All about Tulip Gardens

Written by Linda Paquette

Asrepparttar curtain of winter lifts, tulips are one ofrepparttar 151161 first flowers to takerepparttar 151162 spring stage. Asrepparttar 151163 last drifts of

snow seep intorepparttar 151164 soil, these bright signs of spring dance inrepparttar 151165 sunlight. However, you don’t have to wait for spring to grow tulips. Whether it lies in a bed, under a shrub, inrepparttar 151166 crevices of a rock garden or in a container, a tulip bulb is an underground flower factory just waiting to “spring up” from whatever soil it occupies.

The whole purpose of a tulip bulb is to flower. In fact, inrepparttar 151167 center of each bulb, tiny leaves cradle a baby bud. The white, onion-like bulb that surroundsrepparttar 151168 bud stores allrepparttar 151169 nutrients thatrepparttar 151170 bud needs to sprout and grow. The only real helprepparttar 151171 tulip needs to grow is a generous drink of water and some soil to keep it moist.

Selecting Cultivars

When selecting bulbs, a simple rule of thumb is thatrepparttar 151172 biggerrepparttar 151173 bulb,repparttar 151174 biggerrepparttar 151175 flower. Choose plump bulbs that are firm and heavy for their size. Althoughrepparttar 151176 tunic (outer papery skin) need not be intact, avoid bulbs that are withered, overly dry, scarred, and have traces of mold, soft spots, or other blemishes. However, more difficult than selecting bulbs is first choosing fromrepparttar 151177 over 100 varieties of tulips which are divided into 15 divisions. Careful selection from different divisions can help you plan a tulip garden that begins in early spring and dances on throughrepparttar 151178 end of May!

1. Single Early Short-stemmed tulips (usually about 8-inches high) that flower in late March and early April.

2. Double Early A profusion of petals on 12 to 15 inch stems makes an attractive display when these bulbs are forced indoors. Although they usually bloom from early to mid-April, they are more delicate than some other cultivars and need protection from cold and inclement weather.

3. Triumph A standard since 1923 when they were named by Dutch breeder, N. Zandbergen, these tulips takerepparttar 151179 throne atrepparttar 151180 end of April as they tower to 18 inches high.

4. Darwin Hybrids One ofrepparttar 151181 tallest garden tulips (usually over 2-feet tall) these red and yellow beauties are perfect for naturalizing and are those you generally see returning in established gardens May after May.

5. Single Late Originally known as Cottage tulips, these hybrids inter-mingled and successfully merged with Darwin hybrids. Likerepparttar 151182 Darwins, they grow well over 2-feet tall and bloom in May.

6. Lily-Flowered Another May-flowering tulip, this group was originally grouped with Cottage tulips but was reclassified in 1958. On stems that grow from 1 ˝ to 2-feet tall, long, shapely flowers have pointed petals that most closely resemble native Turkish tulips and boastrepparttar 151183 first scented tulip,repparttar 151184 Ballerina, in their troupe.

7. Fringed A short (12 to 18 inches) but showy group of tulips that brightensrepparttar 151185 May garden with ruffles that either mirror or add a contrasting color torepparttar 151186 rest ofrepparttar 151187 bloom. 8. Viridiflora

May blooms with a flash of green streaked through their petals, this group of tulips varies from one to two-feet tall.

9. Rembrandt Once highly prized by gardeners, today these tulips are nearly obsolete. Although streaked with beautiful breaks and stripes of artistic color, it was discovered that this palette was created by a virus that could spread to other tulip cultivars. Although some suppliers still offerrepparttar 151188 Rembrandt, these tulips are no longer commercially grown and advertised types are generally no relation torepparttar 151189 true Rembrandt cultivars.

10. Parrot A riot of petals that curl in all directions, these blooms look like they could use some preening. However, they aren’t named for their resemblance to feathers, but rather forrepparttar 151190 bud that resembles a parrot’s beak. A few of these May-blooming cultivars are scented. They generally grow from 16 to 24 inches tall.

11. Double Late (Peony Flowered) Although less resistant to poor weather, peony flowered cultivars are another excellent choice for container tulip growing. From mid to late May, these tall (1 ˝ to 2-feet) blooms bear a profusion of petals in close resemblance to their namesake.

12. Kaufmanniana If you have difficulty in pronouncingrepparttar 151191 name of this group, you can also call its cultivars ‘water lily tulips’. Opening flat underrepparttar 151192 mid-March sun,repparttar 151193 foliage of these flowers is characterized by deep purple or brown blotches. Shorter than some other cultivars,repparttar 151194 Kaufmanniana is only 6 to 12 inches high.

13. Fosteriana Greigii crossed with Kaufmanniana “fostered” this division. From 8 to 18 inches tall, these tulips add drama torepparttar 151195 April garden with foliage that ranges from grey-green to glossy green.

Pruning Basics

Written by Donna Evans

Pruning Basics

Pruning can improverepparttar health, productivity and appearance of your trees and shrubs. But improper pruning can destroyrepparttar 151115 shape of your plants and also cause more harm than good. Following a few simple guidelines can help makerepparttar 151116 right decisions when deciding what to prune out of your trees and shrubs.

First, removerepparttar 151117 three D’s, dead, diseased or damaged branches. Also prune out branches that cross each other. Trees do best with only one leader, which isrepparttar 151118 main upright trunk ofrepparttar 151119 tree. If there is a branch competing to berepparttar 151120 leader it should be pruned.

Understand your plant’s shape. Is it natural creeping, mounding or upright? Visualize what shaperepparttar 151121 mature plant will be and prune out branches that interfere withrepparttar 151122 natural shape.

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