Let me preface this post by saying that I love all the flowers. Every flower blooming seems to be my favorite. However, some flowers pull their weight more than others.
When I think about my favorite flowers, I am thinking about the whole life cycle from seed to flower, how the flower holds up post harvest, and how the flower dries. After reflecting, it seems that ease of growing is a major theme on this list. It was really hard to narrow the list down to just ten.
You can't beat a perennial plant that blooms with so little effort. Peonies come in different varieties and colors. I have a long-standing love of peonies and am thankful to have them on the farm. They hold up well post harvest when harvested at "marshmallow" stage and refrigerated. In fact, blooms can last for weeks.
Another perennial that takes little effort, narcissus (or daffodils) are workhorses on the farm. They are easy to harvest by pulling on the stem, they do well after harvesting when picked at "gooseneck" stage, and they come in an array of beautiful colors. Top it all off with a fragrant scent, narcissus are high on the list. Narcissus are "dirty" flowers. Make sure to snip them to the desired height and leave them in a vase on their own until the cut edge of the stem seals up. At that point, you can add them to your arrangement. Do not resnip them.
I have proclaimed my love of pieris before. This lovely plant is a perennial shrub. I know when I see the buds forming in February that spring is close behind. If you don't have this plant growing, you absolutely should as it adds delicate beauty to early spring arrangements.
Blooming before anything else, hellebores are a harbinger of spring. Another perennial (I am sensing a theme for spring), this plant is slow-growing but hardy. It takes about three years from seedling to flower, but it is worth it. They do well in the shade and come in many beautiful colors. Harvest hellebores after their stamens and petals fall off and their seed pods begin to form.
There is something about a rose that is timeless and classic. We added more roses to the farm this year, and they continued to delight me, even into the fall. Roses do well after harvest when picked in a somewhat tight bud. They need to be slightly open but still in a bud.
This plant took a beating over the winter and did well all summer with a second flush in the early fall. I plant it as a perennial. I am waiting to see if the beautiful blush colors come back the second year. It dries well and takes little maintenance.
These flowers seem to spring up overnight from seed. They are easy to care for as seedlings with a once a week fish emulsion and do really well on the farm. They continued to bloom all summer when I harvested them by cutting the stem about an inch from the ground above a leaf. I wrapped them in brown kraft paper when I stored them in the fridge to keep the blooms from bending sideways. They stored well when harvested before their buds opened all the way.
Strawflower brings texture and dimension to any arrangement in which it finds itself. It is easy to start from seed, comes in a beautiful range of colors, and dries exquisitely. Strawflower is a must-grow for me.
This is the first year I grew feverfew, and it won't be the last. I love the tiny blooms and the whimsy they lend bouquets. They dry well and last in a vase as a fresh flower. Do not grow feverfew near any plants that need pollination as the plant repels bugs, including pollinators.
Of course, dahlias are on my list. Of all the flowers listed, dahlias are the most time-intensive and demand maintenance; but, oh, are they worth it. Check out my favorite dahlias this year. You can also sign up for my free dahlia guide here.
For some of my favorite flowers to grow for drying, check out Flowers for Drying.
This post is part of the "My Favorites 2022" series. Check out other posts in this series.