Thursday, March 5, 2009
Fresh Color In The Garden
If you tucked some spring blooming bulbs into your flower beds last autumn, it should be paying off big time right about now. One of the most reliable bulbs is the Dutch iris, pictured above. With long strappy foliage that adds nicely to cut flowers, Dutch irises will return faithfully year after year as long as you can keep them out of the path of hungry gophers. It's also a good idea to keep an eye out for snails, who like to feast on tender, unfurling buds. Irises make great cut flowers, with a long vase life if you keep the water fresh. They look beautiful on their own or mixed with less formal flowers.
Fressias are another consistent bloomer, whose numbers will increase year after year. These corms grow closer to the surface than iris bulbs, so if you accidentally pull one up while weeding or transplanting around one, just push it back under the soil, making sure the root end is down. If you're ever at a loss to know which end is up on a corm, plant it on its side and the shoot will find the surface on its own.