Knowing the hardiness zone where you live is an important factor to take into consideration when making plant choices. In Washington State, the Washington Native Plant Society maintains plant lists for every county. Because peonies blossom all at once and so early in the season, try extending their bloom time with cold, dry storage. Another focal-flower option is giant white calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), which grows from a rhizome and thrives in full sun and rich, sandy soil. After six months of gray clouds in the Northwest, blue skies mean sunshine for our vitamin D–starved bodies and the appear­ance of the royal blue blooms of ‘Dreaming Spires’ Siberian iris (Iris sibirica ‘Dreaming Spires’). A bouquet should be about three times as tall as its vase, so it’s important to plant flowers that have some height.
Although smaller than delphinium, ‘Elfin Pink’ penstemon (Penstemon barbatus ‘Elfin Pink’) is a spiky flower that garners attention and looks great in petite arrangements. The name alone is enough reason to grow ‘Purpleicious’ speedwell (Veronica spicata ‘Purpleicious’), but the searing violet blooms are pretty alluring, as well.
Every year, I plant at least a dozen drumstick plants (Craspedia globosa) because they are only borderline hardy here in the Pacific Northwest, but my garden wouldn’t be complete without them.
Two crucial steps when creating a bouquet are to set a good foundation at the start and to fill in any open space at the end.
Every summer, I wait impatiently to harvest the foamy clusters of tiny chartreuse blossoms of lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis). Whether they are red, yellow, purple, or black, homegrown raspberries are full of robust flavor. Gardeners seeking a palm tree specimen to accent the garden or home will want to know how to grow the pygmy date palm tree. More significant than its name implies, the pygmy date palm tree (Phoenix roebelenii) is a member of the family Arecaceae, a huge group with over 2,600 species found in tropical and subtropical climates of the world.
Pygmy date palm information allows that this particular genus is known as a date palm due to its often sweet, sugary fruit pulp found in some species of Arecaceae.
Pygmy date palm trees have small, yellow hued flowers, which give way to tiny purplish dates born on a thin solitary trunk with deep green fronds forming a crown. This palm tree hails from Southeast Asia and, therefore, thrives in USDA zones 10-11, which mimic conditions found in those areas of Asia. Pygmy date palm trees grow along riverbanks with sun to partial shade exposure and, hence, require significant irrigation and rich organic soil to truly flourish.
To care for a pygmy date palm, be sure to maintain a regular watering schedule and plant this tree in sandy, well-drained soil in an area of sun all the way to full shade. Pygmy palms have moderate drought tolerance and are mostly resistant to disease and pests; however, leaf spot and bud rot may afflict this type of palm. Other maintenance of the tree may include some clean up of spent leaves or removal of offshoots as the propagation method for this palm is via seed dispersal.


My sister and I added dandelion blossoms to the tops of mud pies and fashioned crowns of daisies for our hair.
When the first crack of color appears on the hard green bud, cut the stem (to about 16 inches long), strip off most of the leaves, and wrap as many as 10 stems in three layers of tissue paper.On the outside of the tissue, mark the date and pop them in the refrigerator. The following options help balance your arrangements and add exclamation points to the bouquet.The elegant candles of ‘Pacific Giants Mix’ delphinium (Delphinium ‘Pacific Giants Mix’) are packed with blooms that keep coming for weeks. When planted in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil, it will produce a plethora of stems covered with bright, tubular blooms from early summer to early fall. I can’t grow enough of these mighty minispires because they are prolific and last a long time as a cut flower.
I grow this versatile perennial to use the flowers in place of leafy greens in my bouquets. Their draping nature makes them the perfect finishing touch in a bouquet, and their sweet scent coaxes people to come closer to a vase. Pygmy palm growing is relatively simple given suitable conditions, though pruning pygmy palm trees is sometimes necessary to keep its growth manageable, especially in smaller settings. Its genus, Phoenix, encompasses only a small portion of the Arecaceae family counted at about 17 species. When grown in soil with a pH over 7, the tree may develop magnesium or potassium deficiency with symptoms of chlorotic or spotted fronds. Pruning pygmy palm trees is not a daunting task and merely requires periodical removal of aged or diseased foliage. I even liked putting my favorite flowers in a mason jar and placing it on the desk where I did my schoolwork. There are endless options available, but a select few are both long lasting and attention grabbing.I have a passion for peonies (Paeonia spp. For up to three weeks, you can pull the stems out of the fridge, cut an inch off the bottom of the stem, and stand them in fresh water to rehydrate.In just two days, the stems will be in full bloom. Calla lilies can grow up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide, and they bloom from midspring to late summer.The deep, chalicelike creamy spathe (which is not a flower but the outer leaf) ends in a smokelike, pale green wisp, making it incredibly eye-catching.
I grow ‘Pacific Giants Mix’ because the permutations of color are endless: Will the blooms be cobalt blue with a white center (called the “bee”), or lilac with a black bee?
I love its deep, clear pink color, which blends in perfectly with flowers of any other hue.
If you plant ‘Purpleicious’ in full sun and well-drained soil, it will grow into a clump that is 18 inches tall and wide.Most speedwells are relatively low maintenance, tolerating poor soil to some degree. These blossoms tend to be smaller and more intricate, drawing people in for a closer look.I usually begin creating a bouquet by selecting sturdy, well-branched stems that act as a frame for the rest of the flowers in a vase. This group of plants is known for its lovely, lacy midsummer blooms and long, durable stems. Pairing lady’s mantle with any shade of blue—in the garden or a vase—is a fantastic combination.To keep lady’s mantle happy and healthy, plant it in partial to full shade and well-drained soil (it is also drought tolerant).


Because sweet peas are vines, you’ll need to give them something to scamper up, and you’ll also need to provide them with rich, well-drained soil and as much sun as possible.An early-summer garden just isn’t complete without sweet peas—and if the weather stays cool enough, you can continue to harvest them through fall. Various ripening times and colors make it possible to enjoy harvest from raspberry bushes from midsummer through fall. When I began planting my own gardens as an adult, I found that generous bouquets in my home meant a spare show in my garden, so before I had even heard the term, I planted a “cutting garden.”For more than 10 years, my husband and I have hosted weddings in our gardens and grown thousands of cut flowers for these events. The spadix (center spike) appears to be sugar glazed when its little flowers open and the pollen appears.Calla lilies have an asymmetrical elegance in a vase, extending out of it like brilliant white bolts of lighting.
Each stalk of ‘Dreaming Spires’ produces two blooms—after the first one is spent, a second one opens to replace it, giving this iris a longer life in a vase.
Given the proper conditions—full sun and fertile, well-drained soil—this delphinium will bloom from early to midsummer and reach 5 feet tall and 2 feet wide.After their initial bloom, I cut the plants to the ground, add compost around their base, and water well. The blooms of ‘Purpleicious’ are diminutive—only 8 to 12 inches tall—so I like to bunch them together to make an impact in a vase. These framework flowers can also fill in gaps in the arrangement.One of my favorite plants for this task is colewort (Crambe cordifolia). The cultivar ‘Mammoth Mid Blue’ can climb up to 6 feet.Like a mother asked to choose her favorite child, I found it difficult to narrow down my list of must-have cut flowers. That said, the pygmy palms may do well as a container specimen on a deck or patio during the summer months in the Midwest, but will need to be overwintered indoors before the first frost.
Our flowers need to be bountiful and come in an array of colors and shapes to make every bouquet successful and every bride happy. The blooms are easy to harvest all summer long: Speedwell stems snap off crisply just above the ground, which encourages them to bloom again in fall.
It has not only strong, multibranched stems but also tufts of small white flowers that appear in late spring and midsummer. I select plants based on their cutting potential, and my absolute favorites—with blooms that are bold to spiky to wispy—look as good in the ground and as they do in a vase. If your peony plants are happy, they can grow 2 to 3 feet tall and wide.I cut most peony blooms when they are about three-quarters open, so the bouquet continues to improve over time as each flower unfurls. The seed heads, which look like balls of miniature shuttlecocks, add a unique and unexpected element to late-season bouquets.
So if you must grow only a handful of flowers for cutting, these should be tops on your list. Colewort needs fertile, well-drained soil and full sun to reach its full potential (8 feet tall and 5 feet wide).



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