Astilbe 'October Skies'

Use Mulch and Ground Covers

Planting ground-covers and using mulch to fill in your fall beds will make it more difficult for unwanted weeds to establish themselves, helping you to naturally maintain your garden. The ground-cover both smothers potential weeds, blocking out the light,
and helps your current plants by holding in moisture and maintaining a
constant temperature.

You will be working in your garden to remove all of your weeds before planting anything this fall anyway, why not plant something to take up space to help keep them from coming back.

Clean Up the Summers Growth Before Planting for Fall

Removing all of the excess plant material before planting new crops is essential for the success of your fall bulbs, flowers, and vegetables. Annual weeds can be removed with a hoe or by hand. Perennial weeds must be completely dug out to prevent future growth.

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Tulipa 'Doll's Minuet'

Tulips are generally impressive, the varieties available from Wayside Gardens this fall are no exception. These new tulips offer an exciting new perspective on an old garden classic. Breeders have definitely taken a few liberties with the traditional tulip blooms and foliage, often looking more like some impressionist rendering of a tulip than a simple flower.

Tulipa 'Doll's Minuet' is a perfect example of these dynamic tulip varieties. The deep rosy petals twist and dance out of the bud like a slowly growing fire. This is one flower that will have your garden guests doing double-takes.

Another beautiful new tulip, Tulipa 'Black Jewel', has deep maroon, frilled petals with tiny sparkles of gold flecks on their tips. It is a very classy and intriguing flower with long sturdy stems perfect for cut-flower arrangements.

Bulbs will ship in the fall for fall planting. Remember, fall is the best time of the year for planting!

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Does anybody remember way back on Dec. 26 when I shared some pictures of the the amaryllis in our office? Well I just thought I would follow up with a picture now that it has bloomed. It really is pretty. If any of you purchased one of the Wayside Garden's Amaryllis this holiday season and would like to share your blooms with us feel free to email them to me at tandrews@parkseed.com. If you do, I'll post them here for everybody to see. If you don't have any amaryllis pictures, I may also post pictures of your cat, if I think they are funny.

If you missed out, check out other items in the Wayside Gardens Bulb Collection. I'll post pictures of those too, once they bloom–just send them in. Here's our office Amaryllis – well, it's Jamie's amaryllis, but I believe I have the best view of it from my desk.

Office amaryllis

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It's obviously too late to order them for the holidays, but there is plenty dull winter left to brighten up, and a huge blooming fragrant houseplant is just what you need. We've got Amaryllis in green, red, and white–the Jade Serpent is my favorite. With up to 8 huge, lime-green to white blooms in just over a month, it is sure to give you the winter sparkle you're looking for.

It isn't all about the blooms. They grow so fast, you can actually notice the change throughout the day. A coworker who's desk is next to mine has been tracking hers every few hours for the last couple weeks. They are really fun to grow, and the spectacular blooms are really worth the build-up.

You can see here where she was keeping measurements for the the first nine days, from 12/15 until Christmas Eve. But now it's too big for this envelope.
Amaryllis 005

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Time to Divide Bearded Iris

Posted on Jul 11, 2008 | 1 comment

In most of the country, now is the time to divide your Bearded Iris.  You should do this every two or three years in midsummer, after blooming but before the weather starts to turn (July or August, usually).  Regular division of the rhizomes does wonders for preventing root rot and borer damage.  Plus, it encourages the plant to grow more vigorously and to flower more.  It also gives you a great opportunity to thoroughly inspect the plant for damaged or diseased parts that can be removed.  Bearded Iris is one of the easier plants to divide (especially when it comes to lifting the plant), but as with any division, be sure to allot enough time to finish the job, so you don’t have to leave your plants out and vulnerable longer than is necessary.

If you’re looking for an interesting Iris to try out this coming Spring, give ‘Dangerous Mood’ a try.  Not only is it a stunning flower that’s sure to leave an impression, it is one of my favorite plant names of all.

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Allium Gives your Garden Whimsy

Posted on Jun 24, 2008 | 0 comments

Allium giganteum
Does your garden take itself too seriously?  The answer to a garden that needs a little playfulness could very well be to grow some onions. Not, of course, the sort of onions that you eat (though that’s not a terrible idea, either).  What I’m talking about is ornamental onion plants, Allium

"Allium" refers to the entire onion genus, which is one of the largest plant genera.  It includes onions, chives, garlic, shallots, and leeks.  When gardeners talk about growing Allium bulbs or flowers, though, it is usually the ornamental sort that they are referring to.  These drought-resistant bulbs bloom, usually in early summer, with fun, colorful round inflorescences that look almost like balloons or something out of a children’s book (these inflorescences are actually "umbels," meaning that the flower stalks are all of the same length and stem from a single point).  These whimsical blooms are sure to get curious Allium schubertii
comments from the neighbors.  They also last wonderfully in both fresh and dried arrangements, so they’re great for adding an unusual touch indoors, too.  The classic ball-shaped Allium blooms range from the smaller ‘Purple Sensation,’ which carries flowerheads of around three inches, to the huge, 9-inch balls of the Giant Allium.  For something even more eye-catching, try the "Tumbleweed Onion," Allium schubertii.  Its flowerheads grow to as big as 18 inches with pink flowers at all lengths along the flower stalks, creating an effect not unlike a floral firework.

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