In to the Garden in Winter 2

by on January 22, 2012

A Welcome Burst of Color

Amaryllis If you were lucky enough to receive an amaryllis as a holiday gift, or if you gave yourself one of these beauties, get ready for a spectacular show of color.

Amaryllis bulbs (Hippeastrum hybrids) produce one or two large, trumpet-shaped flowers high above strap-shaped bright green leaves. Learn how to care for this beautiful bloom—including how to encourage it to bloom again the next year.

Common name: Amaryllis
Botanical name: Hippeastrum hybrids
Plant type: Flowering bulb
Zones: 10 to 11 outdoors; all zones indoors
Height: 12 to 24 inches
Family: Amaryllidaceae

Growing conditions
Sun: Full sun or partial shade outdoors; bright or bright filtered light indoors.
Soil: Well drained. Use soilless potting mix, leaving the top third of the bulb above the soil.
Moisture: Water evenly during the growing season. Reduce and finally withhold water for a two-month dormant period in the fall.

Create Your Own Fairy Garden

Fairy Gardening Kit If you like garden tours, you’ve probably noticed that more and more gardeners are tucking cute fairy gardens into their planting beds.

Now you can get in on the trend and create your own miniature garden with a Fairy Gardening Kit. Each Kit includes everything you need to get started: design plans, a planting box, a lid that becomes a saucer, potting soil, a tiny arbor and bench, a birdbath, a wheelbarrow, pebbles for a path and, of course, fairy dust.

Add your favorite Fairy Flowers, including honeysuckle, gold leaf sedum, ‘Duckfoot’ coleus, dwarf myrtle, variegated marjoram and Irish moss, to complete your whimsical fairy garden and display it indoors or out. Just a little pruning will keep these tiny plants in shape.

Check Out These 2012 Winners

Every gardener has plants they love, but it’s always fun to find a new twist on an old favorite.

Each year, the folks at All-America Selections bring us an exciting list of new plants that were tested nationally and selected as winners by a panel of judges. The result is a list of fun new plants to try in your garden. Here are two of the 2012 winners:

Pretty in Pink Pretty in Pink
‘Summer Jewel Pink’ salvia is a sister to former winner ‘Summer Jewel Red’. Blooms appear early and last all season, which hummingbirds love! This is a small salvia—grows to 20 inches tall.
Small and Tasty
Small and Tasty
‘Faerie’ watermelon is no ordinary watermelon. This beauty has a banana-yellow rind surrounding the delicious pink-red fruit. Vigorous vines grow to just 11 feet and each melon weighs in at about 4 to 6 pounds, making this a great choice for smaller gardens. Strong disease and insect tolerance.
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