Spring Flowers for the Garden

Is your flowerbed ready for spring?  There are a number of different flowers that grow in the spring.  Some are well-known and very popular, while others aren’t grown that often.  Will you grow any of these spring flowers in your garden this year?

Azaleas are large, gorgeous flowering shrubs.  In some areas, huge azalea festivals are held.

Birds of Paradise are an exotic flower resembling a flying bird.  It has a very uncommon shape and look to it, making it a popular flower for those who want to grow something a little different.

The Cherry Blossom is a beautiful flowering tree that explodes in white and pink during the spring.  The tree is very popular in Japan, and today, cherry blossom festivals are held all over the world.  One great festival is held in Washington, D.C.

Dahlias are large blooms that come in many different colors and shapes.  They’re great flowers to grow if you don’t have a lot of space because they do well in containers.

The Daffodil is a popular flower that grows in many areas.

The Gardenia is a very aromatic flower that lasts for quite some time when cut.  It’s also sometimes used as hedges or as part of ground cover.

The Glory of the Snow isn’t as well known.  It blooms in the early spring and is a pale blook color with some darker purples along the edges.

Then there’s the Hyacinth, an amazing pillar of flowers that comes in many different colors and smells great.

People love Lilacs!  They smell great and look incredible.

The Marigold, which usually comes in yellow or gold, is a pretty common flower in many areas—so common that some people start to think of them almost as weeds!

Naturally, the beautiful rose starts blooming in the spring.

Another amazingly colorful flower is the Tulip. It comes in many different shades, sizes, and height.

Which of these flowers do you love the most?  Let us know and then send flowers in Washington, DC, to your loved ones.

The History of Tulips

The history of tulips may surprise you
The history of tulips may surprise you

Tulips are beautiful.  In fact, many people plant them in their gardens and enjoy having bouquets of tulips on their tables.  But most people don’t know the interesting history behind this flower.

Originally, the tulip was a wild flower that grew in central Asia.  The Turks were the first people to start cultivating it around 1000 AD.  They planted tulips in their palace gardens.  In the 17th century, biologist Carolus Clusius brought tulips home with him, introducing the flower to Europe.  He named it “tulip” after the Turkish word for turban. 

The tulip soon became popular with gardeners, especially in Holland.  The first bulbs sold for incredibly high prices, especially once botanists started to hybridize the flowers to create different colors.  These hybrids were so expensive that in some places they sold for more than a home in Amsterdam.  Eventually, of course, the growing availability of tulips drove the price down, but they remained incredibly popular among all people.

One very interesting fact was discovered in the 20th century.  The amazing flame colors and the frilly petals that made tulips so popular were actually caused by a virus!  These brilliant tulips were infected by the mosaic virus.  A healthy tulip is actually solid and monotone.  Today, diseased tulips are not sold.  Instead, the tulips most people grow are hybrid plants that have the amazing looks without the virus.

Caring for Fresh-Cut Tulips

Dutch Delight  TFWEB401
Dutch Delight TFWEB401
It’s tulip season at MyFlorist.  We import our tulips twice a week from Holland. And we care for them by hydrating them properly so the stems are strong and stand up on their own.  And last longer!  

 

When properly cared for, cut tulips will stay fresh in a vase of water for five to eight days. For long-lasting tulips, re-cut the stems after a few days.  Lay the bouquet on wrapping paper or newspaper, and cut the stems diagonally, removing about one-half inch of stem.

Re-wrap the bouquet in paper (making a cone shape) so that the tulips are standing straight. The tops of the tulips should not extend above the top of the paper although you’ll need to allow a few inches of stems stick out from the bottom. Place the wrapped bouquet in water for an hour or two, with the paper above the water line.

Re-cut the stems once more, before rearranging, again making a diagonal cut. Fill the vase with water, adding a floral preservative – a powdery mix of plant food and bacteria inhibitors available at your florist. Although many people believe that adding a dash of carbonated lemon-lime soft drink, a teaspoon of sugar, a penny, or even a bit of bleach to the water will help extend the life of the flowers, none of these folk remedies are as effective as a commercial cut flower preservative.

The interesting thing about tulips is that they actually continue to grow after being cut, up to an inch or more. They also conform to the shape of the container, straight up if in a tall container, twisting to fit into a flat or irregular shaped vase.

Place the bouquet out of direct sun, and away from heating vents or drafts. Top off the water level daily to keep the arrangement fresh.

Excerpt from Backyard Gardener