Saturday, July 21, 2007

Cut flowers



My gardening group was approached with a project: to grow cut flowers for Hospice.

At heart, I'm a fairly practical person. Whenever I take a personality test, the results always come back the same: Logical. A realist. Pragmatic. A huge skeptic. So why I tend to have such grandiose visions in the planning stages of all my own projects, I have no idea.

I really needn't have worried how many times a week I'd have to drive to town to deliver the multitude of stems I'd be producing. (A boundless bounty of beauteous bouquets, I was sure!)

Oh, the hours I spent, researching the intricacies of each possibility. Was it a good cut flower? (Did the bloom last?) Could I grow it from direct seeding? Did it fare well in the south? Did blooms emerge within a reasonable time frame? Did googling the botanical name produce pictures that looked even remotely like the glossy catalog photos?

Finally I had my list, and ordered 15 varieties that seemed the most promising. We were late planting everything this year, but since we have such a long growing season that's not a problem.

Apparently though, the only thing I can grow is Zinnias. And a sunflower or two.

Technically I did have one California poppy. And there are some African daisies and Cosmos plants that have lots of foliage on them, if no blossoms yet. But mainly, just Zinnias.

14 comments:

Shady Gardener said...

Ah, but those are Beautiful zinnias! They make wonderful bouquets. And I'll bet you're seeing butterflies. Way to go, gardening girl!

Rurality said...

Well yes they are nice and varied too, so it could be worse. :)

I'm just afraid they're going to come ask for the course completion certificate back any day now. Maybe I should just stick with wildflowers. :)

Shady Gardener said...

Well... you delivered, right? And what lovely colors for people to enjoy! (I share your ability for enthusiastic planning.) They shouldn't take away your certificate.

I,too, love wildflowers, but as you can tell, I like the variety of the hybrids, too. I don't do many annuals due to sun and space limitations.

Will it make you feel better if I tell you that I tried zinnias at "our other place" once, (envisioning bouquets of colorful cut flowers) but I had terrible luck. Mildew is not helpful or pretty.

cyndy said...

I'm sure the Hospice will appreciate them. I think it's a great project.

KFarmer said...

I'd be more than happy to receive zinnias and those are lovely! I think your kind efforts are wonderful too. I'm sure they brighten up an other wise sad day for some. :)

Rurality said...

No, there haven't really been enough of them at any one time, to deliver to Hospice. So I just decided that this was the experimentation year for flowers.

I do think that cutting early in the morning helps them last longer.

And if you cut them as buds, they don't ever open. These haven't, anyway.

edifice rex said...

Hey Karen! My African daisies haven't bloomed yet either; in fact, they seem to be just sitting there trying not to grow.

lisa said...

Hey, they should give you an A for effort, anyhow! I think the zinnias look great, as for the rest...there's always next year.

meresy_g said...

Nothing wrong with Zinnias. They come in so may colors and and sizes, you could make a cheery bouquet with just those. Sunflowers are a pain. If they seed themselves, they are monstrous and beautiful. If you plant them, they are weak and spindly.

lime said...

regardless of what gorws thank you for participating in such a meaningful project.

Cookie Jill said...

What a wonderful project.

Flowers bring such color to one's soul.

Faith said...

What about plants other than flowers in your bouquets? Herbs might smell too strongly for someone who's ill, but hosta leaves, ferns or beauty berries would look nice in a bouquet, too.

Anne-Marie said...

Great photo! Those flowers are so much nicer than anything I manage to grow in my garden! =)

Rurality said...

As a follow-up, I have to say that I did manage to eke out a few Mexican sunflowers and Cosmos too, but I didn't like them as cut flowers. The stems were too short on the MS and the blooms of the Cosmos didn't last long enough to suit me. (Not for giving to Hospice anyway.) So next year, more zinnias!

Faith, Beauty berries do grow wild here, but have had a hard time lately due to the drought. And you're going to laugh at me when I tell you that I have a difficult time cutting a fern! Though I might have to experiment with Christmas ferns... those grow like crazy here.

Thanks for commenting, everybody.