Picture Snob

November 16, 2010

A Quick Tip from "The Weekend Gardener"

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If you really dread digging up your tender summer bulbs to store them during the winter, you might try this tip from the "Weekend Gardener";

Many of us love our tender summer bulbs such as dahlia, gladiola, and lilies, but let's be honest, we don't like the bother of digging, packing, and storing them indoors through the winter.

Worry no more.....

Here's the easy way:

Carefully dig up your summer bulbs in the fall before the freezing weather comes.

After digging up the bulbs, spread them on the ground to dry in the shade or, if it's going to rain, spread them indoors in the garage.

Allow them to dry for about one week.

Leave any soil on bulbs - that way you don't have to bother about storing them in vermiculite.

When the bulbs are completely dry, place the bulbs in plastic garbage bags, and leave the bags open.

Now how easy is that?

At Weekend Gardener

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October 19, 2010

Plant bulbs in fall for blooms in spring

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Now is the time in most of the country when you can plant 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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September 30, 2010

Plant bulbs in fall for blooms in spring

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Now is the time in most of the country when you can plant 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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August 27, 2010

August chores keep gardeners busy

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Hopefully, you are enjoying the well deserved bounty your labors have created. It's always important to take time to sit and stare at the flowers, the fruiting plants, and the lush greenery in your yard and garden.

But there are never ending tasks to take care of this month. To keep the harvest growing you can plant a row of peas and lettuce for fall harvesting. Many of the herbs, like basil, are going to seed, so it's a good idea to harvest some and dry them, and others can be dug, potted so they can be brought indoors for the cold season. I have moved a dry seeded stalk of cilantro to a bare place in the garden where I want a new crop of cilantro and used another stalk to harvest and save the coriander.

You can check out the rows of mulch and see if they need more to preserve the moisture and add manure to any plant that looks like it's too yellow. Needless to say, dead heading is a constant job. I do it almost automatically and my granddaugther learned the task too well as you have to stop her from picking the flowers off before they are spent. Don't forget to start thumbing through the fall catalogues where you can order your garlic and flower bulbs for fall planting.

Its' a great season for the garden. Enjoy!

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April 19, 2010

Wildflower Seeds to make color for that bare spot in the yard or garden

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EdenBrothers' has a great selection of wildflower seeds and you can take you pick of full sun or partial shade, perennial or annual, and also choose the proper region for best results. They also have mixes selected for color so there are mixes of red, blue, pink, and lavendar and they guarantee that their seed has no filler, is all completely wildflower seeds. There are low grow and tall flower selections and deer resistant, and dry tolerant varieties.

For example, the Pacific Northwest package which I would be interested in costs $24.99 for a pound which would cover 2000 sq ft. They list every seed included and say whether it is an annual or perennial. I'm still working on the bare places around new construction and I think this is at least a partial answer for me. Eden Brothers also has a complete line of bulbs to choose from.

At Eden Brothers

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April 8, 2010

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.
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They have a eclectic selection of trees, carrying the Dawn Redwood and Gingo. There are several Japanese Tree peonies including this lovely Shimi-Nishiki.
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"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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March 26, 2010

Ranunculus are an easy way to grow lovely perennials

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On impluse, I bought Rununculus in a package of eight and planted them today. These bulbs can be planted now and their blooms in the summer will go all season long. Ranunculus have ncredible colors, straight stems, long vase life and bright blooms. All they need in return is sunshine and very light watering. No meticulous care is needed.

You don't want to plant them too late in the season, but right now in California is a good time, before it gets too hot. You want to plant them in well drained soild. Peat moss, compost or composted maure can improve the soil and the drainage. You're going to need to plant them in full sun.

The bulbs should be planted 2" deep and 6" apart. The bulbs have a strange shape. There are a bunch of prongs or rootlike protrusions that should be planted down.

Rununculus make great cut flowers and this will not hurt the plants. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight and provide nourishment for next year. Water as needed during active growth periods. Ranunculus actually prefer not to be watered while dormant.

At the end of the summer the leaves will yellow and die back as the plant slips into dormancy. Foliage many be removed at this point. Your ranunculus will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle. I don't think you will be disappointed.

At Rainbow Ranunculus - 10 Bulbs - Size 7+cm

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March 24, 2010

Breck's pride itself on it's expertise in bulbs

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Surprisingly Breck's is in Indiana, but they say they have buyers in the Netherlands 187 Years of Experience Assures Superior Bulbs for Your Garden
They say, "No organization has more knowledge about which bulbs grow and bloom best in all sections of the U.S. than Breck's. We take advance reservations, and then just as soon as the crops are harvested, our staff of Dutch Bulb Experts makes an on-the-spot selection of the finest bulbs available to fill those reservations.
Breck's full-time staff of bulb experts spends the entire year in Holland devoting themselves to obtaining cream-of-the-crop bulbs for shipment to our customers in America. Our experts all come from Dutch families who have been growing and marketing bulbs for several generations. They know how to pick the very best.

Ordering from Breck's is like having your own personal buyer right in Holland."

Sound good? I'm wishing I had the job in the Netherlands. Sounds like fun. Right now they are shipping the spring perennials, all the well known ones such as Iris, Lilies, Dahlias and Gladiaoli as well as the lesser known. The lesser known shade plants include Old fashioned Bleeding Heart for $14.99. The sun plants have peonies and bea balm.

They have spring shipped collections from $30 to $60 with your pick of Dahlias, Lilies, and Phlox among others. The great thing about Breck's is that there are very few customer complaints. The orders arrive on time; they are in good shape and exactly what was ordered. Right now there is a sale coupon for $25 off your order

At Breck's

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February 11, 2010

Stargazer Lily Collection blooms and is fragrant all summer

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Day lilies, as opposed to dahlias, are easy to grow and are hardy over most of the US, from zones 3-11. This jumbo pack has 12 lilies of three different varieties in pink and white. They grow quite tall so plant them in against the fence or in the back of the border as they get as tall as 24" to 40". They are perennials and can also be grown in containers and make great cut flowers. Plant them 4" to 6" and space them a foot apart, sprinkle fertilizer and you're good to go. Only $23 from Holland Bulb Farms.

At Holland Bulb Farm

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February 10, 2010

Okay, I'm really going to do it with Dahlias---maybe!

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So I bought the impulse buy at Costco and now have read up on how to grow dahlias and realize I have bought myself some work. First of all, they can't be planted until danger of frost is over. That's no problem. The problem is that they need sandy well drained soil and I have heavy not well drained clay. So I can add some sand to the hole and compost and mix it up for them. The next problem is the ph which they like to be 6.2 to 6.7 so maybe some peat moss will help also.

The worst problem is that they are hardy in zones 7-11 so that in most of the country they have to be cut back in the fall and then dug carefully with a pitchfork, washed off, dried and stored and replanted in the spring. This is more trouble than I usually take on. I might not do this as I am zone 7, kind of marginal since it is in the mountains and the winter weather is very variable. But I'll worry about that in the fall.

Right now all I want to think about is the glorious colors I can have this summer. In case you missed the costco sale:

At 5 Powder-Puff Dahlias Mixed Colors

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