Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Busy time of year!!!

The garden centers are certainly busy, people having their lists out as they are getting everything needed to plant. This time of year also brings out people who may have just bought their first home and are eager to add beauty to their yards. Just be prepared to stand in line!! Venture out if you are free during the week as one doesn't feel rushed and can ask for help if needed.

When buying perennials:

1. Labels with photos, how to grow instructions, expected width and height is important.
2. Look for balanced, healthy-looking leaves (new growth means vigorous plant).
3. Short and sturdy versus tall and spindly.
4. Healthy roots, if moss and weeds cover the soil surface usually indicates plant has been in its container too long and could be pot bound (meaning the roots have grown to compact in the container for air to circulate) .

The first three suggestions also apply when you are looking to buy annuals as well. This is a general rule to help you get off on the right start.

Wow... If I was just starting to plant and walk into a nursery, just where do I start! What would I buy? Here are some basic easy care perennials:

For Sun: Daylily(Hemerocallis), Siberian Iris(Iris sibirica), Peony(Paeonia cvs), Liatris, "Goldstrum" Coneflower(Rudbeckia var. sullivantii)
For Shade: Ferns, Hostas

So start a list as you would do for grocery shopping this way you can budget and know exactly what you came for. Good luck to all!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Can't miss the Tulip Festival...

For those who are not familiar with the Tulip Festival I though I would give some information on how it all began:

The Canadian Tulip Festival has grown into the largest Tulip Festival in the world from a gift of International Friendship given six decades ago.

In the fall of 1945, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs. The gift was given in appreciation of the safe haven that members of Holland's exiled royal family received during the Second World War in Ottawa and in recognition of the role which Canadian troops played in the liberation of the Netherlands.

The first Canadian Tulip Festival was held in 1953. The Ottawa Board of Trade, at the suggestion of world-renowned photographer Malak Karsh whose photographs have immortalized the tulip, formalized the Canadian Tulip Festival to coincide with the tulip's annual bloom. In the next 10 years the Festival grew in size, with a staggering display of over two million flowers.

I spent walking around yesterday as it seemed to be a great day to view what was in bloom. There are still many that are yet to open, but I thought I would share some of my photos with you.

For more Tulip photographs go to Michael's Photography website. The address is