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Feature | Flowering Garden Guide

Time to devide some bulbs

By Felix on January 21st, 2009

Dividing bulb plants is an easy way to propagate your favourite flowers,  share them with your friends or just plant them elsewhere in your garden. In addition, many bulb flowers become overgrown, and reducing the growth through dividing bulbs is the easiest way to get things back to normal.  It is generally easy to tell when a planting of bulbs needs to be divided.  One sure sign is when a previously well blooming planting of bulbs has begun to provide only sparse blooms.  The simplest solution to overcrowding is to divide those bulbs.  Dividing the bulbs properly will allow the remaining bulbs to bloom vibrantly.

There are actually five different types of bulb flowers – true bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes and tuberous roots.  The techniques for dividing each type of bulb vary, so it is important to know which type you are working with.

bulbs-sxc1003641True bulbs
True bulbs almost look like common onions. The different layers are modified leafs.  To divide a true bulb, you should begin by separating the original bulb from the smaller bulb which usually is growing at its base.  When dividing lily bulbs, you should be careful to first remove the outer scales from the basal plate.  After the outer scales are removed, the ends of the bulb should be dipped in a rooting hormone, and the bulb should be planted immediately.

corm-sxc173779Corms
If true bulbs could be compared to onions, corms can be compared to round potatoes. They are internally structured with solid tissues, not in leaf like layers. They renew their growth each season through the production of a new corm, and sometimes also small cormels growing on top of the original corm.  To divide corms, the gardener should simply separate the healthy new corms, as well as any little cormels, from the original one.

stemtuber-wikiStem Tubers
Stem Tubers look like a mix of a little garlic onion with a berry. They are often located near the soil surface and serve as a short-living storage and regenerative organ. The tubers decay while the flowers are growing and will be produced again in fall. As tubers mature, they increase both their size and the number of growing points. You can divide stem tubers by cutting them into two or more sections. Just make sure that each section contains at least one growing point.

sweet-potato-sxc818103Root Tubers
Imagine a long but thick sweet potato. That is what a root tuber looks like. A root tuber will contain several growing points (eyes).  Some, like day lilies, form separate and distinct plants, which can simply be pulled apart.  This type of sectioning is generally done in fall or summer while the plant is still in its growth stage.  Other tuberous root plants, such as dahlias, are more difficult to separate.  In order to separate more difficult plants like dahlias, you will need to cut the clumps apart so that each root has a growth bud from which to start.  The best time to separate them is in early spring.

ginger-sxc1126718Rhizomes
Imagine a ginger root - that is a rhizome. Rhizomes are sending out roots shoots from its nodes. Some plants, some ires species for example,  have rhizomes that grow above the soil surface.  The new growth on rhizomes is produced from growth points located at their sides.  Rhizomes are divided by breaking the sections apart at the natural divisions between them, being sure that each of the new divisions has at least one growth point on it.

As you can see it is not difficult to divide the different kind of bulbs as long as you know what you are dealing with. Happy gardening!

Photo Stem Tuber: Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License”.

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My Bulb Flower List

By Felix on January 12th, 2009

Bulbs are among the most attractive, and easiest to care for, flowers in the garden.  A bulb garden in full bloom can be a wonderful, attractive sight for any gardener and garden designer.

Another great thing about bulbs is the sheer variety in which they come. There are literally thousends of colors, shapes and sizes to choose from.

Even within bulb families, there is quite a bit of variety.  The humble tulip, for instance, boasts a variety of different shaped blooms, from the traditional bell shaped to a number of more exotic varieties.  With all these varieties to choose from, finding just the right bulbs for your garden can be difficult. 

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Choosing Your Roses

By Felix on January 3rd, 2009

sxc1076181

Roses have long been a favorite among all types of gardeners, and roses continue to enjoy great popularity today.  Roses are perennial flowers of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. That family contains over 100 species and comes in a variety of colors. Besides that, many thousands of rose hybrids and cultivars have been bred and selected for garden use. In addition to their beauty as cut flowers and in bouquets, roses are among the most useful and attractive flowers to grace the landscape of any home.

As a matter of fact, the exterior of any home can be made more graceful and more inviting through the use of wonderful landscape roses.  Choosing the forms and colors will ensue that they compliment the overall style of your home and contribute to the overall success of your landscape design.

Fortunately, the number of ornamental landscape roses make finding them an easy task.  The difficulty consists of choosing the right ones from this sheer endless variety.  There are a number of classes of roses whose characteristics make them great for use as landscape ornamentals.  For instance, the gardener who wants to grow roses up and over an archway or a trellis may want to use tall growing tea roses.  Tea roses are renowned for their nodding blooms, therefore all who pass under the arch would be treated to the beautiful sight of roses in full bloom.

To accent a wall or other permanent structure, a true climbing rose is often the best choice. True climbing roses can be trained to many different effects, including climbing up the length of the structure, or accenting the tops and sides of a wall or building.

Purple English RosesThe Polyantha or modern day Floribunda rose is a great choice for gardeners looking for a vibrant splash of color for the background.  These popular varieties of roses have large sprays of blooms, and they are popular choices for providing color in the landscape.

If roses are to be planted in front of other plants in the landscape, miniature or low growing China roses are a perfect choice.  Roses can even be used as hedges, with modern Shrub roses and Rugosa roses being excellent choices.

Of course, as with any aspect of gardening, color is an important consideration.  After all, every gardener’s goal is a garden full of colorful, vibrant and healthy plants.  Fortunately, roses come in so many shapes, sizes, textures and colors that there truly is a rose for every gardener.

The goal of choosing the best color roses for the landscape should be to compliment the color of the surrounding landscape.  For instance, a spray of plain white tea roses can be striking against a dark red brick home, or an arrangement of pink roses can be the perfect compliment to a stone or marble entranceway.  With so many colors of roses to choose from, it should be easy to find colors that compliment and enhance any decorating scheme.

One popular trend in the world of landscaping is to use a variety of different plants and flowers in the landscape.  Whereas single species landscaping was in vogue a few years ago, most of today’s gardeners like to use a mix of different colors, species and styles of plants.  Doing so not only makes for a vibrant garden, but it is thought to enhance the health of the soil as well. My rule of thumb: Design your garden like Mother Nature would do it.

Fortunately, roses lend themselves well to this mixture, and roses can be a beautiful part of an overall landscape of plants and flowers.  In addition, there are roses suitable for a variety of climates.  Choosing the best rose varieties for your specific climate should mean fewer pesticides, few disease issues and an overall healthier garden.

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