Monday, January 25, 2016

Keukenhof Gardens

If you love tulips and spring flowers, visit the Keukenhof Gardens near Amsterdam.  The gardens cover over seventy acres and are planted with nearly seven million spring flowers.

The gardens were the idea of the 1949 Mayor of Lisse.  He wanted to create an open-air flower exhibition to showcase Dutch bulb-growers' latest hybrids.  It is now the world's largest and most photographed flower garden.

If you want to see it, the best time to go is in April.  The gardens are located between the towns of Hillingom and Lisse.  The exhibition runs from the end of March to May.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Winter Jasmine

Since a lot of you are experiencing winter now, you might be missing the splash of color that flowers add. Winter jasmine are flowering vines that can fill the void in late winter or early spring.  Their one-inch diameter yellow blooms appear before the leaves emerge.  Winter jasmine can be gown in planting zones  6-10.  When unsupported, they reach four feet in height and about seven feet in width.  This makes them perfect for wooden arbors.  Winter jasmine can also be used as ground cover.  It works really well for landscaping slopes. Be sure to prune your winter jasmine in late spring after they have bloomed.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Preserving Your Christmas Poinsettias

Poinsettias are some of the prettiest flowers of the season.  If you're like me, you want to keep these beauties going for longer than a couple of months.  How do you preserve them so you can enjoy more than one season?  Here's what I do:  First, place the plant in a dry place.  I find that my garage works well.  Keep the soil damp, but cut back on the amount of water you give it.  In March, prune the poinsettia to about six inches above the ground and repot in a larger container.  Two inches wider in diameter usually works well.  When this is done, set the plant indoors, where it can receive full sun.  When the poinsettia starts to grow, fertilize it.  Your poinsettia will be blooming again in no time.