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Party Hardy Annuals- The Lace Flower Saga

The lace flower family can be a somewhat confusing web if you aren’t versed in floristry. The classic beauty known as lace flower can reference a whole family of delicate doilies. Let’s peek in on a little family reunion, shall we?

First up we have the bouncing bounding wild child everyone calls Queen Anne’s Lace. The original of the lot, Daucus Carota can easily get all over the place if you don’t keep a keen eye on her. Some call her a wildflower, going so far as to say she is invasive. I, however, have fond memories of finding her in prairies, sprawled out and catching some rays. She is easily recognizable with the single dark purple flower she clings closely to her heart.

Next are the Ammi twins. Ammi Visnaga and Ammi Majus may seem identical to the untrained eye. But those who know them well can

tell the difference by spotting Visnaga’s very round head as compared to Majus’ rather flat face. These two are much better behaved than their wild carrot of a cousin. They will stay where planted but still manage to produce enough commotion between the two of them.

The lace flower that catches your eye in the crowded room is the one and only Orlaya. Don’t let her dainty frame befuddle you, as she is good and hardy all the way to zone 6. With delicate skirts and pristine white gloves, she is the most cultivated of the bunch. A bit snooty and self-obsessed, Orlaya spends all day in the sunny window thinking romantic thoughts and looking forlornly off into the distance.

Finally, worth mentioning is the lace flower that has made everyone ask, now who is THAT sprite-ly young fellow?! A close relative to the wild child, yet no one really quite knows how, Dara Daucus Carota is wowing everyone. Starting off as a regular lace flower, as time goes on his cheeks will flush a rosy pink or get so dark as turn a merlot color depending on the antics he is surrounded by. Dara is familiar with phrases like “the scene” and “what’s hip” and may occasionally be seen fraternizing with high profile Dahlias and Peonies.

Although a complicated lot, the lace flower family is extremely easy to grow. They need light to germinate. So, they can be thrown about the garden with vigor after a night on the town. If you haven’t sown seeds after a night on the town, are you really living your best life? Some have complained that their lace flowers get weepy and wilted in a vase. I find that if you don’t get too chivalrous with the stems (keep it at 12-18”) and put them in a sunny spot, then they’ll be beaming with thanks. These delicate looking beauties provide an airy element to bouquets. They break up compacted clusters and add depth to flat foliage. Lace flowers bring elegance to the garden and are a consistent source of cut flowers all summer long.

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