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Spring Flowers From Bulbs For The Lazy Gardener

I am not going to pretend that I am a Master Gardener, or the end of all wisdom with regard to spring bulbs in Florida. I will share my experiences with bulbs that I have planted in Florida that were successes or failures here at Petís gardens.

One of the things I missed in Florida was spring flowers, and I heard from everyone, you canít grow them here. Well here is the thing! You can. Here I was a dedicated...Sort of gardener missing the beauty and fragrance of spring flowers! Being told no, well I decided to investigate and if necessary loose a few dollars in the lesson.

Garden bed preparation is not my specialty; I donít map out a garden. I plant. This means I am a lazy sod. And really I dig holes and drop bulbs in. I do not measure I guess.

I do not carefully prepare my flower beds; I do not add a million pounds of this or that. Nope I just donít. This is really ok my flowers donít seem to mind in the least.

My garden beds are nothing fancy, no magic formulas no expensive additions. I am a simple gardener. Plant it, feed it, water it, mulch it weed it. I have neither the time nor inclination to do more. Remember I am the lazy gardener, and I hate to sweat! However

I love flowers, I am really not particular, I do have some favorites but I am careful not to show it. Roses and hibiscus are fÍted as the tropical queens, here at Petís gardens but luckily the rest of the flowers have not picked that up!

I donít know how many times I have heard that you canít have spring daffodils, and tulips, or hyacinths in Florida...

Nonsense! You surely can if you remember and utilize a few simple guidelines,

1. Daffodils like should be planted after the beginning of November, if you plant to early The ground will be much to warm, if you wait, the ground will have cooled enough that they wonít sprout and then die off, this is a very expensive and frustrating experience. So learn from my mistake and wait. Last fall as an experiment I refrigerated 200 daffodil bulbs and then planted them in December. They did not come up, although I had carefully for a change followed the directions given by the grower. At the same time I planted 500 daffodils (assorted) that were a mistake! From Amazon I had actually ordered 250 bulbs, and for some reason Amazon duplicated my order. So I ended up with 500 bulbs. What can you do? Return them? Heck no, it was like a stroke of fortune as far as I was concerned and I so did not do the happy gardener dance where my hubby could see it! But I did plant them and waited checking anxiously until I saw the crisp green tips emerge from the ground. The first daffodils bloomed on Feb. 1-2005.I had daffodils blooming until June 2005.

2. It is a fact of life in Florida that tulips will be annuals, so just deal with it. Honestly because we donít get the hard ground freezes necessary for tulips, we have to choose whether to spend the money, enjoy their short bloom period, or purchase alternate flowers. I am fond of tulips, but since these bulbs were to be a array of color to brighten that bleak period between winter and summer I chose to plant hyacinths instead they at least have a shot at coming back.

3. Hyacinths are rumored to be perennial in Fl. Under the right, so far never specified conditions. All I know is that I put 100 hyacinth bulbs in the front border of my main perennial garden, and by golly I had 100 blooms! I do not think that there is any smell that can compare to hyacinths, it is simply heavenly. I will report next year if they return.

4. Do not cut the foliage off after your flowers have finished blooming, yep its going to be kind of ugly for a couple of weeks, but donít complain you had vases of gorgeous flowers to brighten and scent your house, that non of your neighbors had!

Spring bulbs donít need our help, they are on their own timetable, and they know somehow when itís right to start growing. And I will add that while pacing and watching does nothing to speed the growth cycle it is good for your legs and hips!

I am working on lilies right now so you can watch for that article coming soon.

Feel free to drop me a note at pet@petsgardenphotography.com

Submitted by:

Pet Campbell

Pet Campbell is a gardener, photography and artist , transplanted from the cowboy kingdon of Montana, to gardening in paradise, Fl.

Feel free to use this article, giving credit to the author please.





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