Cut flower trials
As a professional floral designer, Master Gardener Wendy was searching for some cutting flowers that grow easily from seed in San Mateo County's zone 17. She was specifically interested in flowers that could be used throughout the growing season for indoor floral arrangements.
This trial was designed to identify such flowers. All seeds in the trial were purchased in March 2008 based on the suggestions of Renee Shepard from Renee's Garden Seeds in Felton, CA, with the exception of the Harlequin marigolds, which were donated by one of Wendy's students at the College of San Mateo.
All the seeds were started in Wendy's Half Moon Bay greenhouse, in the following potting medium, as suggested by Renee's Garden:
Two parts vermiculite, two parts perlite, and four parts peat moss.
The following varieties were then transplanted in early May 2008 into the Master Gardener's test garden at Elkus Ranch, south of Half Moon Bay. The garden is blessed with an excellent draining soil which the Master Gardeners amended with sheep and goat manure. No chemical or non-organic fertilizers were utilized. The garden has full sun exposure. The garden is in a semi-wild setting with many deer and bunnies.
|Smokey Bronze Fennel
|Watercolor pastels statice
|Slow grower, but survived in spite of heavy bunny and deer grazing.
Tagetes patula "Harlequin"
|Dahlia bulbs (existing; various unknown species)|
|Alstromeria (existing; unknown species)||These flowers, already present in the test garden, were in full bloom in March. The bed bloomed the entire year. Highly recommended as a cutting flower source for the year-round garden in San Mateo and San Francisco counties.
|Bells of Ireland
|Never thrived; very small.|
|Black watchman hollyhocks
|Did not thrive, but may bloom next year.|
|Devoured by deer and bunnies.|
|Love in a mist
|Immediately demolished by deer and bunnies.|