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Cut Flowers and Floral Design: Baby's Breath questions

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BDale60
Warren, PA
(Zone 5a)

July 25, 2007
10:55 AM

Post #3776788

Every year about this time as my wife and I start to tinker around with floral arrangements, I think to myself how nice it would be to have some "Baby's Breath" in the garden to use for foliage. For example, drivenbonkers has some in some gorgeous arrangements over on the Electronic Floral Show: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/751393/

But thinking about it is about as far as I've gotten, and I would welcome any suggestions or advice you might have about it. I did a little initial browsing over at PlantFiles and see there are quite a few choices (as I'd expect) beyond any generic "Baby's Breath." So I guess one question is, any recommendations for a variety especially nice for floral arranging or is it "all good" as the kids say nowadays? Also, how much space does it take up in the garden (or, perhaps I should ask, how much does one need to produce a good amount of foliage for arranging). Probably an impossible question (i.e. "how many arrangements were you planning to make using it..?") But maybe you can give some examples from your garden for the sake of comparison. Thanks,
BDale
drivenbonkers
Perth,, ON
(Zone 5a)

July 25, 2007
1:48 PM

Post #3777240

in my garden, I have two different baby's breath. One is gypsophillia repens, a short creeping early spring blooming plant and the taller 3' old fashioned small bloomed perennial.

The tall perennial, I tend to use sparingly, (for such a small flower, it puts out a fairly strong fragrance, not my favourite scent, lol

So, I tend to use other cut flowers with it, like lavender.

Or, I'll use my 'statice latifolia', a somewhat similar shape/form, but with tiny lavender blooms. (it's in bud now...)

My BB has been in the ground for years, and there might be some other larger flowered varieties available, depending on what you want to grow.

I'll save some seed of mine, if anyone wishes, let me know
BDale60
Warren, PA
(Zone 5a)

July 25, 2007
2:44 PM

Post #3777445

Hi DB,

Thanks for the information. I guess I didn't realize Baby's Breath also had a fragrance associated with it. I suppose that is another reason it is so popular in flower arrangements, huh? Do the varieties of Baby's Breath you have tend to spread, or do the pretty much "stay put" in whatever spot of the garden they have been planted? You say the first one is a spring bloomer. How about the other, older perennial? Does it bloom all summer or only during selected phases of summer?

Since we don't have unlimited space in the garden, I suppose the best of all worlds for me would be something that didn't take up a huge amount of space, did not become invasive, and bloomed continuously during the summer or at least during the latter part of summer when it would go well with the flowers we have for arranging. I can always dream, can't I? :)
drivenbonkers
Perth,, ON
(Zone 5a)

July 25, 2007
5:51 PM

Post #3778140

The tall bb is blooming now, and will hang in there for another couple of weeks, or so. Because my bb tends to get windblown and falls over, (and I don't want it to go to seed) I cut it back to the ground when it's done blooming. I've got maybe 3 plants throughout the gardens.

The short one tends to stay put, but I weed ruthlessly...

There probably are other flowers similar to baby's breath, I'll watch my statice latifolia and get a pic when it's blooming and post it.

I really like the latifolia...
terriculture
london England
United Kingdom

July 28, 2007
12:17 AM

Post #3787291


Hi BDale, re: 'all good' in your intro to the topic, I will tell you something about Gypsophilia soon.

I shall just say at the moment, the work is in progress, 'under construction' so watch this space.LoL!!
Illoquin
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

August 1, 2007
7:29 AM

Post #3804068

Hey BDale, There is also an annual gypsophila that comes in the 10c seed packs called Covent Garden that is definitely worht growing, andmuch, much smaller than the big perennial kind, though I don't know tht it is actually what you're looking for. The flowers are totally different, but it's got the same kind of stem as the other kinds of baby's breath and makes a good cut flower. You can direct sow it or just throw it on bare ground. The price is definitely right!

Covent Garden has flowers that are about 3/8" diamter, so bigger than the other, but they are singles not doubles. Comes in white and it sort of goes where it wants to. I don't have enough sun here, so that probably accounts for some of its wandering ways.

The big Gypsophila is G. paniculata, a perennial, and it is easy to grow, but as drivenbonkers says, maybe not so easy to make look good. The guy who started White Flower Farm wrote a book and in the book he describes making a "corset" for it, so it wouldn't lean over. You take 6 40" stakes and put them equidistant around the plant and then take garden twine and wrap it all around and in between the stakes so the plant grow up through the mechanics and makes a big puff ball of bloom. That was eough to put me off the whole plant, and I read that book 25 years ago!

It comes in double white, single white, pink double and maybe pink single. It's the kind you see in the grocery store bouquets.

I'm sure they all make wonderful cutflowers.

Suzy

BDale60
Warren, PA
(Zone 5a)

August 1, 2007
10:56 AM

Post #3804191

Thanks Suzy! I'm often willing to go the extra mile to help grow or trellis a nice plant, but I'm not sure about constructing a "corset" for one LOL. Maybe. It sounds like I've got a lot of choices available. I appreciate the information and suggestions.
BDale
terriculture
london England
United Kingdom

August 14, 2007
9:29 PM

Post #3857121

Baby blues...even when they become teenagers we worry about them!!

I have used : A small bunch of Gypsophilia, from the garden I used , Agapanthus pips, white roses and daisies.
floral foam, white feathers, pram basket , and a dummy!

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karmaplace
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 8b)

August 14, 2007
11:51 PM

Post #3857482

Awwwwwwe, so cuuuute terri! You mean my baby is going to grow up?? He is actually adjusting very well now...thanks terri.
terriculture
london England
United Kingdom

August 15, 2007
2:26 AM

Post #3858080

I have heard some floral demonstrators refer to Gyp as a ' bit of fluff '!

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