Because the blossoms smell as good as this one looks. Plus, it's hardy from Long Island to South Florida. Plus, it has a tidy upright habit and is perfectly sized for many peoples' yard. Plus, it's virtually problem-free. What more do you want from a tree?
Many Hometalk members have recently posted about succulents, and Debra Lee Baldwin has a useful post on companion plants for them on her blog, Gardening Gone Wild. She's also giving a
talk on the topic at next week's "Succulent Extravaganza" at the Succulent Gardens near San Francisco. Have you incorporated these water-thrifty plants into your gardens? What do you plant with them? See her full post here:
Bulbs represent one of the least-expensive ways to add color to your landscape. Daffodils, for example, can be had for 50 cents each, will provide years of enjoyment and increase in
number, or "naturalize," when happy. Since the days have cooled off in much of the country, but the ground is still relatively warm, we are in prime bulb-planting time. Bulbs planted now will get right to work establishing their root systems. I've planted thousands of them over the years, and here are some basics based on that experience.
1. Good soil counts. Take the time to prepare the bed where you are going to be planting. Good drainage is particularly important, as most bulbs like it on the dry side during their period of dormancy.
2. A general rule for planting depth is that it should be three times a bulb's diameter. So a tulip bulb two inches across should be planted
six inches deep.
3. Don't be afraid to make bulb "sandwiches." More than one type of bulb can share a planting hole. Put the largest on the bottom, sprinkle on a little soil, add a smaller bulb, sprinkle on a little more, and finish up with a small bulb on top with just a couple of inches of soil over that.
4. Generally speaking, plant the pointy side of the bulb facing up. Sometimes this can be difficult to figure out, in which case plant the bulb on its side and it will actually right itself.
5. Don't fertilize when you plant. This may contradict advice you have read, but I've never done it. Using a product like bone meal in the planting hole can attract critters that will then feast on the bulbs. Instead, apply a good slow-release fertilizer as the foliage starts to appear in the spring. And a twice-yearly top-dressing with compost wouldn't hurt either.
6. But do water when you plant, just as you would something that came in a pot. And in the spring, if you don't get those April showers.
7. More is more. Don't skimp on the number of bulbs you buy. A dozen crocus will go almost unnoticed but a hundred will make a statement.
8. This is not a planting tip, but resist all temptation, after the blooming season, to braid, tie up or cut the bulb's foliage until it begins to turn yellow and flops over. Then it is safe to cut it off. Doing anything else beforehand will impinge on the plant's ability to photosynthesize, which is crucial to the formations of the next season's blooms.
The photos are from companies I have ordered from over the years and can recommend based on my experience. I've included links to their web sites in the captions.
It's prime gardening season in many places right now and we're getting a lot of questions on Hometalk from members facing challenges with their yards. Sometimes it's an old space with a
vexing problem, sometimes it's the blank slate of a new yard. To show you such issues are not insurmountable, I am starting this thread where Hometalk members can show before and after photos from their gardens, and I'll break the ice with two pairs of photos from my own backyard. As the before photos (taken almost exactly three years ago) show, when I bought this neglected little house, the"yard" was nothing but sand and weeds. Today, happily, things look rather different. So start uploading, and let's show folks what can be done!