Tag Archives: cold weather perennials

Final Days to Plant Bulbs for Spring Blooms

Yellow Daffodils SpoutingHello Everyone!
If it’s color you crave during those early Spring days in March and April, then don’t delay.
It’s time to buy those daffodil, tulip, crocus, iris and other bulbs and get them into the ground before it freezes!
Here in Boston the soil is still moist and pliable but we’re fast approach consistent nights of below freezing temperatures.  The best time to plant bulbs is after the first frost.  That is happening soon – if it hasn’t happened already where you are.

So, what bulbs should you choose?  Think about color and texture.  Most bulbs come with a photo or are in a bin with a picture of of the bulb in full bloom. Choose the ones that appeal to you.  Remember, smaller bulbs produce flowers that bloom earlier in the spring, and the  flowers are small, like the crocus.  Larger bulbs, such as tulips, bloom later and produce larger blooms. Make sure the bulbs feel firm,  are clean, and not spotted or moldy.

Be prepared.  Planting bulbs takes time.  I just read about the Bulb Bopper.  It’s a device to help with the planting.  I haven’t used it but, if you’re planting more than 30 bulbs, it might be worth a try.

Begin by digging the hole.  For large bulbs, the norm is eight inches deep and six inches apart.  For smaller bulbs, six inches deep and three inches apart with pointed ends up.  When you buy your bulbs, check with the garden expert to confirm these measures.
Here are easy steps to follow:

  • Dig a hole for the bulb
  • Add fertilizer (MiracleGro or similar)
  • Place the bulb in the hole
  • Replace the soil
  • Add water
  • Cover bulbs with 2 – 3 inches of mulch for protection
  • Check soil every four or five days and water if dry.  Don’t water daily.  This will rot the bulb.

Planting bulbs is usually the final planting activity before winter comes.  It’s the last chance to get your hands in the soil and plant for the new season.
Get out there and do it!  You’ll be glad you did!


Create a Container Garden – New Video!

Hello Everyone: 
At the May 5th City Garden Ideas workshop, Ellen Abdow, the owner of Perennial Gardens, created a container garden before our eyes.  
Now you can see it too… Click to watch and be inspired:  http://youtu.be/snZwENQ7u1o.   

Remember Thriller/Filler/Spiller:

Ellen chose a fiberglass pot and these plants to create the container garden:

  •  a purple calla lily in the center as her tall “thriller”
  • begonias and impatiens to provide a bushy middle as the “filler”
  • and healthy ivy to trail down the pot as her “spiller.”

Ellen generously offered the container garden as a raffle item at the end of the workshop.  Congratulations to Liz K. who won the container and provided the picture above. 

Enjoy your garden!

Ellen Abdow to Share Gardening Tips and Ideas

Hi Everyone: 
I wanted to share a bio on Ellen Abdow, the smart and dynamic owner of Perennial Gardens, a landscape firm in Boston.  She’ll share helpful gardening advice and will create a gorgeous container garden right before our eyes at the May 5th “Gardening Experts Speak! Tips for a Successful City Garden.”  Come join us!  Sign up today at citygardening.eventbrite.com.

Ellen is the founder of Perennial Gardens, LLC, a landscape design and build firm with clients throughout New England.  The firm has a diverse portfolio and Ellen and her expert team have cultivated a reputation for careful plant selection, imaginative composition and skilled installation.
Ellen brings 18 years of knowledge to each and every project.  She first got bitten by the gardening bug while teaching at Brookline High School and subsequently went to work at one of the area’s most respected nurseries. There she expanded her love and knowledge of perennials before launching her own firm. Today she gets great pleasure from helping clients hone their own personal garden visions and adapting these ideas in ways that will best suit their particular properties and lifestyles. Her work can be seen in numerous garden tours, on a walk through Boston’s Back Bay, or on line at perennialgardens.net.

Come hear gardening wisdom from Ellen!  Sign up today for the May 5th workshop!
 Register at citygardening.eventbrite.com. Cost is just $25.
Hope to see you there!!

Red Ruffled Tulips Startle and Delight in Window Boxes

Just had to share this!  Walking tonight in Boston’s Back Bay, I was stopped in my tracks by a trio of spectacular window boxes.  Night was falling but the red Ruffled Tulips with tinges of yellow stood out boldly.  The tulips were paired with bright yellow daffodils, red ranunculus amid a backdrop of flowering branches.  Just gorgeous!  The Ruffled Tulips, also known as Parrot Tulips, are so unusual!  Downright frilly!   Pairing them with friendly yellow daffodils makes the display inviting. Daffodils are probably the easiest and most dependable flower to grow and win me over every year.  The ranunculus was a lovely, colorful surprise.  That flower has multi-layers of paper thin petals.  It’s a hardy, cool weather perennial and is perfect for window boxes and containers.  The flowering branches give the window boxes height and added dimension.  The same flower and branch arrangement were seen on the stoop container.  Outstanding.  So far, this window box wins my vote for best display of the Spring season!