Still fooling Mother Nature: return of the Christmas Amaryllis in Zone 7B. The key seems to be a partly sunny location, somewhat sheltered from the elements (harsh sun, severe cold).
June is National Rose Month, and my friends over at Bombay Outdoors ran a reader facebook poll last month, asking: “What’s your favorite flower?” and this was the result:
“30,000 fans and gardeners (mostly U.S. women) voted for their favorite garden flowers. The results came in and I asked horticulturist Nancy Wallace if she’d write about the Top Five Favorites. Then we noticed. In the poll, roses got LOVE! They didn’t just win, they got 15 THOUSAND more votes than the 2nd-most popular flower!”
So, follow the link and find out which roses are my personal favorites. The readers’ other four favorite flowers will appear in a story next week, so stay tuned.
Kazumasa Ogawa (1860-1929)
Top: Japanese Lotus Flowers (1896)
Bottom: Japanese Peony (1896)
A little ‘Ambiance’ this morning from another Amaryllis.
I ordered a few extra Amaryllis bulbs in January and I’ve been potting them up over the last few months so I have weeks and weeks of blooms. I soak the bulb roots in an organic compost tea from Authentic Haven Brand for about 20 minutes before potting them, and then I water lightly over the next few weeks. The end result: multiple flower stems and huge blooms. After the flowers fade, I’ll put them in the ground in an area reserved for Amaryllis. This is a flower bulb that can be enjoyed through early summer, with a little planning ahead.
Frida chair by La Tapicera in Spain
Last of the spring bling…. I’m loving the burgundy-burnished-copper-mahogany & green combination. This will be a repeat for next fall. Here in Georgia, we had just the right winter weather (finally) with enough cold temperatures to keep the flowers looking fresh, but not so chilly as to dispatch a soggy palette of wilted winter container color. We also had a very chilly March, so that prolonged our winter flower display this year….a joy to behold.
And in a just a few short days, I’ll be ripping all these containers apart to make room for their summer counterparts!
Aquilegia (Common Name: Columbine)
The Latin word “columba” means dove or pigeon, and it is said that the petals of the columbine look like birds (doves) in flight which is how the flower acquired its common name.
But the botanical name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word “aquilinum” which means “like an eagle” because the bright yellow spurs in the center of the flower are said to resemble eagle’s talons or claws.
Columbines are best utilized in a woodland garden. Flowers appear in spring along with delicate fern-like foliage (which, alas, is susceptible to leaf miner by mid-summer). Once flower production has ceased, allow the seeds to drop and propagate naturally. The plants can then be cut to the ground where they will lay dormant until the following spring. Combine with ferns, hostas, solomon’s seal, and other shade-loving perennials that will fill in the woodland border once the columbines are gone for the season.
Meet Hyacinth ‘Dark Dimension’ snuggled up against this double-early yellow tulip. A nice addition to the Black Plant List.
s e r e n d i p i t y
ORIGIN 1754: coined by Horace Walpole in a letter, stating that he formed the word “serendipity” from a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, whose heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.” The fairy tale dates back to a famous poem, The Eight Paradises, written in 1302 AD by Amir Khusro.
Not all organic fertilizers are created equal, as is apparent with these Hydrangeas growing in over-sized olive jars.
For those of you who have been following along for a while, y’all know I’m a big fan of an organic tea from Authentic Haven Brand, made from cow manure. (Regular “users” fondly refer to it as Moo Poo Tea.)
I’ve been using cow manure tea on a number of container gardens, houseplants and bulbs for some time now - with fabulous results - and this year, it will become an ingredient in every single container garden for spring, so if you’re one of my clients, here’s what you have to look forward to!
Authentic Haven Brand Natural Brew provides 100% natural soil nutrients, and it’s free of antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO/GE feed, herbicides and pesticides. The company, founded in 1924, is owned and operated by Annie Haven, an American rancher who inherited the company from her father. Her livestock is raised on permanent, native grass pastures at the Haven Family Ranch in California. Annie is committed to raising grass-fed livestock and providing a product that enriches the soil organically for herbs, vegetables, flowers, houseplants, bulbs, seeds, and anything else you’ve got growing in the landscape.
What makes this organic tea so different from others? It is harvested ONLY from the by-products of Haven-owned livestock. It has no odor (a common concern for people inquiring about the product), and it is easily “brewed” in a bucket with water from the garden hose. Not much effort to get results like this!
Link to: Authentic Haven Brand products.