Sometimes a customer is looking for an arrangement that has to hold up longer than the usual bouquet. They might be needing it to stretch into a second week. While many varieties are good up to seven or eight days with proper post-harvest care, there are a few that can last even longer. Several of them are also good flowers for drying. For a larger list of flowers that are good for drying, click here.
Snapdragons are workhorses in the annual garden and in market bouquets. When cut with just one or two open blooms, they can continue to bloom up to two weeks from harvest. The buds work their way up the stem, and if you've purchased or grown Chantilly snapdragons, you'll be treated to a beautiful ombre of colors as the blooms rise and open. They are absolutely one of my favorite flowers to grow and share. This season was not particularly good for snapdragons in the Adirondacks - there was so much rain and little sun at the beginning of the season, but that means that next year will be great, right!?
Sea Holly is a first-year flowering perennial. The "Glitter" series will return in zones 4 and warmer. Because we are a bit borderline between 3 and 4, I'll cover my sea holly bed with a low tunnel this winter to give it a good fighting chance. My fingers are crossed!
Statice is unbothered by the heat of a hot market day, and as long as it has nice clean water, it will keep looking great for you in the vase. I have to admit, after seeing dark purple (artificial-looking) statice) as filler in supermarket bouquets for so many years, I'd really fallen out with it. I decided to give a couple of paler varieties a chance the season and the plants rewarded me with lots of repeat blooms after surviving the great frost of May 20. Many customers were also drawn to it at our market booths. Take another look at statice. There are a bunch of different varieties. You might be surprised, too. Johnny's Selected Seeds has a number of nice choices. Also- check out this wacky option from Harris Seeds. I think I'll try some Statice Suworowii next year, too!
Sweet-smelling phlox (annual and perennial varieties) last long in the vase. I often find myself discarding old stems from the previous markets when I'm re-stocking the cooler. They always look great, but my conscience won't let me sell them.
Bachelor's Buttons hold up great, too. This year, I moved away from the traditional blue flowers and tried a more purple collection called "Classic Magic" from Swallowtail Garden Seeds. They also have a raspberry-colored collection, an all white packet, and a dark maroon variety that reminds me of Scabiosa Black Knight. So many to try next year!
Celosia Pampas Plume has been a great long-lasting flower and filler for me this year. I put some clippings from the tops of yellow celosia in a bud vase over a week ago. I haven't changed the water in the vase yet. The plumes still look gorgeous. I think I spotted a green Pampas Plume variety in someone's Instagram feed earlier this month. Maybe the lemon lime variety?
Obedient plant both naturalizes easily here in the North Country and does well in arrangements. I purchased some of white variety this summer. More recently, I've found a whole bunch of the light pink type in an over-grown bed. It seems to be doing pretty well, but I can't wait to dig it up and move it to the perennial garden I've started.
For a small button-shaped flower, scabiosa is strong-willed in arrangements. All varieties - from Butterfly Blue to Fata Morgana and Scabiosa Starflower hold up well post-harvest, with little attention. Bring a bucket of cool water along with you at harvest time, and put them directly into it. They'll reward you with days and days of flowering. Scabiosa can also be cut early in bud stage.
Like statice, globe thistle, strawflower, and gomphrena, are all great in the vase and as dried flowers, too. More in "Flowers and Greens for Drying."
Until next time,