Plant Now: Late summer flowers


zinnias-rudbeckias-dahlias

Dahlias, zinnias and rudbeckias flower throughout summer and autumn, right up to the first frosts. Plant seedlings or plants from your local garden centre for a non-stop floral display.

Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum – pictured on the left) are great for the summer and autumn garden too – and, like dahlias, zinnias and rudbeckias – make great cut flowers. All enjoy full sun and free-draining soil.

Plant Now: Zinnias


zinnia bouquet
zinnia-orangezinnia-pinkzinnia-selectionzinnias-in-basket
Everyone loves zinnias – at least, everyone whom I come across does. They are such vibrant flowers and superb cut flowers, and they flower for weeks on end. The only hiccough is the leaves can get powdery mildew in humid areas. Other than that, they’re easy-care.

Head to your garden centre and you’ll find zinnias in the potted colour section, or in multiple seedling packs. Plant in a sunny spot in the garden and feed and deadhead regularly for a continuous supply of blooms. If you do that, your zinnias will flower right throughout summer and autumn.

If you want to grow your zinnias as cut flowers, snip off the centre flowers when plants are about 40cm high (do this on regular zinnias, not bedding, or dwarf, zinnias). This encourages the plants to branch low and produce taller stems.

Top image via Wedding Chicks

Plant Now: Zinnias


zinnias
zinnias2ZinniasBicolor ZinniaPurple zinnias
I love zinnias. They are true workhorses in the garden and complement almost any flower in the vase or bouquet. They come in all colours, including bicolours and stripes, and have single or double blooms, depending on the variety. They may be pale or vibrant, and they flaunt their cheerful blooms over a very long season – through summer and autumn. They are a must-have for the cutting garden.

They are super easy to grow too – a great plant for beginners and kids. Sow seeds directly during spring and summer, or plant in trays to be transplanted when big enough. Plant in full sun in reasonably fertile soil, and feed with liquid fertiliser, and deadhead, regularly, to keep the flowers coming.

The top two images are by photographer Corbin Gurkin, from Ariella Journal.

Plant Now: Zinnias


Zinnias cut flowers
zinnias cut flowers
Zinnias are quick bloomers – sowing to flowering can take as little as 80 days. They’re quite the little workhorse in the flower garden too, producing a constant supply of blooms for the vase for many weeks.

Zinnias come in almost every colour, including bi-coloured and speckled, pale or vibrant hues. Mostly we think of them as bright and gaudy, with hot pinks, juicy oranges, yellows, reds and maroons, like in the bottom photo from Twist of Lime. Though there are soft pastel colours to choose from as well (middle image is from brilliant photographer Tammy Hughes). The top bouquet, designed by the ever-fabulous Florali, also features vibrant orange zinnias, marigolds, celosia and peonies, among others.

Sow seeds or plant seedlings now for a vibrant autumn show, and plant in full sun.

Zinnias, berries, Queen Anne’s lace and lilacs


Zinnias and berries in flower arrangement
lilac and queen anne's lace
Are your zinnias in bloom yet? Here’s an idea for a lovely summery display. In the top photo blazing orange zinnias are mixed with berries, Queen Anne’s lace, crocosmia and greenery. Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora is actually a weed here, but there are cultivated varieties sold now that are more restrained.

The second arrangement also contains Queen Anne’s lace, mixed this time with lilacs and dark purple scabiosa. [Read more…]

Summer flower combos


Evergreen magnolia, cattleya and gardenia bouquet
Mermaid roses and yellow zinniasBouquet of roses and peaches
I was talking about evergreen magnolias last week, then came across this lovely bouquet (top photo) that uses the leaves as a backdrop to white blooms. The glossy green of the leaves really makes the white flowers pop, I think, with their bronze undersides showing too. The white flowers are made up of cattleya orchids and gardenias, and the fern is the umbrella fern.

The next image features the large-flowered climbing rose ‘Mermaid’ and bright yellow zinnias, [Read more…]

Plant Now: Zinnias


Mixed zinnias
Zinnia 'Candy Cane'Zinnia 'Green Envy'
Zinnias are quick bloomers. Sowing to flowering can take as little as 80 days, so there is still plenty of time to plant these vibrant blooms. They’re quite the workhorse in the flower garden too, producing a constant supply of blooms right up till the first frosts. Flowers come in almost every colour, and some are even bi-coloured or speckled. Zinnias are real sun lovers. Sow seeds or plant seedlings now and they’ll flower throughout autumn.

The above photos are all from Fine Gardening. The middle variety is ‘Candy Cane’, the bottom is ‘Green Envy’. You can buy similar varieties from Kings Seeds.

Gladioli, Balloon flowers, Zinnias

 

Plant now
Gladioli

GladiolusYou can still get gladiolus corms from garden centres and specialist nurseries, so don’t panic if you haven’t planted yours yet. Gladioli can, in fact, be planted right up until December. For future reference, planting can begin from mid to late August (July if planting in a greenhouse), but a cooler soil does slow down growth. As an example, if planted in August, gladioli take 120-150 days to bloom; in summer they take only 80-90 days. Plant your corms in succession for a longer season, because once you pick the blooms, that’s it. They won’t reflower. Position in full sun in well-drained soil, 15cm deep and spaced 15cm apart. Check out specialist bulb companies like www.nzbulbs.co.nz, who provide a range of gladioli to choose from. Where gladioli once came in boring pinks and washed-out yellows and reds, today’s hybrids sport rich purples, deep reds, vivid orange, lavender and rose, among other sumptuous hues.

Balloon flowerBalloon flowers
Balloon flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus) aren’t usually grown for picking, but they do make good cut flowers. In fact, they’re commonly grown in the States for that purpose. Sow seeds directly where you want them to grow or transplant seedlings very carefully as they dislike root disturbance. If you want to grow yours for picking, choose the tall-stemmed varieties such as ‘Florist Mixed’ from Kings Seeds, which grow up to 80cm high. The seedlings sold at garden centres are usually short-stemmed varieties.

ZinniaZinnias
If you like your flowers bright and cheerful, you can’t go wrong with zinnias. They’re easy to grow from seed, or you can buy a range of colourful seedlings from your garden centre. For the more unusual varieties (bi-coloured, tri-coloured or lime green), buy from specialist seed merchants like Kings Seeds and Egmont Seeds. Kings Seeds has a new zinnia on offer this year, ‘Giant Wine’, which has fully double dark burgundy flowers that are a whopping 12cm wide. It also grows to a height of 1m. Perfect for picking.

Gladioli
GladiolusYou can still get gladiolus corms from garden centres and specialist nurseries, so don’t panic if you haven’t planted yours yet. Gladioli can, in fact, be planted right up until December. For future reference, planting can begin from mid to late August (July if planting in a greenhouse), but a cooler soil does slow down growth. As an example, if planted in August, gladioli take 120-150 days to bloom; in summer they take only 80-90 days. Plant your corms in succession for a longer season, because once you pick the blooms, that’s it. They won’t reflower. Position in full sun in well-drained soil, 15cm deep and spaced 15cm apart. Check out specialist bulb companies like www.nzbulbs.co.nz, who provide a range of gladioli to choose from. Where gladioli once came in boring pinks and washed-out yellows and reds, today’s hybrids sport rich purples, deep reds, vivid orange, lavender and rose, among other sumptuous hues.

Balloon flowerBalloon flowers
Balloon flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus) aren’t usually grown for picking, but they do make good cut flowers. In fact, they’re commonly grown in the States for that purpose. Sow seeds directly where you want them to grow or transplant seedlings very carefully as they dislike root disturbance. If you want to grow yours for picking, choose the tall-stemmed varieties such as ‘Florist Mixed’ from Kings Seeds, which grow up to 80cm high. The seedlings sold at garden centres are usually short-stemmed varieties.

ZinniaZinnias
If you like your flowers bright and cheerful, you can’t go wrong with zinnias. They’re easy to grow from seed, or you can buy a range of colourful seedlings from your garden centre. For the more unusual varieties (bi-coloured, tri-coloured or lime green), buy from specialist seed merchants like Kings Seeds and Egmont Seeds. Kings Seeds has a new zinnia on offer this year, ‘Giant Wine’, which has fully double dark burgundy flowers that are a whopping 12cm wide. It also grows to a height of 1m. Perfect for picking.