About Good Scents

The cut flower business ended in 2011 but I continue to post other items about gardening.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bouquets for Monday June 29th

Quite a few fun colors and flowers this Monday. In honor of the upcoming holiday I did a few red, white and blue bouquets using blue delphiniums, red lilies and monarda and white feverfew. One of my Monday business customers said the monarda looked like fireworks!

I also made quite a few using just purple and pink. The purples are clustered bellflowers and another bellflower I only know as 'Kent Belle'. It may be some kind of hybrid, I don't know. The pinks include delphinium, phlox, astilbe and clarkia.

Also did a few apricot and purple like this one using apricot lilies with the same purple bellflowers plus achillea 'Terra Cotta'

About half a dozen bouquets were blue and yellow. Most of my heliopsis died over the winter so I won't have many. I started more this year but I should have done it last year. You can also see a yellow centaurea, white annual gypsophila and yarrows.

I almost never make anything containing only two kinds of flowers, but I made quite a few bouquets containing only delphiniums and clarkia - basically salmon and blue.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bouquets for Friday June 26th

Each year I grow cut flowers I learn something new and (I hope) produce better and better bouquets. Mostly this involves learning how to grow things, though somtimes it involves learning how to harvest things for better vase life or something like that. It took me several years to be able to grow decent Clarkia with stems long enough to be useful. The trick was to get them into the ground as soon as possible before they get pot-bound. This year I planted them out exceptionally early under a low tunnel and have been rewarded with probably the nicest ones I have ever grown. The bouquet below has salmon and white clarkia combined with delphiniums and sweet william. There's also a single stem of white phlox in the middle.

If you follow this blog at all you can see I use maybe a dozen different color schemes but create them with different flowers throughout the year. One I haven't used yet this year combines purple with dusty rose and green-ish lilies. The little pink daisies are fleabane (or more prettily, Erigerion).

This next bouquet is the same all pastel color scheme I made a bunch of on Monday. The only difference is this time I was able to add some white astilbes.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bouquets for June 22, 2009

Lots of delphiniums this week but they will probably all be gone in one more week. I have posted so many with blue and purple so here are a couple different looking bouquets I made with white delphiniums. The first is white, purple and coral with the purple coming from clustered bellflowers and the coral from Heuchera (coral bells) and 'Newport Pink' dianthus.

The second one combines white with orange trollius, melon colored lilies and yellow yarrow. The colors make me think of citrus.

The last one is all pastels with silver artemesia. The pink daisies are erigerion.

I also made a number of lavender/apricot and blue/yellow bouquets this week.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bouquets for Monday June 15th

The bouquets were really nice this week, I'm enjoying having the bellflowers which are new this year. The first one is fairly typical of what I do at this time of year - blue with pink and red.

The next is purple delphinium and bell flowers with salmon and scarlet sweet william. There are a few sprigs of coral bells and green lady's mantle to add some airiness.

Last is white, scarlet, orange and yellow. The orange flowers are trollius, the yellow is yarrow, the scarlet is sweet william and the white is a delphinium and white peonies.

Selecting Sweet William Strains

I mentioned last year that I really love Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus). I grow several different seed strains - white, scarlet, "black", salmon as well as a double strain called 'Duplex' and an auricle eyed strain called "Electron".
Last year I noticed a couple of the 'Electron' plants were white with a purple eye. Most of the time they are white with a red eye, or pink with red. I decided to try saving seed from the purple ones and about 50% of the resulting plants bloomed with purple eyes. This is not surprising since they were in with all the other ones and would have crossed with them. I planted the purple eyed plants apart from the others this time and removed all the non-purple ones when they bloomed, so hopefully the seed I save this year will be truer. Here is how the purple eyed ones look. Some are dark purple but one has more like purple brush strokes.

Saving seed and making repeated selections like this is how all heirloom seed strains are created, so this year I'm going to pick out a few more. One is a dark red - not as dark as the 'black' strain, but a deep maroon. The other other is a purple double.

The red eyed flower to the lower right of the dark red gives you an idea of just how purple the purple eyed ones really are. The double purple is not as double as some of them, but the color is fairly unusual.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bouquets for Friday June 12th

When you grow perennials for cut flowers there is a delay of at least a year from the time you plant the seed to when you actually start harvesting flowers. Last year I mentioned starting peach leaved bell flowers and here they finally are - the white "bell' flowers to the right of the delphinium. The others are the usual flowers for this season - sweet william, peonies, lady's mantle. I really love all of these.
As gorgeous as pink-blue-white bouquets are at this time of year, it gets monotonous if you can't see something else.This next bouquet contains salmon pink 'Newport Pink' dianthus, scarlet dianthus, coral bells, and white lily, peonies and delphinium.

Bouquets for Monday June 1st and Friday June 5th

Delphiniums and peonies are coming in now. The hybrid delphinium 'Aurora' that I've been growing for the past couple years blooms a week or 10 days earlier than 'Clear Springs'. This is nice as long as I remember to keep replanting some 'Clear Springs' to extned the season.

The spikes of 'Aurora' are almost a little too tall for the size of bouquets I make. This bouquet has some of my favorite flowers of the season - delphiniums, peonies, forced lilies and scarlet sweet william.

This second bouquet contains forced lilies, 'Moonshine' yarrow, sweet william and some green lady's mantle. One of my customers mentioned that the lady's mantle, "doesn't smell too great", though I don't really notice it.

Bouquets for Friday May 28th

Have really fallen behind in posting pictures this season. The first bouquet has salmon lily, purple alliums, purple clustered bellflowers, coral bells, shasta daisies and red single peony.

This second bouquet has blue baptisa, shasta daisies, white peonies and a few commercial yellow mums.