GARDENING ADVICE THAT WILL RESULT IN A CONTINUOUS BLOOMING OF FLOWERS FROM SPRING TO FALL
I spent a number of summers by trial and error to come up with the exact mix in gardening advice of bulbs,annuals and perennials to make a backyard garden last until frost time. Of course those of you in warmer climates need not worry about such things however some of the flowers discussed in this gardening advice would still be approriate for warmer areas of the country.I will point these out to you along the way.It takes a lot of time and money to come up with the flower gardening techinques that will make you the envy of your friends. I remember the year my youngest daughter got married and my wife and I had a little Sunday brunch and our guests had the opportunity to view our backyard gardening.It gave us a little pride and a sense of satisfaction as our guests toured our garden.We had everything from cosmos to sedum in some stage of growth.Here I will offer some FREE gardening advice that might save you time and money. Just remember that these are only suggestions and you may come up with better ideas contact me if you do.I would love to hear from you.Enough of this idle chatter let's get started and I hope I can provide some good gardening advice.
Grape Hyachinths make a wonderful Spring addition to your backyard garden.This deep blue flowering plant which appears like little grapes is in the bulb family. Good gardening advise would be to plant these bulbs in the fall and not as deep as say tulip bulbs only 4-6". If you are concerned with bulb eating critters then place some chicken wire over the bulbs as you go along or purchase one of those bulb cages available from some catalog sites. The Grape Hayacinths should have a good bulb fertilizer sprinkled on them before covering the bulbs And a good first watering would not hurt anything.This is good gardening advice. I generally disagree with some of the spacing requirements given in the planting instructions. I like the look of a field of Grape Hyacinths rather than a plant every three or four inches. In fact you can plant them in a tight circle giving you the appearance of a large bush. These I would plant in front of a bouquet of regular Hyacinths it produces a great affect for no more effort.This I feel makes for effective gardening advice. ZONES 3-9 Sunny to Sun and Shade 6 inches high April to May
GARDENING ADVICE FOR HYACINTHS
These beautiful Hyacinths will be the pride of your early to mid Spring garden and with their fragrant smell will be a delight to your senses. The GIANT Variety are far superior to other types that are available. They can be purchased in a number of very bright colors. Good gardening advice would be to select 4-5 colors and plant them so as to simulate a bouquet of flowers. The giant hyacinths will look great planted about 12 inches behind the Grape Hyacinths in bouquets of 5 to 6 bulbs planted in a circle 3-4 inches apart and about 8 inches deep.They are excellent for cutting so you can enjoy Spring indoors. My preference is to leave everything in the garden for a full garden appearance.They return annually for renewed beauty and increasing in thickness. You should have a good bulb fertilizer and a first watering lightly before you bury the bulbs will not hurt.In zones 9-10 a bit of gardening advice you will need to perform bulb forcing to have these beauties. I will discuss bulb forcing later in another area of Gardeners Gardening.
ZONES 4-8 SUNNY TO SUN AND SHADE 8-10 INCH STEMS APRIL TO MAY
The spectacular Crown Imperials are a gorgeous group of plants. They grow two feet tall with fascinating emerald crowns and simulated bell flowers growing in a circle. The bulbs have a very MUSKY scent and as a result repel underground critters such as mice,moles,and other rodents. The plants also have minimal damage from deer.They are a very large bulb and should be planted at least 12 inches apart. A statement should be made with these flowers by planting them in a highly visible part of your backyard gardening. Crown Imperials are very easy care if you take a some gardening advice precautions. The directions say plant in full sun or partial shade and I have found blooming to be more difficult in part shaded areas. They should be mulched well in colder climates. The bulbs should be planted at least 8-10 inches deep for best protection. If you encounter a wet and windy Spring you may need to stake the stems because they are extremely heavy and have a tendency to lean.The Crown Imperials can be purchased in either red or yellow. I would prefer to mix and match for color and contrast a great backyard gardening plant. The horticultral name for these plants is Fritillaria imperialis.
ZONES 4-9 SUNNY WELL DRAINED SOIL 24-28 INCH STEMS BLOOMS MID SPRING.
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Here truly is a lily that has survived the test of years known as the Turk's Cap Lily. It is the unique recurved petals that resulted in this unusual name.They are extremely easy to grow and will increase in beauty over the years. It is best to plant in Fall for June to August blooming. The first year of growth will be a little slow in coming but in the following years all you can say is WOW. The ideal situation and good gardening advice is to plant them in small border groups or scatter around for a less formal look but since I am an advocate of grouping I prefer the border groups. They can be purchased in four colors orange,purple,red and yellow. A mixed grouping would be best. They need to be planted in a well drained soil and full to partial sun. A word of caution here for any bulb flower gardening do not cut the foliage after blooming let the foliage die back on its own. This will insure a strong viable growth for the next season.
ZONES 3-8 SUNNY TO PARTIAL SUN 24-72 INCH STEMS JUNE-AUGUST
Now let's change to a non bulb plant. The name of this plant is Hibiscus "Blue Bird"and since I have never seen it anywhere but Wayside gardens catalog I guess I will have to give them a free plug. "It combines the ease of its shrub cousin with vertical impact of a flowering tree" so stated in the catalog and it is grafted on to a four foot stem now let me tell you my story with this magnificent tree. It arrived in early Spring in a 3 gallon container and I planted it the width and depth of the container leaving a little more width then the container.I water it in heavily before tamping it down and watering it some more along with a slow release fertilizer. This would be good gardening advice The first season the hibiscus flowers were scattered but with beautiful 3-inch blooms and it produce blooms the entire blooming season. The second season was a brillant display of many many blooms over the entire season. I can not say enough about this plant. You will need to water during dry spells and fertilize at least once a season. A word of caution the blossoms are susceptable to Japanese Beetles so you will need to check and control these nasty insects.A little qardening advice includes a good mulch for the winter that will help protect the plant from cold tempartures in colder regions.
ZONES 5-9 ALL SUMMER BLOOMING IN SUN HEIGHT 7 FEET AND 7 FOOT WIDE
This great perennial blooms longer than any other in fact right through frost time in colder climates.The flower bears a resemblance to an indian blanket. Its common name in fact is Blanket Flower.These plants are dwarf in size with bright yellow and reddish flowers 3 inches in size and a height of 12 inches.The blanket flower is very easy to grow with little or no insect attack and does well even in dry spells.The plants should be available at your local nursey. Just dig a hole to cover the root ball and water them in and you have a perennial for life.This is the type of plant that makes backyard gardening fun.A little more gardening advice would be to plant more than one plant along a garden path.
ZONES 3-9 12 INCHES IN HEIGHT
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This is one of my favorite summer bloomers. Cannas involve a little more work especially above Zone 7 since they require digging up and storing. There are a number of varieties of Cannas including orange flowers with bold foliage brightly striped in yellow and green,a yellow flowering Canna with green foliage and a red flowering Canna with deep burgundy black foliage. This one is my favorite for several reasons. It is less attractive to Japanese Beetles but you still have to check for them and it is just a stunning plant.If you plant a grouping of 6-8 plants trust me you will have 12 plants the following season by breaking off the new tubular bulb growth. This will be easily recognized by small shoots that sprout up next to the mature plant. These bloom from early summer until frost in full sun and moist soil. They do require daily watering in hot dry weather is very good gardening advice.
GARDENING ADVICE FOR CANNAS ABOVE ZONE 7
Above Zone 7 you must dig the plants up and store for the season.After the first frost dig up carefully and be careful not to damage the tubular bulbs. The best way is to pull them out prior to cutting the foliage off in this way little damage will result.A little gardening advise, if the bulb has become huge and has little plants attached you can either seperate with a garden sissors or break with your hands it will not hurt the bulb.I have found putting them in peat moss after they have dryed out to be the most effective. The separation by layers using newspaper works the best because when you have a lot of bulbs they should not touch each other in the box. It depends on the size of the bulb and the size of the box how many you get in a layer.
GARDENING ADVICE TO ASSURE EARLY BULB FLOWERING
A little gardening advice, if you do not start the bulbs inside especially zone 5 and above you stand the risk of no flowering until late August or September because these plants grow very slowly in the beginning. You will need some 4"x 4" starting system boxes with bottom watering and each box has room for six plants and these you can purchase from Gardener's Supply Company WWW.gardeners.com You will need to purchase a good potting soil and fill each box with about 1/3 soil and place tubular in the box and fill to the top. If there are already shoots coming out of the bulb you can leave those exposed.The plants need constant moisture and plenty of light either from grow lights or a place that receives great deal of sun and or light each day. If the bulbs become too huge you will have to resort to flower boxes to hold the plants.You can plant as many as 6 or 7 in a 36" box because you will be transplanting them after the first frost. The plants at that time should be 2 feet tall. It sounds like a pain but trust me it is well worth it. This assures you that blooms will be there by July.
ZONES 7-11 NORTH OF ZONE 7 DIG UP AFTER FIRST FROST HEIGHT 4-5 FEET WIDTH 12-18
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This is a great flower for containers or the garden. I would prefer to put them in the garden since Stella comes back year after year. They are usually bought as small plants and can be planted in the Spring. Stella provides continuous blooms from Spring to Fall once established.An excellent plant for the border with 2-3 inch bright golden yellow flowers. Good gardening advice please refrain from cutting back until after the first frost in colder climates.A very easy care plant with little or no insect invasion but may need water during dry spell. They grow in almost any soil type.
ZONES 3-9 FULL SUN
I will have to give credit where credit is due these magnificent 3 inch flowers are an exclusive with Burpee flowers These are truly ice cream white and come in a seed packet of 50 seeds. You have two methods of propagation either by starting early indoors or planting seeds after all danger of frost has past. If you have the space and lighting I prefer to start them inside about eight weeks before the last frost. You can use any kind of seed planting box for this method. I like the ones with the curved dome and bottom watering. A good potting soil mixed with a grandular charcoal to absorb too much wetness. The charcoal can be found at most nursey and garden shops. They need about eleven hours of light per day with grow lights and a timer.The plants should be moved outside about 6-8 days prior to planting for hardening. If you cannot do this then plant the seeds in the spot you desire about a quarter of inch under the ground.Marigolds require full sun but not rich soil and never overwater. Good drainage is the key here. It is thebest gardening advice on marigolds for both beginner and pro.
SPACING VARIES BUT WITH THIS TYPE REACHING 24 INCHES SHOULD BE UP TO 18 INCHES
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The Astible is a wonderful and beautiful shade lover but not so fast I have trained them to endure partial sun during the day just make sure you provide enough water and moist soil. These are tough plants and have long colorful spikes at a time if you plant them in the shade that blooming in a shade garden is at its lowest.They can be used in woodland setting planting them in groups or they can be used as a ground cover. The Astible is a tough pest free plant with outstanding color seen in red,white and pink. Plant them as you would any other bareroot plant making sure you dig deep enough to accommodate the entire root.A little gardening advice fertilize before burying the root with a slow release fertilizer and provide a puddle of water in the hole as well as in the watering in process. I do not recommend the partial sun experiment below zone 6. Let me know if you try it below zone 6 as to the end result.
Zones 4-8 June-July height=30 inches and spread to 12 Inches
Flower gardening would not be the same without the coneflower or Echinacea a difficult plant to pronounce(ek-in-ay'see-uh) I guess that is why it is called coneflower. I can not imagine any garden without this long blooming and prolific flowering plant. I have pictured here one of the new hybrid coneflowers referred to as pink double or "Razzmatazz".You can also plant the regular Echinacea purpurea in many shades of purple and now even orange or yellow.These plants grow to varied heights 12 inches to over 40 inches. I prefer the taller variety. This new double coneflower draws a lot of attention even though my garden is full of the single variety. The Echinacea blooms and blooms from June until frost. I have them bordering a wood decking pathway on both sides and sometimes it is difficult to walk through because of the thick and beautiful plant after plant of this species. This plant thrives in average soils or hot and dry weather conditions and shrugs off cold. A little or no care plant that if left to its own devices will provide you with more plants than you need by the following season. Good gardening advice is to remove the seed pods in the fall and cut the plant back to within 6-8 inches of the ground. If you want more plants than leave some pods on or pick them off yourself.In the Spring dig up the newly sprouted plants and move to where you would like them to grow. You can also start the seeds inside.The only insect pest that seems to bother this plant and you guessed it is the infamous Japanese Beetle.
ZONES 4/8S/9W FULL SUN JUNE-OCTOBER HEIGHT 12-40 INCHES
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