I GET ASKED TWO QUESTIONS a lot when people visit my garden: “Where did you get that plant?” and, “Where do you put all those big pots of tender things in winter?” (such as the giant Rex begonia vine, above). The answers to both questions lead back to one old friend in particular, Dennis Schrader, whose wholesale nursery on Long Island is where many of the favorite “investment plants” I try to carry over year to year put down their first roots, and whose expert overwintering advice I got on the latest edition of my radio show. Plus: Win Dennis’s classic book, “Hot Plants for Cool Climates.” [read more…]
Flower bulbs can be layered into perennial gardens and under deciduous trees and shrubs to create extra interest in the same space. I recommend animal-resistant bulbs, in particular, from Allium to Narcissus, Eranthis and more, so deer and rodents don't steal my show.
SEATTLE-BASED GARDEN FRIENDS brought me lily bulbs years ago, ones they said were their favorites, but of a type I didn’t know. They were martagon lilies, and when I saw my first flowers the next spring, they quickly became my favorite, too, with their Turk’s cap-style blooms and a natural-looking demeanor—no stiffness, and lots of grace. My gift had come from a nursery near my friends’ garden, which has a great assortment of martagons. I’ve asked that expert grower to give us the 101 on them (quick hint: lime desired!), and lily-growing and dividing in general. [read more…]
THEY’RE ONE OF SPRING’S best garden performers: flower bulbs. But what if your daffodils have no flowers (or very few), or the animals dug up or ate your tulips and you want a solution for the future? A springtime recap of bulb-growing basics, to answer some of the most common flower-bulb questions I’m being asked right now: [read more…]
I DON’T GROW A LOT of tulips, but the ones I do grow—for cutting, one of spring’s great treats—are mostly multi-flowering, or bunching tulips, where each bulb produces a little bouquet of flowers, not just one. See how the single stems divides into three or four blooms, above, in showy ‘Red Bouquet’? If you have room for more tulips this fall (and tulips can be planted late, so there’s time), think about trying these generous souls. They’re a little hard to track down, but worth the hunt. Some help: [read more…]