Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall…

by on May 9, 2012

Cover Up Withering Bulbs with Perfectly Matched Perennials

Love bulbs but hate their withering foliage? Perennials to the rescue!Cornell University researchers spent four years studying bulb and perennial combinations to determine which pairings work best to hide the unsightly leaves of bulbs after they’ve bloomed.The researchers looked at the same things that gardeners consider when choosing plants: color, foliage type and texture, bloom times, and the rate at which specific perennials mature. Their trials included planting various perennials with tulip, narcissus, crocus, and other bulbs. The resulting lists of successful pairings are now available.

In “Best 15 Bulb & Perennial Combinations,” recommendations include pairing ‘Parade’ tulip with white bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Alba’) and ‘Queen of Night’ tulip with ‘Matrona’ sedum.

Narcissus Combinations” include recommendations like mixing ‘Salome’ narcissus with ‘Bill Baker’ phlox (Phlox carolina ‘Bill Baker’).

Start planning now for next year!

Grow Gorgeous Plants with Healthy Soil

Healthy Soil
What’s the secret to a gorgeous, healthy garden? Great soil! While it can take time to build it up, it isn’t difficult if you follow these five tips:1. Don’t walk on or work wet, soggy soil.
Doing so causes compaction that deprives roots of air and water.2. Add organic matter annually.
Organic matter, including compost, composted manure, and mulched leaves, improves soil structure and adds nutrients.

3. Don’t till the soil.
Research shows that tilling damages soil structure, making it difficult to hold onto nutrients and water. If you have to till, do so very infrequently.

4. Use organic mulch.
Unlike rocks and recycled rubber products, wood chips, compost, and other types of organic mulch feed the soil as they break down.

5. Use organic rather than synthetic fertilizers.
Unlike synthetic fertilizers, which give plants a quick energy boost, organic fertilizers slowly provide nutrients that improve soil and nourish plants. Compost, cottonseed meal, and alfalfa meal are all great choices.

It’s Never Too Early to Consider Fall Color

HypericumAh, spring! Can fall be far behind?

Thankfully it is, but now is the time to start planning for autumn color. Take a few minutes to think about what you can plant today that will shine in September, like First Editions Hypericum.

There are several varieties of First Editions Hypericum (commonly known as St. John’s Wort) to choose from, and each one offers a splash of colorful flowers in the spring followed by berries in the fall. The bright yellow blooms of Everlasting Beauty (Hypericum inodorum ‘Kolmbeau’) are followed by clusters of salmon-pink berries. Or try Everlasting Red Star Hypericum (Hypericum inodorum ‘Mystical Red Star’), with yellow flowers that give way to bright red berries. Glory Hypericum features yellow flowers and caramel-colored berries.

Spring into action for a prettier fall!

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