gabriola garden

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sara's Heavenly Blossoms

I must confess that while the vegetable garden is mostly my domain, our flower garden belongs to my wife. She seems to have a proverbial sixth sense as to choosing just the right blooms to grace our flowerbeds. She scours the garden stores at this time of year for seeds and seedlings, and she prays that our perennials return year after year.

If you do any gardening at all, you know that there are no guarantees. Here is a short list of so-called "perennials" that failed to come back, usually after one season. Magic Fountains Delphinium, Golden Margeurite, Mango Coneflower, Peachleaf Bellflower, Blue Butterfly Delphinium, Blue Clips (or Campanula carpatica), Alpine Aster 'Goliath,' Pacific Giant Delphinium, Guinevere (a Pacific Giant hybrid), Purple Pixie, Princess Blue Viola, and Purple Duet Viola Sorbet, a fancy name for a perennial Pansy.

Those of you who are experienced gardeners are probably snickering because you know some secret reason or other why these flowers of ours refused to return. Wish you would write and tell us. Was it poor drainage, or was overcrowding the probable cause? Did we plant shade plants in the sun, and sun plants in the shade? Did we let our subscription slide to Canadian Gardening?

Next is the partial list of the flowers that do return, year after year. Baby's Breath, Mamma Mia (a light pink pot carnation, that does equally well in the ground), Windflower (an Anemone hybrid), Armeria maritima "Dusseldorf Pride,' Convallaria majalis (a Lily of the Valley), a Perennial Marguerite Daisy (Anthemis 'Wargrave Variety'), Becky Shasta Daisy, Baloon Flower 'Sentimental Blue' (cousin to the Bellflower), Profusion Fleabane Daisy, Calamint (not to be confused with Catnip), Munstead Lavender, Lavandula 'Otto Quast,' Lavender 'Ashdown Forest,' Lavender 'Grosso,' and Swiss Mint, which Sara likes to brew into tea.

I included this limited selection of the variety of flowers in our garden, which includes scores of other species to be discussed in future posts. But even with these few, my wife is able to create a carpet of vibrant blues, delicate pinks, rich yellows, and dainty whites to favorably compare with the palettes of even the most famous of painters. She is very choosy when it comes to just the right flowers. Lavender 'Grosso,' is ideal for drying, whereas Lavandula 'Otto Quast" is better for a healing cup of tea, recommended for headaches and insomnia.

Sara feeds her flowers with well-composted peelings and other debris, as well as 100% organic nutrients from the Advanced Nutrients company. They not only make scientifically researched and balanced macro and micro nutrients for plants, but also protective products that inoculate Sara's flowers against plant pathogens and pests. Bug Away, for instance has proven to be excellent in controlling aphids (the plague of all gardeners), while Barricade is a very beneficial supplement that raises your nutrient pH and results in healthier plants, more vibrant flowers.

We just finished another weekend of knees in the soil, elbows in the dirt kind of gardening, and will be posting pictures of our results in the near future.

posted by Tim at 8:13 AM


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