Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bulbs, continued...HYACINTH

Just the mention of this wonderful bloom conjures up memories of the most amazing favorite floral scent since I was a little kid. I used to wear Hyacinth Oil as my "cologne", until it became almost impossible to find it...but, alas, I wander a bit...

Over the years, I have often considered growing my own Hyacinth, but when Spring...primarily Easter...rolled around, I just never got around to getting one for my Garden. Well, this Easter Season, I saw the most delightful PURPLE Hyacinth in our local supermarket, and decided that I would explore this new and wondrous addition to our Botanical Kingdom. The photos in this Blog are of our Hyacinth.

But, even though BULBS, on the whole, are easy to grow and maintain, Hyacinth seems to be a bit of a Garden Diva. And the fact that here, in the Orlando area, we have gone from Winter right into the sweltering heat of "Summer" real SPRING to speak of...has made gardening in general...more sensitive plants specifically.... more of a challenge that it should have been. So, here I am...more watering without drowning the roots or causing root rot....misting when necessary...deadheading and clipping off dead leaves and such...doing ANYTHING to make growing and thriving in our Garden a good and healthy endeavor.
Did I mention that my beloved Hyacinth does NOT love intense heat...even the morning Sun is toastier than it should be in Spring...or a lack of rain and humidity? Growing our Hyacinth has become challenging, to say the very least, but I think we are doing OK. The blooms have been gone for a few weeks now, but I have new greenery coming up from the soil. Alas, Time will only tell...

For those of you thinking about giving the delightful Hyacinth a try, here are some excellent growing instructions..straight forward and easy to follow.
Just THINK about that wonderful fragrance, and go for it!

Planting Instructions...HYACINTH

The next BULB we will explore...LILIES.
Until then....


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bulbs, Continued...GLADIOLUS

Have you ever walked into the grocery store, and right there, near the front of the store...or sometimes at the checkout line...are the bouquets of cut flowers for sale? Do you remember how spectacular the bunches of GLADIOLUS were, with their dramatic colors and exotic cascade of blooms? Ever see one in the darkest of purples? Or a crimson red? Yellow with an orange center? Simply awesome...

Ah, yes...the majestic GLADIOLUS...the grace and color are always brilliant.
It would be easy to think that such a dynamic flower would be difficult to grow, but in all honesty, they are remarkably easy. What is even  more amazing, they seem to do really well here in Central Florida. Heat and sandy soil do not hinder great color and strong plants.
When I planted mine, though, I DID put a bit of potting soil down in the hole for the "corm", or bulb" before dropping it in. On the more mysterious side of Gardening, I HAVE had a couple of GLADS pop up in places I NEVER planted them, and in straight sandy soil...go figure.
I must say, though, their surprise appearance does tend to stir a SENSE of the MAGICAL..."sigh".

Here is a great web site for growing GLADIOLUS...take a few minutes and get inspired to grow these beautiful blooms.
This site looks at growing GLADS in the Garden and in CONTAINERS:

Once you realize that, with minimal work and care, this great flower can be added to the beauty you have begun to surround yourself with, you will want to plop a couple of corms...bulbs... into little spots all over your Garden, but in places where you will regularly tend to the plants that are already there. For a bit of magic, try to "forget" where you plant them. Then, when their next growing season comes around, and they break through the surface...their long stems and grand blossoms gracing your will find a renewed Sense of Wonder.

The next BULB to fall in love with...LILIES.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Ah, yes...BULBS

Amaryllis...Gladiolus...Lilies...Tulips...Hyacinth...and countless other glorious Flowers...all come from BULBS.
And nothing could be easier to grow, manage and cultivate than those underground wonders.
I will be talking to you about them in several "chapters", to give each its own spotlight.

I want to start with AMARYLLIS, not because they begin with the letter A, but because they were the first flowers from bulbs that I grew in my Garden.
Traditionally, they are associated with Christmas and the Holiday Season, I suppose that is because they are usually forced(more on this later) to bloom at that time, to keep with the red and green color scheme. But that is not the only time of year they bloom, or can bloom. My Garden is graced with them all year long, although they do seem to be more prolific in early Spring.
And they can be found in a variety of color, not just the more common bright and with red highlights...even some that are more of a salmon hue. I have the red and red and white "candy cane" colors, but will be looking to expand my color palette later this Summer.

Here is a great LINK for the growing and care of AMARYLLIS as a CONTAINER flower:

And here is a LINK for the cultivation of AMARYLLIS in your Garden:

I must say, I do love my AMARYLLIS, even when it is not in bloom...when in a fairly large group, the greenery is brilliant.
And as always, if the LINKS I provided don't answer YOUR questions, EMAIL me with your query and I'll get an answer to you as soon as I can...

Next, I will lovingly look at the magnificent GLADIOLUS...