Fall Flowering BulbsWritten by Linda Jenkinson
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The dahlia, which grows from a tuber, is a beautiful late-summer flower that blooms until first frost. Blooms can range from button to dinner-plate size in virtually every color except solid blue. As all fall flower bulbs, they are easy to plant and easy to care for, requiring only that you lift them in fall for winter storage.
Colchicums are perhaps best known but least planted fall flower bulbs. They are unique in that they only need sunlight to grow and will bloom sitting on your potting bench or even on your kitchen table! Large flowers, resembling crocus, are typically pink. Although they need soil to make roots and foliage, because bulb must be planted partly exposed, colchicums are a target for snails and slugs, which will peel bulbs like an onion.
The saffron crocus is a fall flower bulb that does double duty in your flower garden. Lilac flowers display burnt orange-red stigmas that are source of spice, saffron. The flowers only last for two days. Pick stigmas on second day, air dry them and you have just harvested flower and fruit gardening guides homegrown saffron to season your dishes.
Tulip Flower and Bulb Flowers section of Gardening-Guides.com
Choosing the Right Garden FurnitureWritten by Johann Erickson
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Teak is an extremely durable, tight-grained hardwood, that is not only strong, but extremely attractive, and comes in a range of natural shades. The rubber and natural oil content provide extra protection against fungus that can set in when wood is wet for prolonged periods. It’s so impervious to weather, that some people leave their garden furniture outside, year-round without covers. Natural teak that is relatively “new”, has a sheen from oils released in cutting of wood. This disappears after a few days outdoors, and unfinished teak that is left to age, will turn a lovely, silvery-gray color. At that point, it may look as if it needs paint, but paint is not likely to adhere properly, due to natural oil content of wood.
Mahogany is more a choice for indoor than garden furniture, but it certainly adds a touch of class to patio. Known for its strength and weather-resistance, this hardwood produced in tropics is naturally resistant to rot, insects and fungus. The natural color ranges from a rich, deep brown, all way up through deep, dark reds and even sometimes to a purplish tinge. There is minimal shrinkage with weathering, and if you choose to put some maintenance work into it, instead of leaving it to weather on its own, try regular applications of a water-repellant.
Johann Erickson is a contributing writer for sites such as Helpful Home Ideas. Please include an active link to our site if you'd like to reprint this article.