January 2012

Get Ready for Spring: Planning a Flower Garden

Despite what the thermometer may say, it’s getting to that time of year when you need to start planning your flower garden. From prepping existing beds, to making room for new ones, to figuring out what you would like to grow this year, getting started now will make spring planting easier and more fruitful.

If you want to start new beds this year, now is the time to begin paying close attention to your yard. Before you plant anything, you’ll want to ensure that the area you choose receives the right amount of sunlight for the plants you want to grow. After all, if you’re dreaming of a field of lilies, you don’t want to dig out a bed in an area pounded by the sun all day. Stalking your yard in this manner, and taking notes, will help you best plan out where you can start your prep work once the ground thaws. You can also take a close look at your existing beds to determine what plants will go best in them.

After the Freeze

First aid for frozen plants.

As we begin to thaw out in the Emerald City, our lawns and gardens are looking a bit worse for wear. Many of us see broken branches, split shrubs and other signs of the severe weather when we survey the landscape. The good news is that plants tend to bounce back quickly in our area, partially because of our rich soil that helps spur on healthy new growth once spring arrives.

Considerations For Container Gardening

When it comes to growing a garden, it isn’t always necessary to have a large amount of space available. Gardens can be planted in small yards and even in places that don’t have a yard. Those who have a limited space, but have access to a balcony, pathways, window sills or roof tops can have a garden as well. They can do this through container gardening. When gardening in containers the only thing that is needed is access to sunlight.

Restarting Geraniums

Waking up summer flowers.

Pretty geraniums provide consistent color from late spring until fall. Although these plants are perennials, many flower lovers treat them as annuals since they can't survive hard frosts. If you know how, you can keep them alive in a dormant state through the cold months but they must be replanted and brought back to life in late winter and early spring if you want to enjoy their flowers again this year.

Spring Pruning Time Is Here

Sharpen your shears and get ready for spring.

Although the buds aren't quite ready to send out leaves and flowers on the shrubs and trees around Albuquerque, the time to prune has arrived. Pruning most plants in late winter, just before they begin to leaf out, doesn't stress the plants since they are still in a state of semi-dormancy, but allows them to recover quickly as soon as spring growth begins.

Friendly gardening

I am very big on green living. I try hard to make up for all of the power I use to charge my laptop for work, by taking care of the environment in little ways. I know that my garden helps the environment by producing extra amounts of oxygen for the air, but I also like to go beyond that with my garden. That’s why I use my own compost to grow my flowers in. There are many benefits I receive from creating my own compost for my garden.

Happy New Year

Chinese Style

 In honor of the New Year of the Dragon I thought I’d check out a bit of Chinese flora for this week’s blog. According to my research, “China doesn’t have an actual national flower but the national favorite would be the tree peony” (china.org). Back in ’94 a survey was taken in each of the districts and the peony got the most votes for National Flower, not that it was ever made so but at least it got the most votes.

Make your own vase

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, flowers are my favorite way to accent a home. Well, when accenting a home with flowers, I like to be creative and vary the vase designs that my flowers are held within. I enjoy creating my vases and have learned a fun technique for creating a great looking vase out of a 2 liter soda bottle. I love these vases, because I have kids running around and things made of crystal tend to get broke. Also, I am a fan of recycling, so when I am bored with the vase, I simply throw it in my recycle bin and I’m good to go. Here are the steps for creating your own flower vase from a soda bottle.

Choosing The Right Container

Clay, Plastic, Ceramic or Self Watering, What's Best?

There are many different containers available, but which kind is best for your plants? Read on to find out!

An important part of growing happy and healthy houseplants is choosing the right container for them. There are several different kinds of pots available and different types of plants need different types of pots. Here is a look at what’s available and what they are best for:

Plastic- Most houseplants are sold in plastic pots and for the most part, it’s fine to keep them in them. Plastic pots are durable, shatter proof and keep the soil from drying out too quickly. They come in a wide array of sizes and colors-some even look like terra cotta or stone. Try to find the type that comes with a saucer that snaps on the bottom to protect your furniture. Just make sure to remove it when you water to insure proper drainage. Discard any pots that have cracks or chips in them as the edges can be sharp and they may leak when you water.

The Meaning of Flowers

10 LA Plants You'll Want to Know About

Flowers are beautiful for sure, but they also say so much. Red roses, of course, are a symbol of true love, which is why they’re sent for special occasions. But all flowers have meanings and symbolisms. If you’re planting a garden, especially here in Los Angeles, why not plant flowers that have meaning. Here are a few ideas to get you going:

Creating your Dream Garden

Checklist for Planning Ahead to Spring

Although the temperature outside is still dipping pretty low, here in the Denver area, we're already starting to experience some warm and sunny, springlike days. Yes, although it's still officially a full two months away, spring is definitely in the air. While it's a bit too early to start any major planting, late January and early February is a great time to begin making plans for your spring gardens. Use this checklist to start planning now for beautiful springtime blooms:

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