In the seasonal rush to plant spring-flowering bulbs, fall bloomers are often overlooked. To add to their undeserved obscurity, one of the loveliest — colchicum — suffers from an identity crisis. Often referred to as autumn crocus (which belongs to another genus altogether), Colchicum is a botanical name that's easily mangled, causing confusion. And, of its many common names – … [Read more...] about Fall-blooming colchicums
Why don’t my daffodils re-bloom?
Question from Pamela in Sarnia For years, I have planted daffodils in the fall. They bloom the next spring and then never bloom again. I have never had one re-bloom. Any explanation ? Beckie's reply: Daffodils are generally reliable bloomers. A bonus is that they’re unpalatable to deer, squirrels and rabbits, which often treat a display of spring-blooming bulbs as their … [Read more...] about Why don’t my daffodils re-bloom?
Garden design ideas for all season blooms
What do gardeners want? The simple answer is to see beautiful blooms every day of the growing season. What we’re more likely to see are a few bursts of colourful blossoms interspersed with increasingly long periods of green leaves. This scenario is the result of planting only what interests us most (or what recently seduced us at the garden centre), instead of following a … [Read more...] about Garden design ideas for all season blooms
How to grow spectacular spring-flowering containers
Wouldn’t it be nice to grow your own favourite bulbs for spring-flowering containers? Most first attempts involve planting the bulbs in containers in the fall, watering them and waiting for spring. With few exceptions, the result is a container filled with wet soil and rotted bulbs. What happened? Well, there is this natural phenomenon that shaped Canada’s landscape AND has … [Read more...] about How to grow spectacular spring-flowering containers
In praise of Verbena bonariensis
The late, great British gardener and writer Christopher Lloyd is in part responsible for my deep love of South American vervain (Verbena bonariensis). It was Lloyd’s book Colour for Adventurous Gardeners (Firefly, 2001) that introduced me to this plant, also commonly called tall verbena. Lloyd had it generously planted throughout the gardens at his home, Great Dixter, and his … [Read more...] about In praise of Verbena bonariensis