Posts Tagged ‘crocus’

You have probably already noticed snow drops, crocuses and tulips starting to pop their little heads up this past week as you walk along the street and you are probably very eager to get started on your planters and urns. Keep in mind that it needs to be above 5 degrees Celsius overnight for your plants to survive.

With working in the garden centre I have been just as eager to get started as anyone, and have held myself back until this weekend to bring anything home. At the moment you are safe with pansies, primulars, and all the bulb stock which includes hyacinth, tulips, crocuses, mascara, daffodils, and grape hyacinth, and of course pussy willow, forsythia or blossom branches to finish it off. As it gets closer to Easter especially because it is later this year, you will probably be able to put in hydrangea. Watch the temperatures at night, and if you hear a frost warning, either bring them into your garage, or cover them up with a flannelette sheet for the night.

You may already have a container that you use.  If not, decide what sort of look you like for your style of home, whether it is something tall and modern, cast iron urns, wooden window boxes or a galvanized steel tub. Whatever you use make sure it has drainage holes in them so your plants don’t become water logged.

Keep in mind how it will be viewed. If you have it up against a wall, place taller plants at the back. If it is viewed all around, place them in the middle. Remember that tulips, hyacinth and daffodils grow tall, so try to get the miniature daffodils if this is not going to be your focal point. This way you will have plants growing at different heights to add some structure. Primula won’t grow tall but will spread out slightly and the pussy willow will give extra height. By adding ivy this will give you a nice trailing look, which can be left in to use for your summer urn. And of course, there are your pansies, which come in so many different color combinations, and will usually last well into the middle of summer.

You can add moss to keep in the moisture. Give it a good watering once it is all potted, and then checking it once a week or more if it warms up by digging your fingers right into the soil to check for dryness.

Once the blooms are past their prime you can always pop them out and replace them with new ones; just remember the height of the one you took out. Don’t discard them afterwards. Once you have taken them out of the display let the foliage die back and plant them in well-drained soil with a minimum of half a day sun. Most bulbs are good candidates for re-cycling, but there is a chance that they just might not bloom again, or it could be a couple of years before they rebloom again.

Here are a couple of ideas for different pots and looks:

Please contact me with any question about your garden.

Nicola Bishop



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Now is the time to start thinking about next springs bulbs, and adding fall colours to your outdoor pots and urns.

Sadly the nights are starting to draw to a close earlier and earlier, and some of our outdoor pots and urns have taken a beating with this hot dry summer so you might have a few spots that need spicing up with fall cabbages, mums, and small pepper plants.

The ornamental cabbages like the cool evenings, which in turn helps them change color and will keep going right through until the first heavy frost. They do however like a sunny spot. Chrysanthemums, and small pepper plants also look great in containers, and Baltic Ivy is the one that changes to beautiful fall colors with the cool evenings too.

After the long weekend you will start to notice bulbs appearing in the stores, which is exciting to start mapping out for next year. Remember to keep your tallest plants at the back of the flower bed. Try to find a sunny spot or slightly shaded area, remove any weeds and prepare your ground. You can use a bulb planter or trowel to dig a hole 8” deep. Add a small amount of gravel to the bottom of the hole for drainage, then add a small handful of bone meal to each hole, place the bulb in the hole pointed side up.

Unless the ground is really dry there is no need to water the newly planted bulbs as they may rot if the soil becomes sodden and waterlogged. There should be enough rain through the autumn and winter to provide enough moisture. The general rule to remember with fertilizing is once when planting, once just after the bulbs emerge and again right after flowering.  Try to plant in groups and avoid planting in rows. Here is a small chart to help you with different bulbs.

Bulb                 Planting depth         Distance apart        Number per group

Tulips                   8 inches                  6 inches             At least 5 for a clump

Daffodils               8                            6                       15 for a mass

Crocus                  2 to 3                     2 to 3                 9 to 12 bulbs

Grape hyacinth      2 to 3                     2 to 3

Hyacinth florist      2 to 3                     2 to 3

Snowdrops            2 to 3                     2 to 3                9 to 12 bulbs

Allium                    2 to 3                      2 to 3                9 to 12 bulbs

Allium (Globe Master) 2 to 3                      2 to 3                9 to 12 bulbs

Trying to get rid of those pesky squirrels that seem to dig up your bulbs as soon as your back is turned? Well here are a few helpful suggestions:

  1. Sprinkle generous amounts of blood bone meal around the top of the beds.
  2. Frighten squirrels with toy rubber snakes, Squirrels are afraid of snakes and will avoid containers if you place them around it.
  3. Install mesh over the dirt until you see the bulbs start to peek through.
  4. Collect discarded dog or human hair from the groomer or hairdresser and sprinkle on the top of the dirt.
  5. Place fresh coffee grounds together with the bulbs.

There is still time to plant perennials for next year and now is a good time to pick them up at your local garden centre as they are all on sale right now.

Happy gardening, and don’t worry there is still lots of summer left!!!

Nicola Bishop works at East of Eliza


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