Archive for February, 2010

The Dahlia Perennial

February 15, 2010

Dahlia
Dahlia is a class of bushy, tuberous, perennial plant native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. Hybrids are commonly grown as garden plants. The Aztecs cultivated the dahlia for food, decorative purposes, ceremonies and one variety was used for making small pipes.
The Dahlia has quite a history. In late 1789 seeds were sent from the botanical garden of Mexico City to Madrid were they flowered. Lord Bute secured a few seeds and sent them to England, where they flowered but were lost.
Approximately at the same time the dahlia was introduced to the Netherlands when a box of dahlia roots arrived from Mexico. Only one plant survived, producing spectacular red flowers.
Commercial plant breeders have been breeding dahlias to produce thousands of cultivars, chosen for their spectacular beauty with the brightly colored waxy flowers. Dahlia plants range in height from 12 inches to a staggering height of 6-8 ft. As stunning the height range, dahlia flowers can be as small 2 inches in diameter to 1 ft. in diameter. This variation is contributed to fact that dahlias are octoploids (having eight sets of homologous chromosomes, instead of the normal two).
In 1963 Dahlia was named the national flower of Mexico.

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Blue Colombine Perennial

February 15, 2010

Colorado Blue Columbine
The Colorado Blue Columbine is native to the Rocky Mountains from Montana to New Mexico and west to Idaho and Arizona. Colorado Blue Columbine is sometimes called ‘Rocky Mountain Columbine’.
It is a herbaceous perennial plant with flowers varying in color from a pale blue to white, pale yellow and pinkish.
The Colorado Blue Columbine is the official state flower of Colorado

Colombine ABeautiful and Delicate Perennial Flower

February 15, 2010

Columbine
Another favorite is the herbaceous perennial, the columbine with its pastel like coloring of yellow, lavender, and pink. The species are known for their distinctive flowers which are generally bell shaped.
Several species are found in gardens to include the European Columbine, an established garden flower in many parts of the globe. They are easy to proliferate from seed.
Native Americans use to consume flowers of various Columbine species as a condiment with other fresh greens. This was done in moderation. They are reported to be very sweet and safe if consumed in small quantities. The remainder of the plant, seeds and roots, are highly poisonous, containing carcinogenic toxins. These toxins induce both severe gastroenteritis and heart palpitations. However, a minute amount of the root is effective for treating ulcers. Due to its high toxicity this plant should be avoided for medical use because columbine poisonings may be fatal.

Perennial Plant

February 15, 2010

PERENNIALS
Lilacs

The definition of a perennial plant is a plant that lasts for more than two growing seasons.
Lilacs are deciduous shrubs or small trees, 6-30 ft. tall. The leaves are arranged opposite to each other. The usual flower color is a shade of purple (light purple or lilac); however, shades of white, pale yellow and pink, and even a dark burgundy can be found. Not all species have a strong fragrance. Lilac blooming occurs between mid-spring to early summer as dictated by the species.

Gardening For Just The Fun Of It

February 15, 2010

Just to touch briefly on the many facets to gardening. Houseplants, also known as indoor plants, brighten up the office or home and make a great hobby during those long cold months of winter. Houseplants are easy to grow and beneficial as they convert our carbon dioxide (the exhale) to oxygen.

Numerous herbs can be raised indoors as houseplants. Chives, Basil, Dill and Parsley are good choices because they can survive in the limited lighting conditions of the average home. If you are planning on transplanting these herbs to outdoors, do so after the last frost. Herbs are world renowned for flavoring and spicing up foods. Without herbs, foods would be really bland. Herb gardening is a hobby that makes cooking fun and tasteful.

Space is not a problem to start your own herb garden. Live in a condo; try growing herbs in a container on your balcony or deck or lanai. Many herbs are good indoor plants during the winter months.

Herbs are categorized as Aromatic, Culinary, Medicinal and Ornamental.
All of these factors add up making gardening a hobby that can have a significant positive impact on your health. Start planning your garden today and get ready to feel great!

Gardening Makes A Wonderful Pasttime

February 15, 2010

Many enjoy gardening as a chance to clear their mind and have a private retreat from the pressures of everyday life. Also, gardening offers the benefit of physical exercise by stretching, repetition and resistance. The feeling of well-being is produced by gardening because the physical exercise releases endorphins.

A home garden helps to improve one’s diet by the addition of more healthy fruits and vegetables because they came from ‘the garden’. A definite health plus. Vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and antioxidants (flavonoids) help fight disease and build your immune system. Even a small variety of vegetables in your garden will significantly increase your vitamin and mineral intake.

Organic vegetables are low in calories. The fiber and water they contain make them filling and if one substitutes vegetables for a higher caloric fat foods there exists the potential to lose weight.

Nursery Gardening Makes A Great Hobby

February 15, 2010

Gardening can be a rewarding and satisfying hobby for anyone, all ages, rich or poor, for all seasons and climates. A garden can be an individual’s artistic expression with the palette of many colors, shapes and fragrances. Gardening is one hobby that encompasses many positive aspects to make it a benefit to health and well-being. Interaction with one’s garden pays back by treating a variety of mental and physical health problems. Horticultural Therapy is a practice based on these benefits. No matter what type of garden one raise, it provides a sense of tranquility for one’s soul and exercise for a healthy heart. Gardening is a definite win-win scenario.

You, your family or club can partake in planning a garden. Plan the size, location and layout of the planting areas. What you are going to plant, fruits or vegetables. One of the best elements of garden hobby is learning about plants and science of growing. Nothing is more exciting than seeing that tiny seed bursting through the soil, stretching its young leaves to the sun. This is the hobbyist’s reward for their efforts.

Snowflakes on The Perennials

February 14, 2010

SPRING/SUMMER SNOWFLAKES
Spring Snowflake
Spring Snowflake and Summer Snowflake are a bulbous perennial plant. While growing, the bulb is kept well below ground level by a special root that lengthens and contracts.
The Spring Snowflake is native to central and southern Europe and western Russia and has been naturalized in numerous other areas on the globe including the east coast of North America. The flowers are small and bell shaped possessing a slight fragrance.
Spring snowflake normally reaches 6-8 inches and flowers from mid February to March, as soon as the snow melts.
Summer Snowflake
Its cousin the Summer snowflake possesses a broader natural range, Europe (including England), southwest Asia and northern Iran. It is no stranger to wetter habits such as damp woodland, riversides and swamps. It flowers from April to May and attains a height of approximately 2 ft.

The Love Of Gladiolus Perennial

February 14, 2010

GLADIOLUS
Gladiolus from the Latin gladius (meaning a sword) is a perennial bulbous flowering plant of the iris family. Of the 260 Gladiolus species, 163 are from Southern Africa and about 10 species are native to Eurasia.
These flowers have a variety of color from pink to reddish or light purple with white, or orange to red, or white to cream, to name a few.
Gladiolus has a short swollen underground stem base that stores food over the winter and produces new foliage in the spring. They are called corms and these corms should be removed from the soil in autumn and stored over the winter months in a frost free environment. Propagation of the Gladiolus is accomplished either from small cormlets, an offspring of the parent corm or from seed. Regardless of the method, it takes several years from the plant to reaching flowering size.
Extensive hybridization of Gladiolus has produced a multitude of ornamental flower colors. They are excellent as a cut flower; however, the height of the cultivated forms makes them very prone to fall over in the wind if left on the plant.

Tulip Bulbs

February 14, 2010

Tulips
When one mentions bulbs, the first thought that comes to mind is tulips
The tulip is a perennial plant. Many hybrid cultivars are raised in gardens, -pot plants and as fresh cut flowers.
In the early 1600’s a mania swooped throughout Europe and particularly in Holland. Bulbs were traded for land, livestock, and houses and routinely on stock exchanges throughout Holland.
Even though one associates tulips with Holland, it was the Ottoman Empire that cultivated the flower commercially.
Blooming occurs during April and May. The bulbs can withstand frost and temperatures well below freezing. To necessitate proper growth and flowering, a period of low temperature dormancy is needed. Tulips are at their best in long cool springs and early summers; but, are grown as spring blooming annual plants in warmer climates around the globe.
Typically, a tulip bulb is planted in late summer and fall, 4-8 inches deep in well drained soils. Warmer areas of the globe require the bulb to be planted approximately 12 inches deep. This depth offers some protection from the hot summer and tends to force the tulip plant to regenerate one large bulb every year. Although this extends the usefulness of the tulips a few years it will not prevent the degradation of the bulb size and eventually its death.