Over the years, my cut flower garden has grown to encompass nearly every bit of usable space within my small backyard. Though there are several species of plants that I would like to grow, there simply isn’t always enough ground to do so. It is for this reason that I frequently emphasize the importance of cut-and-come-again flowers, and those which bloom throughout the entirety of the summer season.
My Favorite Flowers
At the height of any given summer growing season, visitors to my garden are likely to find only five or six different types of flowers. While I often daydream of flower beds filled with a wide variety of plant species, the simple truth remains that I rely heavily on several “core” types instead. These types have proven themselves to be dependable, repeat bloomers with excellent vigor and long vase lives.
Popular Cut Flowers
Among my favorite cut-and-come-again flowers are zinnias. Easy to grow from seed, zinnias thrive throughout my hot and humid summers with very little supplemental water or special care. They are also available in a wide range of colors. In my own cutting patch, I enjoy the process of breeding and selecting my own new zinnia hybrids. Over the years, I have worked diligently to grow and multiply many of my own crosses. This has resulted in new varieties and colors that are truly unique to my own growing space.
Dahlias are yet another flower crop on which I have come to rely. Technically grown from tubers, dahlias are planted in the spring, as soon as the soil has warmed and all chance of frost has passed. Much like zinnias, frequent cutting will cause dahlia plants to produce masses of new blooms. As there are thousands of named varieties available to gardeners, saving and dividing the tubers has been invaluable in my own quest to continue growing my own plant stock. Dahlias can also be hand pollinated to produce seed. Dahlia plants grown from seed do not produce blooms similar to the parent. Therefore, the results of the breeding process can be both fun and exciting.
Other valuable members of my backyard cut flower garden include annuals like amaranth, marigolds, cosmos, and tithonia; as well as some perennial plants. Small plantings of free-flowering perennials can be found scattered throughout the yard. Flower beds include various cultivars of aster, rudbeckia, and echinacea.
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