Morning glory is the flower of early risers, who get to enjoy these gorgeous blooms at their freshest. ‘Celestial Mix’ features vines that unfurl a trio of stunning flower colors: midnight blue, snow white, and lavender-blue. Each flower features a contrasting star in the center of the bloom. Morning glory climbs by twining. Simply plant it beside a trellis or support, and the vine will do the rest. Nick or soak seeds overnight to aid germination. This annual vine grows 6 to 7 feet tall. Cut down vines after frost and compost or destroy. Doing this helps to minimize potential disease issues. Why we love it: Flowers unfurl like magic each morning, and if you’re patient, you can witness the event.
Grow this sweet pea, and it will quickly become your favorite. Why? Extra-early, extra-large, richly fragrant blooms on extra-long stems make ‘Mammoth Mix’ (Lathyrus odoratus) the sweet pea of choice for commercial cut flower growers. This is the sweet pea you want for bouquets. Flower colors include navy blue, rose pink, lavender, crimson and salmon pink. The different flower colors all mature at the same time, letting you make bouquets with every color in the vase. These annual vines grow 6 to 8 feet tall and up to 12 feet wide. Why we love it: These big-flowered beauties are heat-tolerant, which makes for a long flowering season.
Individual blossoms on the flower spike of gas plant appear to have eyelashes, thanks to long, curling stamens. Gas plant offers a long flower season, from late spring through midsummer, and you can find varieties with blooms in shades of lavender, pink and red. Once flowers fade, seedpods form that linger into early winter and make a nice addition to autumn arrangements. Site this perennial where you want it (full sun is best), because it doesn’t transplant easily. Small seedlings tend to form around the mother plant, and those can be moved with little fuss. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 28 to 32 inches tall by 18 to 24 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-7. Good vase companions for gas plant: bearded iris, peony, bee balm and lady’s mantle.
It’s tough to beat the floral perfume of lilacs. These flowering shrubs open blooms from late spring to early summer, depending on variety. The blossoms offer traditional colors, like purple, lavender and white, and you can also find lilacs with pink, yellow and even bicolor blooms. A few lilacs actually lack fragrance, so it’s important to do your homework before buying a plant. Some of the most fragrant varieties include wine-red ‘Congo’ (Zones 4-7), pink ‘Maiden’s Blush’ (Zones 2-7), light blue ‘President Grevy' (Zones 3-7) and white ‘Beauty of Moscow’ (Zones 3-7). Plants grow from shrub to small tree size, reaching from 3 to 15 feet tall. Hardiness depends on variety, from Zones 2-9.
Native perennial anise hyssop earns its keep in the garden by filling many roles. Offering beautiful cut flowers is just one of them. Known botanically as Agastache foeniculum, anise hyssop is a strong pollinator plant, bringing bees, butterflies and many beneficial insects to the garden. Leaves can be used to flavor drinks with a hint of anise, and small purple petals offer a burst of licorice flavor. Flower spikes are sturdy and work in a bouquet with or without the actual tiny lavender blooms. They provide structure and a vertical accent in arrangements. Deer-and rabbit-resistant plants grow 24 to 48 inches tall and 18 to 36 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8. Good vase companions for anise hyssop: purple coneflower, echibeckia, hosta, gas plant and garden phlox.