lily produces large, showy flowers in May and June. Three to four feet tall, with a three to four foot wide bloom head, the White Lily is a perennial but can be seeded in autumn. The White Lily does well in all kinds of planting zones, blooming from April to June. Three to four inches across, the White Lily has a medium growth habit and does not compete much with the taller varieties. The White Lily will take up to twelve weeks to bloom, from January to March.
Pruning the Brandywood will help keep it from withering when the leaves have dropped off. These plants will bloom from late spring through the fall, producing colorful blooms up to six inches tall. The flowers range from white to red with cream colored petals. A hardy plant, the Brandywood is great for shade, pruning, and can be stored alive after harvesting. As a bi-color alternative to red, the Brandywood blooms in pink on maturity.