Another flower that is popular for cutting is the orchid. Shown above is a species, cattleya skinneri. The catts were once popular for wrist corsages for spring dances and Mother’s Day church ornament pinned to one’s suit lapel or dress collar. The flowers are stiff and waxy, holding up well to both frenzied dancing or solemn prayer. No orchids will be cut and brought into the house or worn for any purpose here.
A stalk of foxgloves would make an artistic addition to a mixed bouquet, suitable for a rendering in pastels or water colors. The above is digitalis ‘Apricot’, a seed grown specimen that has returned to bloom again another year. No lovely stalks of foxgloves will be snipped here.
St. John’s Wort, hypericum berries are often used as filler in arrangements. In fact, this is the filler that was used in offspring Semi’s wedding bouquet. It had to be specially ordered from our local grocery, to go with the mail ordered coral calla lilies for the home made bouquet. It was then that we decided to try and grow this plant for our own berry needs. They are growing nicely, even though we have never picked the berries. We like to see them on the plant.
The taller alliums, this was considered an allium by the powers that name plants at the time they were ordered, make nice additions to cut flowers brought inside. Name changes are popular with those powers and this may no longer be considered allium bulgaricum, (syn. Nectaroscordum siculum). The red flowers growing along with these bulbs are sweet william, dianthus barbatus. Neither will make it to a vase here.
The stately bearded iris, this one is Spartan, plays nicely with other flowers in a vase, or alone in a Japanese style flat container with the prickly flower frog device to hold it upright. But not here.
Another good filler, artemisia versicolor ‘Seafoam’. This was ordered from High Country Gardens last year, along with several other xeric plants. Our rainfall in normal years is too high for many of the plants offered by this southwest nursery to thrive, but this one survived our wet winter nicely. More of these will be ordered, to be grown outside and not touched by the shears.
This is the one flower that we will cut and bring inside to enjoy in a small pitcher on the kitchen windowsill above the sink. Keeping these picked will prolong the bloom period, as long as the temperature outside stays moderate. These are the first blooms open from the seeds planted out last December.
They are growing on a wire fence along with sugar snap peas, planted in January. We planted the snap peas in the same row as the sweet peas because the sweet pea plants had disappeared. We added chicken wire at the bottom to protect the peas from ravaging rabbits, and lo and behold, the sweet peas returned. They were being eaten to the nub by the hungry pests. They didn’t need to be pinched back to make bushier plants, they had been regularly pinched already.
This is the number one reason that the flowers get to remain on their stalks out of doors, or in the greenhouse/sunroom here, Hazel the plant eating cat. She can and will eat any and all living or dried flowers that are displayed anywhere in the house. She has eaten dried hydrangea blossoms that were several years old. A favorite food of hers, besides our home made soap, (ivory is the only substitute), is lettuce. Whether store bought or home grown, she will come running when the water is turned on to the wash the leaves. She will meow incessantly until she has been hand fed several morsels. She uses her paw to hold one’s hand in the proper position until she has gently taken the piece in her teeth.