Picture Snob


September 16, 2011

Fall bulbs will bring color and life to the spring garden


Fall is the time to plant the spring flowering bulbs. This includes tulip, hyacinth, daffodil, crocus and iris which will make a profusion of color in the spring. You can group bulbs throughout the landscape and they will accent and highlight the garden. When used in naturalized settings of tall evergreens or among trees and broadleaf evergreens, they are particularly effective. .

At Spring flowering bulbs

Because they come in a variety of growing heights and a wide range of colors, their uses are as varied as their colors. Several types of varied heights and colors will create an array of beauty . You can also use bulbs in plantings of moss, ivy, vinca and low growing ground covers.

Bulbs can be effectively used in containers. They can provide spot color on the patio, in the entry area, near the driveway or in the home. Most varieties do equally well in the ground or in containers.

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September 8, 2011

Beautiful and exotic--a Parrot tulip!


Now that I'm thinking about fall bulb planting and this gorgeous tulip seems like a great addition to the red and yellow colors that are common in the tulip world. It has a large bulb and a mature tulip will be quite tall, as much as fourteen inches. You want to plant these beauties where viewers can take in the vivid variety of colors. The fringed petals are orange with streaks of blue, green, yellow & red.

The Blumex tulip flowers in April and May and the price on these 10 bulbs makes it a bargain.
At Blumex Parrot Tulip

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September 7, 2011

Wildflower Tulips??!! A Wild Spring Show!

These are little bulbs that have brilliant colors. These wildflower tuliips are the size of large crocus. They make a great ground-cover, and if you plant them in your wildflower garden, you'll have color a month before you see any other wildflower blooms!

They're also great under shrubs, along walks. Plant them once, and they're there ever spring. If you plant 7-9 bulbs per sq. ft. to make a splash in your garden the first year. These are tiny bulbs but they need to be planted deeply (4") to encourage best flowering as they spread. These tulips are perennials, they come back each spring to form larger and more colorful colonies with each passing year.

At Wildflower Mix Tulip

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September 1, 2011

Asiatic Lilies for fall planting

Asiatic Lilies are an easy-to-grow colorful addition to any garden. They come in almost every color of the rainbow and bloom June to July. You can plant these bulbs in the fall and you should have flowers year after year. Some mulch in the winter will help the bulbs in sub zero temperatures. They're very hardy, need no staking, and are not particularly fussy about soil, as long as it drains well.

At Asiatic Lily Mix

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August 31, 2011

Plant bulbs in fall for blooms in spring


Now is the time in most of the country when you can start looking for bulbs that will bloom in the spring. The selections are amazing and almost every nursery has collections of mixed bulbs which include tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, and crocus as well as less familar species. I succombed to the impulse buy at Costco and got their 50 bulb mix of yellow and red rannumculus, forgetting temporarily(until I got home) that the ranunculus I planted last fall did not do well. In fact, I have not seen one, not one, ranunculus open it's flower. If the plants sent up leaves, the deer must have cropped them off as soon as they broke ground. Nonetheless, I am planting them again and hope to put some in around the new house to brighten up the heavy clay that the construction has left.

This fall bulb selection looks really interesting. It is a bulb collection of wildflowers. The picture shows tulips, daffidols and crocus.There is no information of the species but since the flowers are supposed to naturalize and spread, I'm thinking it's worth a try.

At Wild Flower Bulb Garden

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June 10, 2011

Try a Trillium for a shady spot in the garden


Trillium are really lovely flowers that blooms in early spring and comes in a variety of colors, red, white and yellow. The trillium grows wild in my area sometimes capeting a large area of moist shady woodland, so it's easy to see what kind of conditions support it's growth. The blooms have three large showy petals which are quite striking in the forest. It is an understory plant which could be grown in the shade of other taller flowers.

It is an interesting plant because the seeds are spread mostly by ants. It should be noted that deer love Trillium and will eat it to the exclusion of other choices. It is considered endangered in some areas. Picking the flowers is very damaging because it keeps the plant from producing the food necessary for new growth and so weakens it, so it cannot be used as a cut flower.

At Yellow Trillium

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June 3, 2011

Irises make a perfect addition to a perinneal flower garden


Irises have a fan-like foliage and spectacular flowers. Better yet, they are easy to grow. They are versatile, carefree plants that bloom dependably and multiply annually without much help. The blossoms are large and have a huge array of colors.

There are lots of varieties, including bearded iris, reblooming iris, Siberian iris, They do well in borders or in their own groupings.. Their soil needs are flexible so you can plant them nearly anywhere in your garden. They thrive in partial shade and can even tolerate full sun, giving you lots of landscape design options.

Because of their blooming height, and the "church and spire" effect of foliage and stalk, irises work best in the bed or border where clumps are rather widely separated and placed toward the back of the planting. They can be planted as accent clumps singly, or if space permits, in drifts. Like most flower gardens, it's best never to plant irises in a single line with no backing or companion growth.

At Three Seasons of Iris

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June 2, 2011

Gladiolus are easy to grow and beautiful


Gladiolus is a perennial flowering plants grown from bulbs and is in the iris family. It is sometimes called the sword lily because gladius means sword in Latin. There are about 250 species of this plant, discovered in South Africa. In my childhood, for some reason they were unfortunately associated with funerals and so I never appreciated how beautiful and what varieties are available.

Gladioli have been extensively hybridized and a wide range of ornamental flower colours are available from the many varieties. They make very good cut flowers. They are tall flowers and the cultivated forms frequently tend to fall over in the wind if left on the plant. So this variety from Hirt's is shorter and more study.

Hirt's is proud to introduce a new type of glad that blooms earlier, more profusely, and over a longer period than ordinary glads...yet needs no staking! Discovered and developed very recently in Holland, Glaminis are a new form of gladiolus that grows just 20" tall. Each top quality bulb will produce up to 20 richly coloured, full-size blooms, with flowering lasting up to 19 days! Plant them in borders, pots and even window boxes. Glaminis are also fabulous in a vase!

These gladioli offer an enormous color range, including the most delicate pastels, bold hues and almost unimaginable bi-colors. Their sword-like foliage and tall impressive flower spikes, make striking accents in the mixed flower border. For best garden effect, plant in groups of six or more of a single color. Or grow dozens of them in a bed reserved for cutting.

To enjoy blooms for many weeks through July and August, plant corms at two week intervals from early spring until the end of June. Glads are easy to grow, requiring only full sun and good drainage. Hardy in zones 8-10; elsewhere treat as an annual, or dig them in the fall and store over winter.

At Mixed Glamini Gladiolus

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April 19, 2011

Spring Hill Nursery has unique plants and gives a lifetime guarantee

SpringHill Nursery was founded in 1849 in a small Ohio town. In the 1930's they started becoming a mail order business. I like their unique selection of plants which are useful for the homeowner with a lawn and garden to cultivate. For example, their ground covers include many flowering plants like phlox and thyme as well as Snow on the Mountain which hides problem areas quickly.

They have a eclectic selection of trees, carrying the Dawn Redwood and Gingo. There are several Japanese Tree peonies including this lovely Shimi-Nishiki.

"It is imported directly from Japan by Spring Hill! Shima-Nishiki is Japanese for 'fire flame'. And this uniquely colored tree peony certainly lives up to its name. Large, semi-double white blooms with fiery red streaks measure 7-9" across! Very longlived, it will bloom for a lifetime! Flowers arrive in April to May. Mature tree grows 48-60" tall with a 3' spread."

I particularly like their Pre-planned garden offerings. You can select for many different areas and blooming seasons. If you need some color in a shady spot or you'd really want a lovely three-season garden, they have a design for each . If you want flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your property, or a perennial garden, they have each. They include easy-to-follow instructions and diagrams make to help make your planting a success.

And there is a No Risk Guarantee. They say all of their plants will be true to name and to reach you in perfect and healthy condition."If, for any reason, you aren't pleased with any plant upon receipt, after planting or once it grows, just contact Spring Hill anytime--no time limit--for as long as you garden. No need to return any plant. We will refund every cent you paid for that plant or send a replacement without charge--whichever you prefer."

Sounds like a deal to me. And the selection is unique and well planned for variety and the home owner who wants to make their yard and flower garden lovely.

At Spring Hill Nursery

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April 7, 2011

Spring is a good time to plant summer bulbs


I'm going to the nursury tomorrow and I have a long list. I'm getting more grass and wildflower seed and some time release fertilizer for the bare patches around the new house. I'm also getting six packs of broccoli, kale and maybe lettuce. And I'll check out what's on sale or looking especially tempting.

Mainly, I think April is the month for planting summer flowering bulbs like dahlias, gladiolas and lilies. I want to put them with the other perinneals I'm transplanting and also space them around the house. I'll get some organic bulb fertilizer and manure and maybe a little peat moss to make a nice bed for them. However, while I was surfing around, I found a sale of summer bulbs online. You might check it out. They have a gladious rainbow mix for $25 for fifty bulbs.

At Summer Bulbs

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April 6, 2011

Transplanting the perennials

With the warm weather the garden activity has begun and although the garden itself is too wet to till, I can dig holes, fill them with compost and plant some of the cool weather vegetables I love. Kale, broccoli, lettuce all go in nicely and thrive in the wet and cool weather. But today I decided to transplat some of the perennial flowers that are being neglected on the fringes of the yard into the area around the new house.


It looks pretty barren even after the planting. This hill was scraped clean of all topsoil and although I planted grass and wildflowers there last year, nothing grew. Nothing. So I have the idea of using the ground here as if it were a flower pot and dig a hole, fill it with good soil and put in a plant. With lots of care and some feeding of compost, I think I can get flowers to grow and since i plan a patio area, it will be a great place to sit and enjoy the color and the fragrance.

I planted Dutch Iris, regular iris, some Lamb's quarters, bergamot and a Dusty Miller. This fall I'll put in some spring flowering bulbs between these plants and keep the compost feedings and my finger's crossed.

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January 6, 2011

Narcissus Ziva Paperwhites planted now, bring spring blossoms or they can be forced indoors


If the ground thaws and you can get outside to plant, these narcissus will make you smile in the spring. Sometimes it's hard to get motivated in the winter when it's really cold out, but a little effort is worth the while. Don't forget you can also force the bulbs indoors. And these have a lovely fragrance that will fill the house.

The steps for forcing narcissus are very easy:

Get a shallow pan. One good size is 12 inches wide and 1 to 2 inches deep, but almost any size will do. Then fill the dish with small pebbles or gravel and cover the stones with water. You then put the bulbs in the pan, the pointed side up, and be sure the bottom of the bulbs is sitting right on the pebbles. Put the dish in a warm, well-lighted indoor location, such as a sunny window. Keep the stones constantly wet. Paper-whites will usually bloom in about six weeks. After blooming, if the soil is not frozen, plant the bulbs outdoors and keep them moist.

At Narcissus Ziva Paperwhites, 10 bulbs - 17+cm

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December 16, 2010

Papillio Amaryllis makes a unique gift for the holidays


Amaryllis grows well indoors in the winter and you can buy a kit provides everything needed to produce huge, brilliant colored flowers to brighten your or a friend's home. The flowers can be 8" across and there is choice of red, white, or appleblossom. You can get successive year's blooms. I've grown these many times and never been disappointed. They make a great gift and are lovely at Christmas.

This particular amaryllis is really spectacular. Papillio, French for "butterfly", produces flowers that actually appear capable of fluttering away. The most famous of the exotic amaryllis, Papillio makes an amazing houseplant, growing larger as the seasons pass with the addition of smaller side bulbs. Snowy petals with maroon brushings and stripes, tinged with lime green. Flowers are 6" across and numerous.

Mature bulbs for the true Papillio amaryllis tend to be smaller than other amaryllis. This size is big enough to deliver the gorgeous burgundy striped blooms Papillio is justly famous for. The plant will have probably 1 or 2 flower stalks, rather than more. Many of this year's Papillio bulbs have a "baby" stuck to the side of the mother bulb, a jump start on the multi-bulb clump this amaryllis can develop into over time. So this particular bulb has the potential to be a year round pleasure surviving for many years.

At Amaryllis Papillio Butterfly - 20/22cm Bulb (True Papillio)

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November 29, 2010

Digging up bulbs for replanting this fall


The main rule of thumb is to leave the bulbs alone for as long as the foliage is still green. The color means that photosynthesis is still going on and the food manufactured will be stored in the bulbs for next spring's blooming. Once the foliage turns yellow, the plant can no longer produce food for itself. That's when you can begin digging up the bulbs.

Here in Boston where I am visiting my grandchildren, the grape hyacynth have spread over the whole bulb area and are still green, so I am ignoring the rule listed above and digging them up anyway. Hopefully they are so vigorous and adaptable that some will make it through this rough treatment. There are currently hundreds of them.

What I really wanted to get at were the daffodils, which are the most easygoing of all spring flowering bulbs and the tulips which my daughter says have mulitiplied and need separating. It's always such a hard job since all the foliage of these plants have disappeared and I will inevitably slice through some of the bulbs.

Once the bulbs are dug, I will spread the bulbs out and try to separate them. Most of the ones I dug were already sprouting, so I am not waiting to dry them, but getting them back in the ground quickly. That's where I'm relying on the easygoing nature of daffodils.

Daffodil bulbs can be planted in well-drained spots immediately after drying or stored in dry locations until planting in mid-fall. However, it is important that daffodil bulbs be covered with 6 to 7 inches of soil. Since I have dug up the whole area quite deeply, planting will be easy and the soil is so dark and friable that I think it doesn't need additional fertilizer, but some bone meal couldn't hurt! This will be an opportunity to place phosphorus down deeply. Mix in two heaping tablespoons of bone meal per bulb location.

At TotalGreen 72415100 Daffodil Bulbs

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