June Blooms: Picking the Best Flowers at a Farmers Market
Summertime is upon us, and that means farmers markets. When you're looking for quality produce and local meats, farmers markets are the go-to place to get the freshest food available in your community. Often overlooked, though, are the beautiful flowers that farmers and gardeners grow and sell at these lovely outdoor venues. There are two big advantages to purchasing flowers at your neighborhood farmers market. First off, flowers being sold by nearby vendors are likely native to the region. Secondly, farmers market flowers are always in season. June is a great time to purchase flowers both for gardening and displaying. The month not only welcomes in summer, but also is when many flowers are in bloom.
Here are seven flowers to look for at the farmers market in June:
1. Calla Lilies: These bell-shaped flowers are remarkably hardy and elegant. Calla lilies have a distinct appearance, making them a great flower to use when decorating the table for a hearty summer feast.
2. Cornflowers: These plants are strong annuals named for their once prominent growth throughout corn fields. Now found rarely in the wild, their flowers bloom in a gorgeous azure to violet color (cornflower blue) that will brighten up any home garden or living room windowsill.
3. Coxcombs: With a vase life of up to two weeks, the coxcomb is a great farmers market purchase that will stay fresh as a centerpiece on your kitchen table.
4. Irises: Named after the Greek goddess, these perennial flowers come in a lot of colors and are easy to garden. Irises bloom in early summer, making them a perfect buy near the end of June.
5. Peonies: Though peonies technically bloom in spring, they flourish throughout the entire summer. Peonies are perennial plants with a long life span – they can live in gardens for as long as a century.
6. Roses: These romantic flowers are in bloom nearly year round. (Except for winter of course!) Roses come in various colors and require a lot of sun. If you plant them in a garden, remember not to trim them back during the summer, as the heat may be too much for them to take. If you want to get creative, you can use rose hips as an ingredient in homemade jam or tea.
7. Zinnias: Buy these flowers for a tremendous burst of color. Zinnias come in a wide spectrum of colors and bloom largely in the summertime.