Monday, May 28, 2018

World of Irises: "Talking Irises" - THE 2018 TALL BEARDED IRIS BLOO...

World of Irises: "Talking Irises" - THE 2018 TALL BEARDED IRIS BLOO...: By Susanne Holland Spicker (picture of the garden bed in 2016)   'GARDEN BRIDE' (Chapman '98) and 'BOLD EXPRESSION&...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

PEONY TULIPS -- Spring arrangements for lasting beauty

I love the many-petaled tulips labeled as "peony-flowering." Their multi-petaled stems, fully double, make the spring garden a sea of beauty.

This variety, "ANGELIQUE," opens up to a nice 5-7" bloom. With its yellow anthers and center, and white petals that reveal a 'brush-stroked' look of medium light rose pink, this beautiful tulip will please any tulip fancier.

When using in arrangements, cut early in the morning or after sunset in the evening. Choose stems that are still fairly closed.

They will fully open in a day, or two at the most, depending on where you have them displayed.

The long stems, 20-24" high, stand tall on strong stems in the spring garden, and are mid-late spring bloomers. 

I used a wet florist foam and a floral preservative for maximum vase life.  As always, keep your arrangements out of direct sunlight and drafts. The arrangement will last well over a week. 

Peony tulips come in many varieties and colors, but "ANGELIQUE" is definitely one of my favorites. It's feminine look, reliability and hardiness make it a real winner!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

SINGLE LATE TULIPS -- "Blushing Beauty"-- Tall, beautiful, and long-lasting in arrangements

The tall, stately 30" + blooms of "BLUSHING BEAUTY," a single late tulip, increases in size and beauty each year. The bulbs produce vigorous, strong stems which are perfect for the vase.

The blooms open up to 8" or more across and they will command attention in any garden.  I love some of the mutated blooms, as you can see in the photo. Each year the same marbled pattern appears on the same bulbs.

This year I've had some that are well over 30 inches--approaching 36-38".  Another feature that makes them so desirable is that they return each year, bigger and stronger, not diminishing like some other varieties. I highly recommend this tulip. It can be found online at bulb specialty catalogs.

Friday, April 21, 2017

TULIPS with DAFFODILS--Having success in spring arrangements

Single late tulip "Perestroyka" with "White Lion" daffodil

Using tulips and daffodils together in spring arrangements is not without its problems if not treated correctly.  Pre-condition your daffodils for success. Here's what you need to know:

  • Fill a container with cool water and a floral preservative
  • Place the daffodil stem in the water solution
  • Leave them in the container for at least 6 hours. (I leave them overnight)
  • Arrange the daffodils with the tulips as usual. DO NOT RE-CUT THE DAFFODIL STEMS
If you follow these steps, your arrangement will last as long as it usually would. Without the preparation, the daffodils will release a sap that, if absorbed by the tulips, will clog their stems, and shut off their ability to stay hydrated, causing them to droop and wilt. Other flowers will be affected as well. 

The buds of "Winston Churchill," a triple-bloomed daffodil, with tall, single late tulip, "Perestroyka,"  which will reach 30+ inches tall.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

DAFFODILS - So many choices for naturalizing

Daffodils are one of my favorite spring bulbs for many reasons:  Many of them naturalize well in the garden, their nodding blooms are one of the first to bloom in spring, there are many different varieties to choose from, they are extremely hardy, and, a very important reason for me--deer don't bother them!

This week's arrangement features 10 of my favorites:

(From top, in order)  Tahiti, Las Vegas, Ice King, Pink Charm, King Alfred, Chromacolor, Snow Frills, Flower Drift, Blonde Beauty, and Replete. All are 16-20" tall and provide early to mid-spring blooms.

Paired with rosy blooms from the thick stalks of Heart Leaf Bergenia, this spring arrangement will last a week. Cut blooms in the early morning before the sun comes out, and plunge in treated water before arranging. Keep arrangements out of direct sunlight and drafts. 

Spring has definitely arrived when the daffodils are in bloom!

Friday, March 31, 2017

TULIPS--Spring-flowering bulbs for arrangements

This spring arrangement is comprised entirely of  one variety of tulip--a single early-blooming pink called "Pink Impression." Even with cool temperatures, bulbs put on a fabulous show of color in early spring. And by planting tulips in the fall, selecting ones that bloom early, mid and late spring, extends the season sometimes up to a month. 

When using in arrangements for lasting quality, cut in the bud stage. They will open up in a day, but the arrangement will last a week or more. Keep out of direct sunlight and drafts. I use a wet florists foam and a floral preservative to ensure longevity.

When selecting tulips, I like to know what the heart looks like. This one has a beautiful blue-green star. Many have black or yellow centers.  I think it's the prettiest part of the flower.

Fully open on day two of the arrangement. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

DAFFODILS, FORSYTHIA & APRICOT BLOSSOMS--The 2017 spring garden blooms begin

Spring is here in the gardens. With warmer temperatures in early March, many spring flowering bulbs are blooming. However, with recent cold, rainy, and even snow, March is definitely going out like a lion here in zone 6. 

This arrangement started out small, but the explosion of blooming daffodils was quite a surprise!  The apricot blossoms and forsythia are almost hidden by the yellow masses of daffodils.

I didn't realize just how large this new variety of daffodil would be in bloom, and the arrangement had far too many daffodils in it. That's good to know for future arrangements. The blooms were fully open in one day. 

As always, choose blooms in the bud stage, use a floral preservative, and keep arrangements out of direct sunlight and drafts for longevity. This arrangement will last a week or more.