Monday, May 4, 2009

Garden Tips: Buying Annuals & Bulb Care

Queer things happen in the garden in May. Little faces forgotten appear, and plants thought to be dead suddenly wave a green hand to confound you.
~W. E . Johns

Today I have tips on buying annuals, and caring for your springs bulbs after they bloom.

When buying plants, especially flats of annuals, buy only the ones that are perky, bright and without any defects, browned leaves etc. The only exception to this is if you are getting such a good bargain that you want to take a chance on them. Trim off bad spots, and get them into the ground as quickly as you can.

There are annuals and perennials that are more tolerant of heat then other plants. These are great for hot climates or areas of your property that are dry and hot all day. This is a partial list to give you an idea of what to choose:

Celosia or cockscomb (Celosia argentea plumosa)
Spider flower (Cleome hasslerana)
Coreopsis (Coreopsis vericillata)
Globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa)
Morning Glory (Ipomoea tricolor)
Moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora)
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Blanket flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora)
Lamb's ears (Stachys byszantina)
Liatris (Liatris spicata)
Shasta daisy (Chrysanthemum x superbum)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Reminder: Only remove the foliage from spring bulbs when it has died back naturally---after it has turned yellow and looks like it's drying out. You can cut it down to just above the soil, and plant annuals in front of the bulbs. Be sure to plant gently so you don't disturb the bulbs. This also applies to your iris foliage after they bloom. You can cut the flower stalk off, but leave the foliage.

How to grow snapdragons in your garden:


  1. Hi,

    I just bought a house, and I have several of these purple flowers in one of the beds. I was wondering what they are.


  2. Doug-- that is a columbine. They are one of my favorite flowers!


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