Everyone has an assortment of tools and sundries that they keep in their glove box depending on what kind of car they drive and their daily activities. In addition to the commonly found glove box items, I carry something very specific: pruners. When I'm driving out on a country road, I am always prepared to harvest anything I see that might be aesthetically pleasing in a vase. Although blooming treasures occur all along my usual routes, I never poach 'Roadsidia' from anyone's private property. But along many a back-stretch of country road, there is a bounty of field flowers and roadside blooms ready to be picked. The following are five types that commonly grow along the roadside and make great cut flowers.
1. Baby’s Breath
‘Gypsophila’ is actually considered an invasive species because of its adaptability to dry areas and the difficulty involved with getting rid of it. Best known as the filler flower stuffed in every rose bouquet since 1950, it has, in recent years, gained popularity again for shabby chic weddings, flower crowns, and the oh-so-popular 'Farmhouse Chic' trend. This is a long-lasting cut flower that can also easily be dried.
2. Sweet Pea
‘Lathyrus Odoratus’ is also very popular as a wedding flower. This beautiful, little, creeping plant thrives in cooler temperatures, so you'll often find it sprawling in the shade under trees, along a fence, and in the company of other plant life. It is recognizable by the curly tendrils present on its stems. The flower colors come in white, pinks, purples, and even some cream varietals. Sweet Pea has a certain dainty charm about it and adds a nice romantic accent to any bouquet.
'Asceplias' is a surprisingly sturdy cut flower. If you've ever cut this herbaceous plant, you know why it is called Milkweed. When cut, the stem oozes a white liquid that looks like milk, but is much stickier. These flowers come in a vast array of colors ranging from warm tones of pinks and purples, and sometimes even white. These pretty flowers attract pollinators such as butterflies, which make them a beautiful addition to a patio table arrangement.
4. Bell Flower
‘Campanula’ is a very recognizable flower known for its bell-shaped blossom. These roadside flowers usually pop up in cool, moist areas and have been distributed by birds that move their seeds. Mostly considered an annual in regions with cold winters, these plants easily re-seed, producing crops year after year. Their longevity makes them a great cut flower inside and out.
5. Queen Anne’s Lace
The wild carrot may in fact be one of the most common roadside cut flowers. Able to grow in hot dry areas, these blooms can often be found in parking lots, alleys, and probably your own backyard. Their blossoms are popular for their lacy texture, which is used to soften floral designs. It has both a wildflower aesthetic as well as an elegant feel, which makes them a very popular pick for wedding bouquets. No doubt while looking through wedding floral photos on Pinterest, you'll come across these lacy beauties!
Armed with the knowledge of which 'Roadsidia' to pursue, and a fresh pair of pruners in your glove box, it's time to take to the open road for a sunny, summer drive and pick up a collection of beauty along the way. A few safety reminders… Be sure not to block traffic, don't steal from your neighbors, and don't leave a debris trail where you visit.
Have fun cutting!
Owner, Floral Underground