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Showing posts from July, 2014

How to Care for Asiatic and Oriental Lilies

1 "...but I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these." -Matthew 6:29. Lilies are magnificent flowers that command attention wherever they are planted. Lily flowers are valued for their very showy, often fragrant flowers. At home in both formal and naturalistic settings, lilies also can be grown in containers. Lilies are one of the truly great garden plants for their flower form, diversity, extended season of bloom, graceful stature, and reliable disposition. Their bulbs can be planted in spring for bloom the same year, or in fall for bloom the following year. The sequence of bloom begins in early summer with the colorful Asiatics, Martagon Lilies (also called Turk’s Cap Lilies), and pure white Lilium candidum, and then continues until late summer with other species Lilies and three tall, fragrant groups: Orientals, Orienpets (hybrids between Orientals and Trumpets), and Trumpets. They all make wonderful cut flowers. By carefully blending earl…

Love Lies Bleeding a Plant Worth Growing

Love Lies Bleeding is an old fashioned Cottage Garden flower grown by our grandmothers but rarely seen today. It is an easy plant to start from seeds, just scatter them around your flower bed and soon you will see dozens of small plants popping up. It does not kike to have it’s roots messed with, keep that in mind if you decide to transplant. You will never find it sold in a local nursery, why I don’t know for it is a lovely and unusual plant to grow. Last summer I pruned one plant into a tree that grew 6 ft. tall and got so heavy with ropes it split into.In most of its range, it is planted as a summer annual. In temperate regions, (zone 8-10) plants can be started indoors in early spring and transplanted outdoors after the last frost. In zone 9b the arid dessert of Las Vegas, once started it becomes a perennial plant. The plant can be grown either upright or as a spreading annual or short-lived perennial. In the picture below I grew seeds in a hanging basket and the florets spilled o…

4 Essentials for Attracting Hummingbirds

The essentials to attract these adorable little winged creatures is the same essentials for humans. Give them good food, plenty of water, comfortable surroundings and a secure habitat.
Food There are three ways to provide tantalizing food for hummingbirds: through plants, feeders and insects. Plants: Hummingbirds feed frequently on nectar-rich flowers, and planting flowers specifically to attract these flying jewels is an easy way to make any yard a perfect hummingbird habitat. While the color red is very attractive to hummingbirds, the most important factor is that the flowers must produce plenty of nectar. Bleeding hearts, impatiens, petunias, salvias, bee balm, columbine, cannas, viburnums, honeysuckles and many other flower, tree and shrub species will attract a variety of hummingbirds. Birders who prefer non-red flowers can add an instant touch of attractive color with red or purple gazing balls that will attract hummingbirds as well. Feeders: Nectar feeders are one of the most commo…

What Birds Want In a Birdhouse?

Why provide birdhouses? Habitat loss has driven some species away from former nesting areas. The right house can bring birds back home. "Habitat loss is the single greatest threat to our birds," said Adam Roberts, executive vice president of the conservation group Born Free USA. "You can help offset some of these threats by creating habitats in your backyard and community and get the whole family involved." Birds' needs are straightforward: food, water and shelter. Bird feeders and birdbaths help provide the first two. Birds that can inhabit your birdhouse range from tiny sparrows to large crows.  According to Debbie Arrington at the Sacremento BeeThe world of birdhouses is divided into two parts: cute, decorative, often whimsical creations that appeal to humans; and functional nesting boxes that the birds will actually use. This would explain why all my cute, whimsical birdhouses are devoid of birds. The bees love my cute empty houses. Now after writing this…