You may have read the blog title and thought what are they talking about? Who can grow flowers in the dead of Winter? Well, have you ever heard of "forcing bulbs"? It's the process of forcing potted garden bulbs to bloom earlier than they normally world.
By following the few steps listed below you can have colorful fresh flowers blooming indoors, on your patio, or a porch area. It's fairly easy to do and we can almost guarantee great success. Just think, sweet smelling flowers in January!
Step 1 - Select the containers you are going to use. There are many choices of garden pottery you can choose. A shallow terracotta bowl is perfect since bulbs don't have deep roots. You can also use a standard flowerpot that does have depth. This type of pottery is perfect if you want to layer your bulbs.
You may ask yourself, why layer bulbs? This is the method of putting a layer of the tallest bulbs on the bottom of the pot because they will grow the tallest. Covering them with soil and creating a second layer. Put Daffodils next, cover with soil and create another layer for shortest crocus bulbs. If you stagger each layer, they will bloom at different times so you will have flowers blooming longer instead of all at once.
Back to containers - you can also use pretty much anything you choose except they must have the drain hole covered with broken pot shards or pot filler. This helps to keep the moisture inside.
Next have potting soil that is well draining & your bulbs. Plant the bulbs in the soil ending with soil on top so that all bulbs are protected from the cold. Now place the garden container in a cool, dark spot for 12 to 16 weeks. Make sure it's cool and never gets over 50 degrees. Under a staircase or on a spare closet are good places.
Step 2 - Once you see good root formation, it's time to place them in a cooler spot in direct sunlight. This lets the potted bulbs become accustomed to the warmth. Keep the soil moist. After they have good growth move to where you want to keep them. They should bloom in 3 to 4 weeks.
Enjoy the blooms through out Winters harsh months and let the fragrance fill your home.
Simple Ways to Make Your Guest Feel Welcomed In Your Home
Now that the holidays are over it usually means no more guests. Well for some of us that isn't the case. Maybe family that couldn't make it during the holidays can now plan a trip. How about unexpected guests? Here are a few simple ideas that can make a huge impact when it comes to making them feel extra welcomed.
Fresh Flowers - sounds simple but it's easily forgotten. A bouquet of store purchased flowers not only smells wonderful but adds life & color to a guest room. We love the idea of a potted plant or blooming flowers on a dresser or bed side table. Purchase a plant from your local nursery and drop the plastic pot right into a decorative garden container. Prefer a more decorative pot? Use a tea pot, water pitcher, or tall glass. Wa La easy and lovely.
Guest Items - Fill a empty flowerpot with mini sizes containers of shampoo, soap, liquid soap, close soap (for small messes) & a sewing kit. Leave a note that lets them know that it's ok to use any items they wish.
Use a small ceramic pot as a candy dish. Fill it full of individually wrapped chocolates or mints. Set on the dresser or side table so that your guest not only feel welcomed but they can enjoy a sweet reminder from you anytime they wish.
Lastly, make sure there is an extra blanket available so that your guests don't have to ask if they get cold. In the summer maybe place a water bottle next to the bed or a spray water bottle to help keep them cool during their visit.
The point is to think of your guests needs before they even know they need anything. Be welcoming and loving and you will be remembered as the perfect hostess! So simple!
Everyone has guests come to visit from time to time. You always try to do the right thing and have the home ready to greet them but other times you are so rushed and crazy that you only have time for a few small attempts. It's not as hard as you may think to welcome your guests beyond the usual clean sheets & towels.
Add some fresh flowers. Yep, simple eh? A small vase on a night stand with a bouquet of flowers or a simple daisy in a bud vase. It adds life to your guest room, color and of course smells heavenly. Maybe move in a potted houseplants. So many houseplants are know for their air refreshing properties. Make it one that not only keeps the air clean but fragrant. This is so much easier than healthier than a plug in.
Keep an extra blanket and pillow in the guest room so that they have access to them at all times day or night.
Make sure the window opens and closes easily. Get the WD-40 out if necessary to eliminate squeaks. Stock the bathroom with travel size shampoos and soaps. I keep a tray full of travel sizes on the counter in the guest bath so that they can pick and choose as needed. I also keep a potted plant on the counter to add life, and cleansing properties.
Lastly, keep a few snacks in the fridge for grab and go's. String cheese, apples, deviled eggs, carrots ticks, berries. Put bowls of nuts on the table for snacking.
These are all just small easy things but they really do make a big impression. What better way to let your guest know how much they mean to you!
Don't leave your garden planters empty this fall. Here are a few types of flowers that are recommended for potting that will add color and beauty to your garden or patio areas!
Aster: New England aster bears loads of pink, blue, purple and white flowers. Butterflies love them.
Toad Lily: Need shade so they are perfect for fall with orchid like flowers that bloom till mid fall.
Goldenrod: Cheery yellow flowers that are tough yet lovely. Grow to 4 feet so use a big planter.
Russian Sage: A great purple flower to add to your pots instead of the usual fall foliage colors.
Colchicum - big cup shaped blooms will fill any planter and will add color with white or pink.
Helenium: Daisy looking flowers which are also tough and easy to grow in a planter. Red, orange,
Sedum: A most popular flower for autumn containers. Grows to 18" tall.
Red Spider LIly: A truly exotic bulb that burst with bright red flowers. Love the spidery clusters!
Japanese Anemone: Large poppy shaped pink or white flowers that stand tall in any planter.
Turtlehead: A funny name but a beautiful white or pink bloom with glossy green foliage.
Fall Crocus: Sun or shade, 6" tall and overlooked as a fall crocus. Perfect in any garden.planter
Monkshood: Beautiful blue that adds to the yellow and orange of fall flowers.
When you have a lovely garden or patio area planters, you need to keep it looking great during the fall season. Hope these suggestions will help you choose the best flowering plants to add that extra finished look to your fall planters!
Here are the list of things you should be aware of that need to be tended to in your garden area.
Grow Blueberries NOW: One of the simple joys of summer, potted blueberries are an excellent fruit for new gardeners. Northern high bush blueberries are best for the upper and middle south. Try selections such as Patriot and Liberty. Rabbiteye blueberries are best in the lower and coast south. Use climax or premier. They all prefer slightly moist, well draining potting soil. Place the planter in a sunny spot and rotate the pot for best coverage. It's important to plant at least 2 or more varieties so you will have lots of fruit. Buy the starters at your local nursery or order online. Make sure you pick a planter that is large enough so you don't crowd the plants root system.
Fertilize: Feed potted veggies such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash and tomatillos. Looking for some organic options? Miracle Grow Organic Choice is available in granular or liquid form. Dynamite Organic All Purpose or composted manure for easy feeding. Just follow package directions and keep those veggies healthy all season long.
Fragrance: Add some sweet scents to your potted garden this season. The blooms of gardenias, ginger and lilies. Honeybells, hostas, and tuberoses will all add a welcome perfume to this summers garden and planters. Enjoy their fragrance inside by cutting a few stems for casual bouquets.
Herbs: Cut potted basil, thyme and rosemary frequently to keep these plants in full production. Keep a pot of your favorite herbs near your grill for a reminder to flavor your summer meals.
How would you like to duplicate this stunning garden planter? We can show you how with a few simple tricks we discovered. Just follow the steps and you will see how easy this is to do.
In a basket weave rectangle garden planter, sugar pink petunias are planted with ivy leaved pelargoniums and shaggy flowered pink dianthus with a deep red eye. None of these plants require depth for its roots and provided they are fed and watered regularly, this will be very happy. Of course any rectangle garden planter will work but we love the look of the basket weave.
First fill the base of the window boxshaped planter with a layer of washed gravel or a thin layer of pot filler. Then add the compost or potting soil mixing in 2 teaspoons of plant food granules. Now you can start the planting process.
Plant the tow pelargoniums 4 inches from either end of the window box. Next is the petunia's, evenly spaced along the back edge of the rectangle. Lastly plant four dinathus along the front edge, and the other tow on either side of the central petuna. That's it!
We recommend you spread a thin layer of gravel around the plants. Besides being decorative it also helps to retain the moisture and keep the soil from being wash away. Make sure you place the planter in a sunny place so it get a lot of natural sunlight.
Once summer is over, the petunias and pelargoniums will need to be removed. The dianthus will overwinter quite happily. Just cut off any flower stems and add a fresh layer of gravel. Be sure and plant in Late Spring or early summer.
When you think of a garden, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Pottery, flowers, textured foliage. Without a good structure a garden is just a collection of plants. Follow these simple steps a turn a boring garden into a indoor room.
The 3 most common structures are arbors, trellises and pergolas. They can create doorways to your garden, walls that aren't there and a ceiling which to hang potted plants on.
Arbor: Creates a sense of arrival to an outdoor room. You can cover it with plants, set 2 pots on each side like an entryway, and create an inviting way into your yard or garden areas. It provides a sense of arrival that comes with passing through it, comparable to arriving in a home through a foyer rather than simply entering a doorway.
This little passageway becomes a room of it's own. A few simple tips are a deeper passageway extends the experience and you should allow a height of 7 feet to make it comfortable to walk under.
Trellis: Works just like a wall, where no wall exists. It is mostly open but lends a feeling of enclosure when you cover the trellis with potted plant vines. You can attache one to an outside blank wall to add decoration or make it freestanding and use as a barrier to block unsightly air conditioning equipment or a neighbors window. It doesn't provide the same privacy as a solid fence, but it is more decorative when there are plants covering it.
Pergola: Thought it doesn't provide closed, coverage, it does provide shade and a sense of enclosure. Often used to cover seating or dining table options. Set potted plants around the posts and let the potted plants climb up them and cover the top, creating a living ceiling.
Grape covered pergolas are very popular and they can keep you dry during light rain or shaded in intense sunlight. Try to match the style of your house or any other garden structures you may have.
Listed below are the 5 easy steps to take you from a seed packet purchased at your local nursery to a lovely table centerpiece!
1. Shop your local garden center for seeds. You will find a wide assortment of fast growing annuals in a rainbow of colors. If you prefer to shop online there are tons of websites that you can find that ship seeds packets directly to you. Try to select colors and fragrances that you hope to enjoy and will fit into your decorating designs.
2. Prep your flower pots or beds. Pick a sunny spot (at least 6 hrs daily) with well draining soil. Work in organic matter, rake smooth, and water to moisten the soil. Having ground to grow cutting flowers is not always possible. You can easily grown them in gardencontainers. Simply follow the same instructions listed above but make sure the planter you use is deep enough and wide enough to hold the amount of seeds you hope to sow.
3. Sow the seeds. Follow the planting instructions on the back of the seed packets. Cover lightly with soil. In as little as five days, many sees will sprout. Once you see two leaves, thin to ensure correct spacing for future growth.
4. Harvest Early. Flowers are freshest in the morning. Use a sharp pair of scissors or snips, cut stems a little longer than you will need for the arranging, and place them in a bucket of water. To encourage more blooms, cut flowers regularly - especially zinnias. Measure the vase or pot that you will be arranging the flowers inside of in advance. Make sure that you cut enough length in advance.
5. Assemble flowers, and your container. Recut stems at an angle right before arranging. If you change water daily, you don't need flower preservatives.
These cherry blooms are easy to grow, require minimal care once established, and yield plenty of flowers for cutting. They also like garden planters as well as the ground. Give it a go and let us know how it works for you!
This is a striking flowering plant that can be raised quite easily from seed. It will flower during its first season, producing large, open, bellshaped blooms approximately 3" in diameter, with a large golden central stamen. Each flower lasts only about 2 days but each is produced in succession
This potted plant will tolerate bright sun or partial shade and is happy in a range of temperatures, although the flower color tends to be slightly better in cooler temperatures. The wide, light green leaves are smaller than most other abutilons, making the flowers seem even larger.
Keep the pottingsoil moist at all times and use standard liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks during the flowering season. You can sow your own seeds and then transfer the seeds to the garden container that you have chosen. Make sure that each plant will have plenty of room to branch and the first growth should appear in approx 12 weeks.
When it comes to selecting a container for your indoor plant we recommend one approx 14" to 18" high. This should not only give the root system plenty of room to spread but all keep the plant in balance once it starts to grow. You can use a porous clay like terracotta but make sure there is a saucer underneath to collect run-off.
Because of the neutral color of this plant a glazed planter with bold colors is a fantastic compliment. Try to match your decor of country, contemporary or traditional. Make sure the pot is in indirect light and you should have tremendous success.
Eating flowers may raise eyebrows today, but history shows it's a centuries old culinary tradition. Today many people eat flowers without knowing it. Broccoli and cauliflower are undeveloped flower buds, Saffron comes from the stamen of the crocus flower. Many teas are made with roses, chamomile, and other flowers.
Edible flowers add flavor and color to your cooking. Some are even high in vitamins and nutrients. Below are a list of some of the most popular edible flowers.
Growing flowers in potted plants outside a kitchen door is easy and fun to do. Filling planter pots on a patio with edible flowers adds fragrance and character to your landscaping and decorating needs. You can use most different types of planters but the most healthiest to use would be terracotta. This type of clay pot is meant to breathe and helps to keep the plants root system healthy.
Borage: This annual grows 2 to 4 feet tall with purplish blue, star-shaped flowers. Sow seeds in a sunny spot in spring after last frost, or earlier in warm climates. Borage tolerates most soil types and usually reseeds itself. This flower adds a cucumber taste to salads, dips, and cold soups. Freeze flowers in ice cube trays to float in decorative drinks.
Calendula: also known as pot marigold, this annual was a favorite in medieval cooking pots. It grows up to 20" tall with attractive pale yellow to deep orange flowers. Sow seeds in a sunny spot and provide afternoon shade in hot temperatures. This flower has a slightly bitter taste. Add the petals to scrambled eggs, cheeses, poultry, and rice. Chop the leaves and petals in soups, salads, and stews.
Chamomile: Another annual that has tiny daisy like flowers that can be brewed in tea. Easily grown from seeds in spring, this plant grows up to 2 feet tall in full sun. Chamomile has a sweet apple flavor and fragrance make a delicious tea. Steep 2 to 4 teaspoons of fresh flowers with a cup of boiled water for three minutes. Strain and serve.
Chives: This perennial grows up to 24" tall with pink and lavendar flowers that have flavored meals for centuries. It prefers full sun and moist soil. Chives grow well in sunny windows. Break apart chive florets to add mild onion flavor to dinner rolls, casseroles, eggs, potatoes, and herb butters.
Lavender: This perennial requires dry, good draining soil. It grows best in full sun. It's taste combines well with rosemary and thyme in chicken and lamb marinades. Add a teaspoon to sugar cookie and cake recipes.
Introduce edible flowers into your diet gradually. Eat only the petals on most edible flowers. Just before eating, remove interior flower parts such as the pistils and stamen. These can taste bitter, and the pollen can cause allergic reactions.
When cooking with flowers, match the favors to your recipes.