Sunday, August 23, 2009

Great Flowers - Poor Sellers

Oh fickle customers - they do seem to snap up whatever is blooming in the six-packs in the spring, and bypass the “starts” that are still green. I am at fault too, as I should whip up some nice POP (point of purchase) posters to show folks what they will be missing. Every year I offer some “hard-to-find” annuals, and every year I end up with most of them still on the shelves by mid-summer.

For example, blue didiscus (below.) It’s kind of like a smaller version of the white queen anne’s lace, very pretty as a filler in summer bouquets.

Lavatera comes in various shades of pink and a shorter white version and once it starts blooming it is loaded with hibiscus like flowers and makes for a great cut flower. This time of year I am cutting lavatera every day.

Sanvitalia procumbens ("creeping zinnia") is great for hot dry areas.

Tithonia (“Mexican Sunflower”) is a nice splash of color for the summer garden. The stems are hollow and it is not good for bouquets, but it is a show stopper.

While rudbeckia (black-eyed susan) can be a fine perennial (I think the best is 'goldsturm'), there are also many nice rudbeckias that I grow as annuals, including ‘Indian Summer’, ‘Prairie Sun,’ ‘Tiger Eye,’ and the ‘Toto’ series. Next year I will offer ‘Cherry Brandy,’ the first red-flowered black-eyed susan grown from seeds.

I have always thought it would be a good idea to have a “Gourmet Corner” in one greenhouse for the hard-to-find flowers. Maybe This will happen "next year”?

1 comment:

Julie said...

We started a cutflower corner in our retail greenhouse this year and it worked really well. It was easier to display laminated photos and to educate customers about buying non-blooming plants in pots by having them all in one spot. People were buying up whole trays of cuts and it made me happy to imaging the their gardens!