fresh bouquets all summer long, plant a cutting garden and reap the
rewards well into the fall. Gilbert Yerke of Yerkeís Frog Alley
Greenhouse, Mukwonago, says a wide variety of blooms perfect for
flower arranging are easy to grow in Wisconsinís climate.
"Zinnias are a great cut flower," Yerke says, "and most
of the time, they can be started from seed right in the garden."
Zinnias need full sun and space for air to circulate around each
plant, he notes. They range in size from relatively short plants to
those that grow up to 3 feet and come in a rainbow of brilliant
Snapdragons, with their ruffled heads, are long-lasting cut
flowers. Yerke recommends the taller varieties, such as Rocket and
Spring Giant. Snapdragons fare better when transplanted, he notes,
because they can be difficult to grow from seed in the garden plot.
Hues range from delicate pastels to deep burgundy, oranges and
Cheery marigolds are a cinch to grow, even for beginning gardeners.
Tall varieties, available in shades of cream, yellow and gold, make
excellent cut flowers, Yerke says.
An entire group of sunflowers are bred specifically for flower
arrangements, Yerke notes, and feature orange, yellow, rust and
Cleome, also known as spider-plant, is a tall annual that produces
an unusual, spiky flower to add interest to arrangements. The bloom of
the celosia, or cockscomb, has a soft, feathery texture and is usually
available in burgundy or gold.
Statice, which has papery blooms, can be used as a fresh cut flower
or hung upside-down in bunches and used later in dried arrangements.
For striking bouquets, plant a series of gladiola bulbs throughout
the summer. Or plant dahlia bulbs in a sunny, well-drained spot in the
"Dinner-plate dahlias are a spectacular flower," Yerke
notes, because the blooms can literally be the size of dinner plates.
Perennial delphinium produces iridescent blue and purple blooms on
graceful spikes. Easy-to-grow cosmos, with its silky petals, comes in
shades of delicate pink to bright orange to chocolate brown.
To add a little twist to your arrangements, try adding some tall
grasses for texture, Yerke says. King Tut papyrus, red fountain grass
and Purple Majesty millet all work well.
You donít need a large vase full of flowers to make a statement,
Yerke notes. Clip a few geranium heads and put them each in a series
of small bud vases. They will last up to a week indoors.
Or float some tuberose begonias in a clear glass bowl. A bunch of
hydrangeas grouped together in a bouquet can have dramatic results as
Yerke suggests that whatever is available in the garden can be
turned into a pleasing arrangement if you experiment with containers.
If the flower has a shorter stem, such as a pansy, use a smaller
container, like a teacup. Just let your imagination bloom.