Posts Tagged ‘Forsythia’

You have probably already noticed snow drops, crocuses and tulips starting to pop their little heads up this past week as you walk along the street and you are probably very eager to get started on your planters and urns. Keep in mind that it needs to be above 5 degrees Celsius overnight for your plants to survive.

With working in the garden centre I have been just as eager to get started as anyone, and have held myself back until this weekend to bring anything home. At the moment you are safe with pansies, primulars, and all the bulb stock which includes hyacinth, tulips, crocuses, mascara, daffodils, and grape hyacinth, and of course pussy willow, forsythia or blossom branches to finish it off. As it gets closer to Easter especially because it is later this year, you will probably be able to put in hydrangea. Watch the temperatures at night, and if you hear a frost warning, either bring them into your garage, or cover them up with a flannelette sheet for the night.

You may already have a container that you use.  If not, decide what sort of look you like for your style of home, whether it is something tall and modern, cast iron urns, wooden window boxes or a galvanized steel tub. Whatever you use make sure it has drainage holes in them so your plants don’t become water logged.

Keep in mind how it will be viewed. If you have it up against a wall, place taller plants at the back. If it is viewed all around, place them in the middle. Remember that tulips, hyacinth and daffodils grow tall, so try to get the miniature daffodils if this is not going to be your focal point. This way you will have plants growing at different heights to add some structure. Primula won’t grow tall but will spread out slightly and the pussy willow will give extra height. By adding ivy this will give you a nice trailing look, which can be left in to use for your summer urn. And of course, there are your pansies, which come in so many different color combinations, and will usually last well into the middle of summer.

You can add moss to keep in the moisture. Give it a good watering once it is all potted, and then checking it once a week or more if it warms up by digging your fingers right into the soil to check for dryness.

Once the blooms are past their prime you can always pop them out and replace them with new ones; just remember the height of the one you took out. Don’t discard them afterwards. Once you have taken them out of the display let the foliage die back and plant them in well-drained soil with a minimum of half a day sun. Most bulbs are good candidates for re-cycling, but there is a chance that they just might not bloom again, or it could be a couple of years before they rebloom again.

Here are a couple of ideas for different pots and looks:

Please contact me with any question about your garden.

Nicola Bishop


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Having recently heard the forecast that we are going to have a long cold spring I thought I would be proactive about spring and get started early by forcing some flowering branches.

Most spring flowering shrubs can be forced into bloom indoors by easing them out of dormancy over a period of one to four weeks, although sometimes it could take a couple of months so you have to be patient with them.

You can start now with cherry blossom, forsythia, and mock orange, the younger branches of woody plants or tree branches carry most of the buds. If you are unsure use a razor blade to cut a bud open and look for recognizable flower parts inside.

With a sharp knife or secateurs, cut a cross into the bottom inch of each stem to encourage water uptake. Put the branches into a basement utility sink or in a bathtub overnight, submerging them completely, if possible in cold water for 12 hours, then stand them in a bucket or vase containing water, and set them in a cool bright location, away from direct sunlight. Change the water every other day to keep it fresh and prevent bacteria from entering the stems. A floral preserver in the water will help prolong the display; you can also lightly mist the buds with water.

The buds will soon crack open, and moving them to a cool place at night will help the flowers last longer.Try not to cut these branches before the temperatures are above freezing, if they are frozen, you will have to soak them for a few hours longer.

If you don’t have access to any trees or shrubs in your garden or your neighbors, don’t fear, because these branches will soon be appearing in your local florists by the bunch.

Remember Canada Blooms starts today and runs to the 20th, hope to see you there!

Nicola Bishop


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