Daffodils USDA hardiness zones 3-8. There are an estimated 13,000 varieties of daffodils. They come in many colors including various shades of yellow, white, pink and orange. They also vary is size from the popular tete-a-tete which stands just 6-8" tall to varieties such as 'Ice Follies' which reach two feet tall. Plant them in a sunny or partly sunny location.
Special tip: Purchase a variety of daffodil bulbs that bloom in early spring, mid spring and late spring. When planted together, it will allow for a rotation of blooming color throughout spring.
Added Value: Deer Resistant, Perennial, Good Cut-Flower
With an unending amount of color selections, that you can mix and match, tulips are a gardener's crayon box from which to create opulent beds of lavish color swaths. These luxurious bulbs were so prized in the 17th century; they created a frenzy of collectors, which led to the first financial bubble. These bulbs grow in USDA hardiness zones 4-10. Like daffodils, they bloom at various times during the spring season, so order them to stagger blooming from 4-8 weeks. They come in SO MANY colors, sometimes striped or multi-colored, fringed or frilly, some fragrant and are generally range from 4" to 30" tall. Plant the bulbs 3 times the length of the bulb-so for most bulbs 6-8 inches deep, pointy side up. They prefer full sun in the northern US, part sun in the southern states.
Warning: Deer love them too, Nom-Nom-Nom.
Added Value: Makes a good cut flower. Tulips are generally considered perennial, however, often don't come back as full as the first year and continue to dwindle in numbers so you may want to plan on planting them annually.
When these bulbs flower in spring, they put on such a show that customers would flock into my garden shop and ask, "Do you have those big purple ball flowers?" They would always leave disappointed when they learned that they needed to plant these showstoppers in the fall. Allium Giganteum is one of the most popular varieties of allium, with flowers that bloom 5" wide on 3-4 foot stems. They are hardy in USDA zones 5-9. There are several other varieties so if you love purple, you'll want to add these to your garden.
Added Value: Deer Resistant.
Key Tips For All Bulb Planting:
1. If these bulb varieties grow in your zone, check to see the specific best time to plant them.
2. Water well after planting.
3. Purchase bulbs from your local garden center or an online source like Colorblends.com.
View our demonstration on how to plant them: VIDEO
Want to learn more about how growing plants can help improve your health and well-being? Subscribe now, for free, to our Healthy Green Thumbs™ bi-weekly newsletter: Link
"Nature doesn't hurry, yet everything is accomplished." Tao Tzu
It wasn't all that long ago when we had to dial a phone, attached to a wall, then listen to it ring, hoping someone would answer. That someone might not even be the intended person we wanted to chat with. If no one answered, we had to wait and try again later.
Waiting, being still, and having lower expectations for instant results; allowed our minds time to calm down, rest, rejuvenate and connect with our inner selves. In today's harried world, which many of us live in, we expect to connect instantly with someone via a text. We are willing to trade a home cooked meal, that will nourish our bodies, for a cheap, instant gobble that doesn't even require getting out of the car, and has no, or minimal, nutrient value.
How can we improve our balance with this quick pace of life and attend to the rest our minds, bodies and spirits require? Even Indianapolis 500 racecars, that reach speeds of up to 230 mph, require pit stops. They also take breaks in between races. Going full throttle, all the time, is not sustainable.
Communing with nature is an opportunity for us to take a pit stop. Nature reminds us there is a rhythm to life. There are seasons-Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall. There are cycles-seed, sprout, grow, bud, flower, die. There is a pace.
Many of the changes in nature are subtle. So subtle we may not witness them with our human eyes. If we walk the same path in nature routinely, however, we notice significant changes do occur-leaves turning color, moss and mushrooms growing on tree stumps, ferns that have unfurled from their fiddle formation into fronds.
One way to actively engage in this natural cycle is to plant flower bulbs during the autumn season. There are several varieties of flower bulbs. Planting them in fall as the weather cools, but before the soil freezes, allowing them to overwinter and get a shot of cold, and come spring we will witness a magnificent display of colors and textures.
This is a great activity for all of us, especially kids. In my experience, kids love to plant flower bulbs. It's a great opportunity to connect with the earth and display our creativity in the designs we plant. Best of all, it is an opportunity to witness that some things take time, and they are worth waiting for.
Ready to plant some flower bulbs? Check out 3 Popular Bulb Varieties To Plant This Fall for ideas, tips and resources.
All images Copyright: Susan Allison-Dean
The world seems full of strife these days. Social media has allowed us to get into global conversations. Some of them funny, some insightful, while others, can launch a stream of raging comments, each with a different point of view.
What if, however, we all decided to focus on something that we agree on? Maybe start with something simple. Something we can all relate to. How about breathing? Can we all agree that we enjoy breathing?
As a nurse with nearly thirty years of experience, I know a thing or two about the importance of breathing. I have cared for many patients tethered to an oxygen tank, their mobility range limited to the length of their oxygen tubing. I've witnessed people on their deathbed speed up their breathes, then take a long breathless pause, then repeat this until finally they are completely lifeless. No breath, they lay still and their face slowly fills with a molten blue color from the lack of oxygen. I've rushed to get an asthma patient their inhaler as their eyes spring wide open with fear and they clutch their chest, desperate for a deep breath. Breathing is vital to live.
For those of us who have taken a yoga class or gone scuba diving, we know the importance of the breath. The power it has to calm us, take us deeper, allow us to explore.
Yes, breathing is important to each of us. Can we agree on that?
If we agree on that, can we take this a step further? Can we agree healthy, clean air is important? Did you know that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 91% of the world’s population lives in places where the air quality exceeds the WHO limits?
Let's just start with contemplating on this, if we all agree, breathing is important.
The choice to grow from seed, versus buying a plant already started, brings with it some particular attributes. Let's take a look at these, shall we?
First: As we discussed in the second episode of the Healthy Green Thumbs™ campaign, growing from seed allows for a much greater choice in variety of plants. Take lettuce for example-arugula, butter lettuce, iceberg, and romaine are just some of the varieties we can choose from.
Second: Will it grow? There is something thrilling about the anticipation of seeing if a seed that has been planted will actually grow. Ask any seasoned plant grower, and they will tell you that they still find it exhilarating when they go to visit their garden and notice that the seeds that they planted are actually sprouting! Couple that with the joy of then watching it grow and bloom into a flower, or produce a red, juicy tomato, become a tad tree that produces much needed shade on a hot summer day.
Third: Knowing we are connected to something much greater. We may prepare the soil, plant the seed, and water it, but experiencing a seed transform into a magnificent plant is a humbling reminder that there is a much greater power supporting all living things. Research shows that those connected with nature, something called nature connectedness, are happier.
What are your thoughts? Do you grow plants from seed? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Learn more about how growing plants can help your health and wellbeing by subscribing to our free, biweekly Healthy Green Thumbs™ e-newsletter: Learn more.