Garden Quick Color

By Thomas Fryd

Dutch Iris are one of the most colorful of all fall-planted bulbs. They have been propagated heavily in Oregon and Washington for the Pacific Coast market. The flower is excellent for cutting and a generous crop may be expected. The colors include white, yellow, lavender, blue and purple. The plants are fairly hardy although they require some protection if planted in a windy spot. Plant in the open sun or semi-shade with the bulbs. 3 inches deep and 3 inches apart. Average garden soil will suffice and the bulbs should not be disturbed until the plants become so thick that the clumps need dividing.

Aftercare of Bulbs - Many - including gladiolus, tigridias and tuberous begonias - should be taken up now and stored for a good rest. Remember, the foliage should be thoroughly ripened before cutting off. Dust the bulbs with an insecticide to take care of any insect eggs present. Also, all bulbs and tubers should be dried off thoroughly before storing in peat. Guard against mice eating tigridias especially.

For quick color - In the mild sections of the West, snapdragons, stocks, annual chrysanthemums, larkspur, Iceland poppies, violas and pansies may still be set out, although the blooms will be later than on those set out last month. For shady spots, try cinerarias and primroses.

Wildflowers - Sow seeds after the first heavy rains. For dependable ground covers on bulb beds, sow linaria, brachycome, Gilia lutea (G. micrantha), nemophila, Virginia stock, Johnny-jump-up and other shallow-rooted annuals. These make colorful beds by themselves and are a boon both to the busy gardener pressed for time and the "lazy" gardener.

Winter pot plants - For the shaded patio use primrows, cinerarias, pansies, daffodils, browallias, reinwardtias, alocasia amazonica, beloperones, ericas, eranthemums, azaleas and camellias.

Pyracanthus and cotoneasters are the answer for time-pressed gardening enthusiasts who require colorful berries with a minimum of time spent on upkeep. Berried shrubs thrive here in the West. Although they can be planted at any season, this is a good time to select choice kinds at local nurseries, for now you can not only choose the ones with the best forms but also the proper colored berries. - 29857

About the Author:

Sign Up for our Free Newsletter

Enter email address here