Flowers

Flowers

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Masses of wine-red flowers on airy three-foot stems nod in the slightest breeze. A classy new flowering tobacco from Floranova, more compact than its ‘Tinkerbell’ cousin. Annual.
Dime-size purple-crimson flower clusters above black-tinted foliage. A sweet William from Sahin in the Netherlands. Biennial or short-lived perennial. Zones 4-8. b-and-t-world-seeds.com, chocolateflowerfarm.com, hardyplants.com, rushcreekgrowers.com 
From German grower Dümmen comes a cornucopia of fruit-inspired African daisies, with tasty names like Blueberry and Cranberry. Purple and fuchsia petals have an iridescent look, with dark violet-blue centers. Typically used as an annual.
One of 22 varieties in the Celebrette Series, ‘Coral Light’ has a kickin’ combination of large coral flowers hovering over dark-edged foliage midstriped with a blaze of more coral. Needs some shade, but laughs at heat and humidity. Grows 8 to 10 inches tall and 10 to 12 inches wide. Annual.  simplybeautifulgardens.com
Discovered as a seedling of Euphorbia characias in a garden in Tasmania, this phenomenal spurge has both variegated leaves and flowers, combining blue-green with creamy white. Upright stems are a forest of linear leaves, forming a dense shrubby mound. In spring through early summer, large heads of flowers hover on 2- to 3-foot stems, pale yellow and cream, with small green bow-tie centers. Evergreen where winters are mild. Zones 6-9.
Your typical sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is one huge flower on a towering stalk — not exactly vase material. But breeders have selected a host of cultivars that produce multiple smaller flowers on shorter, branching stems, perfect for cutting. ‘Jade’ is a unique color — pale green — which goes with everything in a bouquet. Each 4-to-5-foot plant produces loads of 4-to-5-inch flowers.
Want your bouquet to really pack a punch? How about a fiery red-and-yellow dinner-plate dahlia up to 11 inches across! Dahlias can take a little effort (staking, pinching, storing tubers over the winter in cooler zones), but the results are worth it, and anyone who loves to make floral arrangements has them on the list of must-haves. ‘Bodacious’ can produce flowers midsummer into fall. dahlias.com, dutchbulbs.com
An award-winning collection of Canterbury bells (Campanula medium), the Champion Series includes pink, blue, light blue, white and lavender. Though the species is biennial, this series can be grown from seed as an annual, blooming the first year, with upward-facing bell-shaped flowers more than an inch long. Each plant can have up to 10 stems, 2 to 4 feet tall. soquelnursery.com
Sea holly is a powerful texture for the vase, whether fresh-cut or dried as an everlasting. Eryngium planum ‘Blue Glitter’ has shimmering blue pincushion flowers perched on spiny ruffs, produced in abundance on pewter-colored stems. It also makes a sparkling perennial for the border.
Hydrangeas are classic big, pretty flowers, and the reblooming  Let’s Dance series from Spring Meadow Nursery takes it to the next level, with saturated colors and lush plants. ‘Moonlight’ is a mophead form in rich pink that ages to chartreuse; in acidic soils the flowers are blue. Hardy to Zone 5.  gardencrossings.comspringmeadownursery.com, stargazerperennialscatalog.com
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