Antique flower varieties are as popular as antique furniture. Glance over the neighbor's fence, and you are likely to see several antique flowers peeking back at you. More commonly called heirloom flowers they are easily obtainable at garden centers, on the internet and by mail-order.
Perhaps you long to add a touch of reminiscence to your garden of antiques. The easiest way to do this is to collect cuttings or seeds of heirloom flowers from family members or friends. As the flowers grow over the seasons and the years progress you will recall with fondness the particular person that gave you the flower.
Although many of our ancestors grew flowers which were not established species such as the ones grown today, some were new even back then. For those who are sticklers in the garden and believe it is impossible to find proven heirloom flowers to plant in an antique variety garden, give the creation of an antique flower bed a second thought. There are cultivated flowers sold today which bloomed in the gardens of long ago. For instance, Monarda didyma 'Cambridge Scarlet' bee balm heralds from the turn of the century in 1908. In 1851 'Festiva Maximma' peony came on the market. And Hemerocallis 'Hyperion' daylily is a fine oldie having first been released in 1924.
How to create a garden of antique flowers
Choose the location being careful to consider the amount of sun exposure the garden will receive each day. Some flowers require more sun than others. And some would much prefer the shade. Each garden has its own soil type. If your soil is not conducive to gardening you may need to amend it. Amending a garden is an individual process. Research your soil type, if necessary, and amend as needed.
Question family members, friends or even elderly neighbors about their favorite flowers and how to grow them. Chances are they will name several heirloom flowers. With any luck, they will be willing to share cuttings or seeds with you.
Design the antique flower bed. Garden design is not difficult. Garden design inspiration can be found on the internet, at the library or by gazing out the window of the car as you tour the town. To create an easy garden teeming with heirloom flowers plan the bed in an informal square, rectangle or a sweeping border. A formal antique garden would be a graceful addition to any landscape. Keep in mind that the formal bed requires more effort to design and maintain.
Add antique garden elements. Seeing that the flower garden is centered on an antique theme, adding one or more period specific elements or simply an antique element will enhance the beauty of the garden.
Plant the antique flowers. Keep the taller flowers at the back of the bed. Arrange the flowers in waves of texture and color to appeal to the eye of the admirer. Take a gander at an antique quilt for color, texture and pattern inspiration.
Care for the flowers. Don't forget to water the flowers as the weather grows hot. Add a dash of the right fertilizer to bring out the best in those blooming beauties.
A small list of oldies but goodies
Centaurea cyanus Bachelor's button
Decentra spectabilis Bleeding heart
Primula vulgaris English primrose
Digitalis purpurea Foxglove
Phlox paniculata Garden phlox
Alcea rosea Hollyhock
Convallaria majalis Lily-of-the-valley
Opomoea purpurea Morning glory
Viola odorata Sweet violet
Places to enjoy from your laptop
http://deerproofheirloomflowers.com This is a website dedicated to the deer proof heirloom flowers of Appalachia as well as the women that tend the gardens.
http://davesgardencom/community/forums/ Here is a large listing of forums to choose from for advice, help and general information on growing your garden strong.
morguefiles.com Thank you kevinrosseel
My mother for sharing her photos
Wikipedia commons and their public domain photos