Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Appreciating the Overlooked.

Falling in love with most cut flowers is easy...they're colorful, showy, fragrant...what's not to love?! 

There are some plants, though, that make you look beyond their flowers {or lack of} to see their beauty.  I have grown to appreciate many of these plants that are often overlooked or touted as outcasts due to their unruly, aggresive or weedy nature, lack of flowers, short bloom time, lack of fragrance, etc.  Here are a few of the plants that I have become increasingly thankful for as foliage & fillers this season...

Baptisia blooms are gorgeous!...purple, yellow, white & burgandy are available.  When in bloom, they're a great addition to any arrangement!....but...they only bloom for about two weeks.  The best time to use them is when they are just beginning to open...you'll get the best vase life.  Once they're done blooming, though, I LOVE using the foliage!...and these plants produce tons of it!

Poor Gooseneck Loosestrife...it gets a bad rap.  It's a crazy aggresive grower...very crazy!  How pretty is this flower, though?!  It blooms at a time when I always seem to need a flower just like this!  It's perfect!...blooms for about 3 weeks.  If it hasn't been too buggy of a season, I like to use the foliage in fall arrangements as it begans to turn to a red/maroon/orange...amazing!

Grasses are always a huge help!...such great texture & height!  I especially love hackonechloa for it's pretty yellow color & airy feel.  Chasmanthium reseeds like gangbusters, but the flower is gorgeous in fall arrangements.

Amsonia...I love you.  The flowers are aren't too flashy, but work nicely as a filler for a short period of time in early summer.  Like baptisia, this foliage is phenomenal!...it just keeps growing!  I hacked away at this plant all season long & now, I'm getting more new, green growth to use!  The milky sap is a bit of a bummer, but hot water seals it off & the foliage lasts forever in a vase!

Oh....sweet Solomon's Seal...the most beautiful foliage.  I will be growing TONS of this little guy.  Grown in a shady spot, the foliage stays pretty well through June...and lasts & lasts in a vase!

I don't love weigela flowers so much for cuts...they're alright sometimes, but not my favorite.  The foliage on the other hand is fabulous right now!  I'm using tons of it!...it's great because it is available in tons of pretty colors, too!

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