Bye-Bye Winter Blues!

Floral Spring Fragrance…Yes Please!

There’s nothing better than the approach of spring when things start to come alive… except maybe one.  The idea that soon you’ll walk out into your yard, take a deep breath, and realize all your hard work on your landscape has paid off.  It looks and smells wonderful!  When this happens there’s nothing better and I will have a hard time leaving my yard on a sunny spring afternoon.  For those who crave spring, and haven’t thought about their landscape just yet, here are some plants that you can easily plant to make sure you’re rid of the winter blues:

Bearded Iris- Colors: Pink, white, purple or yellow and will bloom mid-to late spring.  Needs full sun, and will be 12 to 36 in. tall.

Common lilac- Colors: Pink, purple or white and will bloom in midspring. They need full sun, and will be 8 to 15ft. tall, 6 to 10ft. wide.

Hyacinth- Colors: Blue, white, pink, peach or purple and will bloom in early spring. They need full sun and will grow to be 6 to 12 in. tall, 3 to 5in. wide.

Silky wisteria- A vine, 4 to 6 in. long, will produce pink or white midspring flowers.  They need full sun, and will grow to be 10 to 25 ft. tall

Land Architects for Hyacinth!

Protecting and Pruning Hyacinth is GardenWise

Hyacinth is a beautiful flower born of a tragedy that became a well known Greek myth — Hyacinth was the athletic youth was beloved by both Apollo and Zephyrus, the bringer of spring and summer breezes.   After his accidential death, Apollo kept Hyacinth from Hades and the underworld by making a flower from his blood, the Hyacinth.  

A great story, and a good reason to spend a little extra time keeping your Hyacinth in top shape, which will require a small amount of work.  The main maintenance task is called deadheading. Deadheading is simply pinching off old blooms to encourage new growth and transfer energy from making seeds. However, if you bought a self-sowing variety do not deadhead because you will lose the seeds.

The only other concerns for hyacinth bulbs is the occasional animal or rodent. If you notice missing bulbs and see signs of them being dug up, put up a barrier or fence to discourage intruders. If no signs of digging around missing bulbs are apparent then you may have a rodent problem.  In this case you can protect  the bulb by simply digging it up and putting a wire mesh in the hole to surround the bulb.

Fall Family Garden Fun

Fall is a great season for family time in the garden.   One fun way to teach children about nature is to purchase different colored flowering bulbs to plant in your garden for next spring.  The best time to get your bulbs into the ground is a 3-4 weeks before the soil freezes, so this is a perfect time to start planning your upcoming day in the garden.   

After choosing which bulbs you want to plant, you’ll need to show your kids how to properly plant the bulbs (roots in the ground, top or pointed end to the sky.)  Give each family member a special space in the yard, be sure to give everyone a different flower color,  and get ready for a fun day in the garden.   For some added interest, include some hyacinth bulbs in the mix — you can cut one open to show the fully-formed baby flower inside just waiting to emerge next spring.

The expense is low, the imaginations run high, and the end result is a Spring 2011 landscape that everyone in the family helped create.