Colorful blooms can add interest to any garden and many of the most popular flowers make great cut flowers and can be used in arrangements. Most flowers can be used as summer annuals in any region, while they will survive as perennials in warmer climates. Showy flowers of all kinds require sun to thrive, and most require regular water, though roses can tolerate some drought-like conditions.
Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) make long-lasting cut flowers and are often used in bouquets and arrangements. There are two categories of carnations that may be planted--the tall, single-stemmed blooms that are available at a florists' shop, and a bushier, more compact version known as border carnations. Both have double blooms and are available in a variety of colors.
Both categories may be planted in any region as an annual, but will be perennial or biennial in mild-winter climates.
Many lilies (Lilium) produce large, star-shaped flowers, some with fragrance, on slender stems. These flowers add a shot of color to any garden, and many varieties make long-lasting cut flowers. Lilies, which grow from bulbs, are suitable for all climates. They perform best with some winter chill and, after planted, roots should be in the shade while the foliage and blooms thrive in sun to partial shade.
The Madonna Lily (L. candidum) has a particularly showy, fragrant, all-white bloom while the Tiger Lily (L. lancifolium) grows to 4 feet and has an orange bloom with black spots.
Roses (Rosa) are among the most widely planted flowers in the world, and are available in many varieties, sizes and colors. In particular, hybrid tea roses are the most popular class of rose and produce large, well-shaped blooms on a single stem. Hybrid tea roses can grow to 6 feet and are hardy in nearly every climate, though like all other roses, should be cut back to the ground and the roots protected during winter. Roots may be covered with a layer of pine needles, hay or leaves.
Roses thrive in full sun in most climates, but can tolerate part shade in hotter areas. Though roses can survive near-drought conditions for short periods, they perform best with regular water.