Top 10 Old Fashioned Flowers for Your Garden
Looking for old fashioned flowers like your grandmother used to grow? Try these lovely old standards!
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These blooming beauties have stood the test of time for generations of gardeners. It’s no wonder they made the list of must-have favorite old fashioned flowers to grow in our gardens.
Digitalis, Zones 3 to 10
A proﬁcient self-sower, foxglove is a biennial or short-lived perennial that generally doesn’t ﬂower until the season after it’s planted. Leave the spent ﬂower spires in place (skip deadheading!), and you’ll be treated to a new crop of foxgloves each spring. The colorful group of Excelsior hybrids is fantastic for cutting.
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Shutterstock / EQRoy
Centaurea cyanus, annual
Also known as the cornﬂower, this old fashioned charmer is long lasting when cut and holds its color when dried. Growing best in full sun, bachelor’s button comes in several colors, including blue, pink, red, white and purple. Though considered an annual, it’s a successful self-seeder, so make room for volunteers each summer.
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Campanula spp., Zones 3 to 9
These dainty old fashioned flowers, available in annual, perennial and biennial cultivars, enjoy moist soil and thrive in full sun to partial shade. In late spring and early summer, it unveils bell-shaped ﬂowers in colors ranging from blue to purple to white. Some varieties, like the Serbian bellﬂower, have long-lasting blooms and evergreen foliage in Zones 8 and 9.
Design a gorgeous garden with colorful flowers.
Walters Gardens, Inc
Dicentra spectabilis, Zones 3 to 9
Long-lasting blossoms open in late spring, covering this shade-tolerant plant with gorgeous ﬂoral pendants in shades of rose pink and creamy white. Bleeding heart goes dormant by midsummer, so it’s best planted at the back of a border, where later-blooming ﬂowers can camouﬂage the unattractive dying foliage.
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Courtesy Deborah Bryk
Aquilegia, Zones 3 to 9
One of the easiest wildﬂowers to cultivate, columbine sports distinctively shaped old fashioned ﬂowers that hummingbirds can’t resist. Growing 8 inches to 3 feet high, the plants blossom in many shades of red, yellow, blue, purple and white.
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Ball Horticultural Company
Dianthus, Zones 3 to 10
One of the world’s oldest cultivated ﬂowers, dianthus is prized for its rufﬂed petals, pleasant scent and generous spring and summer blooming period. Ranging from just 4 inches to 36 inches high, dianthus grows well in full sun.
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Primula vulgaris, Zones 4 to 8
In spring, tight clusters of colorful, often fragrant blossoms appear on compact bright-green plants that grow only about 8 inches high. Though this pretty primrose does best in partial shade, it can tolerate full sun if the surrounding soil remains moist.
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Courtesy Candice Lenney
Alcea rosea, Zones 3 to 9
These old-time favorites unfurl richly colored single or double ﬂowers on lanky stems that can reach 8 feet in height. Keep in mind that hollyhock is a biennial, which means it grows foliage on short stems its ﬁrst year but doesn’t ﬂower until the following year. Be sure to plan accordingly.
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Courtesy Marie Rook
Paeonia, Zones 3 to 9
Gardeners can choose from hundreds of peony hybrids in a wide range of sizes and colors. The herbaceous peony dies back to the ground in fall, then re-emerges in spring. It beneﬁts from stakes or rings to keep it from ﬂopping over under the weight of its showy, delightfully fragrant old fashioned flowers.
Courtesy Sherry Cole
Lathyrus odoratus, annual
Fragrant sweet pea is easy to grow and provides old fashioned ﬂowers for cutting all season long. Like edible peas in the vegetable garden, sweet pea prefers the cooler weather of spring and early summer, gradually declining in the intense heat of July and August. However, a few cultivars, including the Royal and Old Spice mixes, are exceptionally heat-tolerant.
Next, check out more easy perennials that anyone can grow.