It’s not too hard to walk through the yard in mid-summer and
pick enough flowers for a vase. But, oftentimes, gardens are less showy in
autumn. Heare are five winners you should look for now and plant next spring.
All five varieties can be grown from seed for pennies. They will liven up your
fall bouquets and your fall garden next year. Best of all, three of them dry
beautifully and will last all winter. Don’t forget to feed your flowers Espoma’s liquid Grow!
fertilizer for the best possible harvest.
Chinese lanterns, sometimes called Japanese lanterns, have
bright orange seed pods that look like puffy lanterns hanging from their stems.
These dry beautifully and may be used in arrangements for many months, even
years. Their vivid orange color makes them ideal for all things Halloween. You
can sow the seeds indoors in the spring or outside directly in the soil. They
are vigorous growers and can be grown in pots to keep them in check.
This is a twofer. Blackberry lilies have beautiful, bright
orange flowers with deep orange freckles on tall graceful stems. After they
bloom, seed is produced inside puffy capsules. In late summer the capsules
break open and you’re left with a cluster of black seeds that looks exactly like
big, fat, juicy blackberries. The glossy berries look beautiful in fresh or
dried arrangements. Together with the Chinese lanterns, you’ll have the
ultimate Halloween combination.
Zinnia’s have been garden favorites for hundreds of years
because they are so easy to grow from seed and come in so many different colors,
shapes, and sizes. They’ll start flowering in mid-summer and bloom until frost,
attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. They make outstanding cut flowers and
long-lasing bloomers in the garden. They like good air circulation and always
water at ground level, wet leaves can lead to mildew.
Money plant, also called the silver dollar plant is not the
same as the house plant. Its botanical name is Lunaria. This lovely annual
blooms in spring with bright pinkish-purple flowers but don’t cut them. After
they bloom, they develop an oval seed pod. Toward the end of summer, the pod
becomes papery and if you carefully rub them the husks and seeds fall off and
you are left with a stem of almost transparent, silver dollar-sized disks that
look like parchment. They are so unusual and because of their neutral color, they
blend well in any bouquet. Throw the seeds back where they came from for and
you’ll get more the next year.
Annual sunflowers now come in a wide range of colors from
yellow, orange and bronze to ruby red and even white. They also come in a
variety of heights from six feet tall to shorter branching varieties to dwarf
varieties that reach just a foot or two. They are all easy to grow from seed
and are especially fun to grow with kids because they grow so fast. Cut them
early in the morning, when the flower petals are just beginning to open for the
longest lasting cut flowers.
If you don’t have enough varieties of fall blooming flowers,
foraging may be an option. Foraging isn’t legal everywhere but if you have
friends or family with some property ask if you could cut some wildflowers.
Goldenrod, asters, and tansy can add beautiful and flare to a cut flower
bouquet. Think of berries too. Many shrubs have fall berries and many roses
offer hips. Don’t forget about adding dried grasses, hydrangeas and foliage
with fall color. The most important thing is just to be creative and have fun.
Mother Nature already made the flowers beautiful, so you can’t miss.
Here are links to other blogs we hope you’ll find interesting.
Espoma Products – Grow!