Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cut Flowers from Seeds Offer Bouquets of Plenty

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cut Flowers from Seeds Offer Bouquets of Plenty

Article excerpt

Last summer, as I cut a few precious stems of golden yarrow and Shasta daisies from the pots on my Brooklyn roof, I realized how much I miss growing armloads of cut flowers. This year, I'm determined to have enough to fill every room.

I'm not sure where I will grow them all. Some, certainly in pots on my roof. Others down at the family farm in Maryland, where our field of sunflowers has become a local tradition. But there is another patch of land I have in mind - something not far from New York City - that I haven't yet found.

So ordering the seeds for my cutting garden, and starting many of them early indoors, is an act of faith - that this place, come spring, will no longer be just in my imagination.

I never vary from some old friends, like Empress of India nasturtiums, which are deep vermilion, with round, deep blue-green leaves, and Scarlet Splendor zinnias, which shout their rich red color to the skies.

But this year, I'm going to try a mildew-resistant variety called Pinwheel, which is a daisylike single-petal flower that varies in color from white to deep rose. I ordered all these from W. Atlee Burpee & Company, Warminster, Pa. 18974; you may call(800) 888-1447 for a free catalog. And I ordered a pale chartreuse zinnia called Envy, which is weirdly wonderful, from Thompson & Morgan, P.O. Box 1308, Jackson, N.J. 08527; you may call (800)-274-7333 for a free catalog.

There's also a light green nicotiana from Chile, N. Langsorfii, which has the same offbeat appeal, but it's not fragrant, so I'm growing the pure white Nicotiana alata, to keep my nose happy.

I've also ordered N. sylvestris, that five-footer with scented, droopy tubes of white flowers, which are an incredible five inches long. This plant is more of a clown for the garden, but who knows, maybe you could stick it in an urn and call it a cut flower. All are widely available; I got mine from J.L. Hudson, Seedsman, Star Route 2, Box 337, La Honda, Calif. 94020; no telephone listing; $1 catalog.

I can't ever get enough of cosmos: the Sensation varieties are good for cutting, and I like a a fiery crimson called Dazzler and a white called Purity, and Candy Stripe, which varies from white to rose and red, with dark-color edges. …

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