Fresh cut flowers are for everyday enjoyment, especially at the peak of summer. It’s satisfying, not to mention relatively easy and fun to grow your own cut flower garden. Winter is an ideal time to create inspiration boards and choose your summer colour palette. Design bouquets and plan what you want to grow. Here are four stunning new varieties that are perfect for the vase. We think they belong on your ‘must-have’ list and in your garden this summer for the ultimate cut flower bouquet.
Gladiolus Shaka Zulu
Reminiscent of a starry sky at midnight, Shaka Zulu is a stunning gladiolus named after the powerful king of South Africa’s Zulu Nation. Deep maroon saturates the petals while a pure white comet streaks across the flower’s centre scattering sparkling light in its wake. Each sword-like flower stem counts up to 10 blossoms. Gladioli grow in well-draining soils and full sun. When planting, set corms close together so that they can hold each other up and require less staking. Protect them from windy situations. Plant gladiolus every two weeks from the last frost date until mid-June and you’ll have a succession of blooms to enjoy in cut flower arrangements through the summer. Grows to 100 cm (40”) in height.
Tuberose Pink Sapphire
The exquisitely fragrant tuberose (Polianthes) is one of the most popular blooms to grow in cutting gardens, but until recently, only white cultivars were available. Tuberose Pink Sapphire is a recent and exciting breakthrough with fully double, soft shimmery pink blooms that open from the bottom up on tall sturdy stems. Tuberose bloom from late July until the first frost. Encourage earlier blooms and start the tubers in pots indoors in April. When all risk of frost has past, place the containers in their final garden spots. They enjoy well-draining soils, full sun, and are deer resistant. Plant in small groups and place throughout the garden, and enjoy their fragrance floating in the evening air. Long lasting, beautiful cut flowers, arrange one or two stems in mixed bouquets. Grows to 100 cm (40”) in height.
Giant Dinnerplate Dahlia ‘Penhill Watermelon’
Lovers of giant dahlias know that enormous flowers add drama to the border. There’s something special about watching and waiting for the blooms to emerge. How big will the flower actually get? How do all those petals pack so tightly into one bud? Giant Dinnerplate Dahlia Penhill Watermelon will have you marveling. Spectacular shabby chic blooms in a mouthwatering blend of luscious pink, peach, and yellow can easily measure 23-28cm (9-11”) across. A gorgeous addition to cut flower bouquets and in demand for wedding floral arrangements. Dahlias promise continuous flowers July through September and the more you cut them, the more they’ll bloom. Grows at least 150 cm (60”) in height.
Double Asiatic Lily ‘Apricot Fudge’
Apricot Fudge is a double Asiatic lily with a unique flower form. Shorter tufted petals unfold in rose-like fashion in rich creamy apricot with hints of golden caramel. The stamens and reddish brown pollen-bearing anthers are held high above the flower. Remove the anthers as the bud opens to extend the vase life of the cut flower and eliminate staining on your tablecloth. Cut lilies when the lower buds are fully coloured and just beginning to open. Asiatic lilies are perennials, returning each season to bloom in early summer. After cutting, let the stems die back naturally to replenish the bulbs and leave the bulbs undisturbed in the soil through winter. Hardy to Zone 3. Grows to 80 cm (32”) in height.