Mums for Short…a beautiful display of mums.

ChrysantenfeestinLahr-Duitsland

It is amazing how flowers can be used as art.  In January you can enjoy the Rose Parade in California, but now in October you can enjoy display of art in Germany.  Take a few moments to watch this slide show. Do you create art with your garden mums?  Leave a comment of which picture or display you like best.

Thanks to my Friend Robyn for this slide show. Enjoy.

Perennial of the Week-Bearded Iris

When you are thinking about all of the beautiful Irises that you have seen, do you realize that you may have been looking at several different species of Iris rather just the more common Bearded Iris? There are also Iris species know as Japanese, Dutch, English, Reticulatas and many other species.  In fact there are close to 300 species of Irises that can be found. Today I am going to talk about the Bearded Iris.

Bearded Irises are one of the most popular perennials planted around the world. Colors come in all shades except that of pure red and green. They also come in varying heights ranging from 8 inches high to some growing up to 4 feet high. Wow!

Bearded Iris performs best in well drained soil.  They do not like to have their feet or roots wet. They are susceptible to root rot. In heavier clay soils consider planting them in raised beds.  Plant in full sun with the “boot” or rhizome just barely under the soil, in fact the rhizome can be partially exposed.  If they are planted too deep, you will not get any flowers the following spring.

This species of Iris grow from rhizomes (modified stem with fleshy roots) and need to split or divided every few years.  Plant the rhizomes about a foot apart with the bend of the root pointed toward the back of your garden. These are a very hardy perennial.

Iris rhizomes are usually available for purchase in late July thru October.  They should be planted as soon as you get them.  Most gardeners will start thinning their Iris beds in July and many are willing to share extras that they are thinning out.

Check with your local garden clubs to see if they host any Iris Festivals in your area, usually in late May and early June.  If there is a festival nearby take the time to enjoy a walk through the Irises. Iris Festivals are absolutely amazing, for you will see more than the common yellow and purple irises on display.

What are some your favorite Iris varieties that you have planted in your garden?

Annual of the Week-Petunia

One of the most popular and versatile annuals found in the horticulture world is the petunia. You can probably find any shade of color that you want and would be able to plant it anywhere other than a deep shaded area in your garden. If you can give it sunlight it will grow.

However, not every petunia is the same. There are a couple of distinctive characteristics that are set petunia apart from each other. So distinct that petunia are separated into different classifications: grandiflora, multiflora, milliflora, trailing and mounding types.

Petunia Hybrid Grandiflora: Grandiflora types produce the largest flowers of all petunia, however they will bear the least amount of flowers. These plants can grow as tall as 24 inches and certain varieties or strains can give you a spreading habit of 24-36 inches wide. Some of the more popular strains are Ultra, Storm, Magic and Frost.

Petunia Hybrid Multiflora: This is also known as a floribunda. Plant growth or habit is similar to that of the Grandiflora varieties, but the flowers are smaller, usually only producing flowers that are 2 inches across. Certain strains offer a neat compact habit that makes them excellent for mass planting in flower beds. Prime Time, Celebrity, Plum, and Whispers are strains that can offer the widest range of colors for your garden.

Petunia Hybrid Milliflora: These are cute dwarf petunias growing in mounding habits of about 6 to 8 inches in height and width. One of the best features is that there is no need for pinching or pruning to keep these babies in tip top shape. Dainty flowers cover the whole plant offering a burst of color in containers or in your garden. Plant them where they can be seen and not covered over. You will find these as Fantasy or Tiny Tunias.

Trailing and Mounding Petunia: You might have heard or seen the Purple Wave petunia, but have you seen the Tidal Wave or even the Ramblin’ petunias? These phenomenal petunias definitely have made a splash in the cascading flowering plants. Some of these varieties can grow up to 5 feet wide. That is a lot of color to have in one area.

Petunias are a flower that everyone has had in their garden at one time; personally I think you should have them somewhere all of the time. I find that the purple ones, no matter which variety offers the best fragrance to enjoy from your garden. Plant them and enjoy.