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Tag: hoophouse

Using Anemones as Cut Flowers

Using Anemones as Cut Flowers

Hi Lovelies, Seriously, by this time, you’ve got to be getting tired of seeing me take all these pictures of anemone coronaria and rant on and on about how much I love them. That’s what happens when you’re the first flower to bloom in the […]

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A Post about the Cold and Other Stuff?

A Post about the Cold and Other Stuff?

Hi Lovelies, It looks like winter is officially here. It’s been colder and I’ve been “babying” the ranunculus in the polytunnel on the extra cold nights. I’ll talk more about that in a second. Things seem to be way busier than they should be right […]

‘Bordeaux’ Anemone Love Affair

‘Bordeaux’ Anemone Love Affair

Hi Lovelies,

So, it’s obviously still early in the season. I’m far from ready to reach my final conclusion about any of the new anemone varieties that I’m trying this year, but after seeing some more ‘Bordeaux’ open up, I absolutely have to share the pictures with someone! I hope you enjoy! Love to hear how your doing in the comments, and don’t forget to follow me on all of those media places! Much love!

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November Garden Update

November Garden Update

Hi Lovelies, Long time, no see. Well, the leaves have completely fallen here. This means that with the exception of the plants in the hoophouse, the hardy annuals are completely covered beneath a nice layer. While some folks like to rake and rake, I don’t, […]

Quick Fall Update

Quick Fall Update

Hi Lovelies, Well, I’ve been running around trying to get everything in the garden cleaned up while simultaneously taking care of what feels like 1000 other tasks, and I’m feeling quite exhausted! Just thought that I would quickly share a few things I’ve managed to […]

Beginner’s Guide to a Gorgeous Spring Garden

Beginner’s Guide to a Gorgeous Spring Garden

Hi Lovelies,

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Well hello, gorgeous!

Well, we made it! Day 15 of Blog-tober! If I had known that 31 days of straight blog posts would be this difficult, I’m not sure I would have taken on the task – but, I’m enjoying it nonetheless. With tons of orders of spring seeds and bulbs landing on my front porch every day, I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the easiest ways to add some spring color to your life.

Spring is one of my absolute favorite times of the year. Being able to finally thaw out and spend time outside is such a precious gift. However, when this was all new to me, I was majorly neglecting the garden and had very little more than some mud puddles to look at. As it turns out, the key to a beautiful spring (and having gorgeous blooms when others don’t) is planning ahead. If you’re anything like me, planning ahead is not exactly your cup of tea – but, in this case, I definitely think that the payoff is worth the time and effort.

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If you’re climate is mild enough, sweet peas can make it through winter with protection. In my climate, it’s a little bit of a hassle – so I just stick to planting them in earrrrly spring.

Spring blooms can take many forms. There are several wonderful hardy annuals that can be planted directly into the garden in the fall- depending upon your climate. Even in my cold zone 6 winter, I can still successfully fall sow a lot of annuals. Bulbs are another option. While many bulbs may offer a little less impact per dollar, there are tons of unusual varieties that may be the perfect fit for your garden.

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Most grape hyacinth (muscari) has fairly short stems – but I think they’re cute-as-a-button, not to mention they’re fragrant.

Fall Planted Bulbs – In this section, I’ll use the term “bulb” loosely (some are corms, etc) – but there are tons of bulbs that are simply planted in the fall and create a beautiful show in the spring. My personal favorites are ranunculus and tulips. Ranunculus may be tricky to grow here, but since finding the recipe for success – I’m addicted. Since I have sufficient cold in the winter, tulips are an instant winner for me. Since they aren’t reliable perennializers, I’ve seen them get a bad reputation for being a waste of money. With the parrot and double peony varieties that are easily found online, I find it almost impossible to pass up these gals. Other easy garden bulbs include daffodils (which may naturalize nicely), hyacinth (with an amazing fragrance), muscari (talk about stinkin’ cute), anemones, dutch iris (dwarf – and tall for cutting), fritillaria, crocus (for landscape), and tons of alliums.

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Bachelor’s Buttons are an obvious choice. I love watching the huge fall-sown plants mature into mega-bloom in the spring time!

Of course I can’t forget to mention that many bulbs work quite nicely when it comes to indoor forcing. Fall is the time to buy bulbs for the winter. While some don’t require a cold period (paperwhites, for example), many do require some time in the fridge. When properly chilled, it often isn’t difficult to have lovely indoor blooms around the end of December when things are looking dark and snowy. Hyacinths are great for this – post coming soon!

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Hardy Annual Seeds – Another option that will result in earlier blooms is to plant hardy annuals in the fall. Around September 20th, I cleared out my beds and got to seeding. Currently, the yard is covered with seedlings ready to take on the winter chill. Current easy favorites – Larkspur, Shirley Poppies, Bachelor’s Buttons, Agrostemma, Mignonette, Love-in-a-Mist, Scabiosa, Bells of Ireland, Calendula, and Laceflower.

 

If you’d like to find out what bulbs and annuals I’ve planted so far, the link to my 2016 Planting List can be found on Pinterest.  If you see something you’d also like to try, you can click through to the source directly on the pin. While you’re there, please don’t forget to follow!

What are you growing this spring? What should I blog about next? Hope you’re having a great day, much love!

Building a Hoophouse on a Budget

Building a Hoophouse on a Budget

Hi Lovelies, Now that all of the zinnia beds are gross, and dahlias are in danger of being wiped out by frost at anytime, I’ve finally gotten around to starting to think about fixing up my sweet little hoophouse. Since I’m currently a city-dweller, there’s […]

How to Grow Anemones in Zone 6 (and probably other places, too!)

How to Grow Anemones in Zone 6 (and probably other places, too!)

  Hi Lovelies, Well, well. It’s hard to believe this is already my fifth post of October! In many ways, October is the month that I’m doing the most things. I’m planting bulbs (and ordering, lol), looking for bargains to save money for spring, and […]

Guide to Growing Ranunculus

Guide to Growing Ranunculus

Hi Lovelies,

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Reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, oh my! These gorgeous mamas come in a wide range of colors. Some colors are easier to find than others, unfortunately.

Buckle yourself in, because this blog post is going to be an exciting one. Well, I think it is. If you live in one of those awesome areas where the temperatures are relatively mild and ranunculus grow and overwinter outside without protection, this post probably won’t serve as much help. However, if like me, you are a persian buttercup obsessed gardener in zone 6 (almost 7), then this post is dedicated to you!

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Do you see those big yellow blooms hiding in there!? Ugh! I love it.

If you aren’t acquainted with my dear friend Mr. Ranunculus, I suggest you pause and make a quick Google search in a new tab. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. I know, right. They’re totally swoonworthy, aren’t they?

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I bought an alleged “mix” last year. I quickly found out that “mix” really meant “almost all yellows”. I ain’t even mad though.

Let’s get down to business, ranunculus are hardy to zone 8, at least according to most of the packages that I’ve read. Research suggests that these bad boys can handle some pretty low temperatures. As a new gardener, the idea that any plant can survive the frost and freeze makes me nervous of impending failure – alas don’t fear!

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Some flowers are very double (like the big yellow) and others have less petals (the orange with the black center). I’m not certain if this has to do with the supplier or not, but either way is fine with me. There’s something magical about ranunculus that makes me feel like I might know what I’m doing when I make arrangements, lol.

 

If you aren’t familiar with my climate, it’s unpredictable. The winters are cold with temperatures dipping into single digits and sometimes into the negative. The springs are extremely short, and the summer heat comes on strong.

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I seriously can’t get enough of these things!!!!

The first year that I grew a small cutting patch, I knew that ranunculus had to be a part of the garden. Taking heed of everything I had read, I started my corms indoors and planted them out as soon as my soil could be worked. By June, my tiny plants were blooming. However, not only was it HOT, the plants also didn’t have sufficient growth time. This resulted in teeny tiny blooms that were only about an inch across. It was a success, but also a total bummer.

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I get so excited when these corms show up at my door! They remind me of little squids or something. You always want to make sure that you’re planting the corms “bananas down”.

It wasn’t until the next fall that I built my first hoophouse. Being that one of the places that I grow is my backyard, it had to be small and easy to construct, as well as cheap. Be on the lookout for a post about that very soon! Anyhow, I decided to try tucking away my tiny plants undercover, just as I had done with many of my favorite veggies, previously. This was the ultimate solution that I was looking for, and something I wish I had known when tackling ranunculus the season before! As it turns out, Love’n Fresh Flowers even has a really great post about the process, which I definitely suggest as a nice read! Oh Google, how could you have failed me!? It’s okay, I forgive you.

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I always sing the praises of plants that are willing to grow for me – mainly, because I make huge messes like this.

So, as always, I was tardy to the party when it came to ordering my corms. In fact, they’re scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. As soon as I get my corms, I soak them for around 4 hours in water. I’ve seen sites suggest 24 hours, but honestly, I think that may be only for folks who like to live dangerously. I read in a forum long ago somewhere, that aerating the water whilst soaking will help “wake up” your corms. I really don’t know if this is true or not, but since I have my compost tea bubbler laying around, I always do it. Soaking for too long will result in a rotten mushy mess, so I always make sure not to forget about them! When re-hydrated, they’re ready for the dirt.  I pop each of the little “octopus” corms into their own cubbie hole in my plant trays, water them lightly, and then put them outside. Mostly likely, I could plant directly into the ground, but I do like the amount of control that the trays give me. Corms seem to sprout best when the day time temperature is between 60-70F and the night time temperatures are around 40-50F. For me, that happens around the first week of October. As long as trays aren’t too wet, I usually don’t run into much of an issue with rot.

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I usually soak my corms about 4 hours. If you soak them too long, you’ll start losing your “bananas”.

Once the corms have sprouted, I don’t leave them in the tray for long. As you can imagine of something that tolerates freezing cold soil, the roots of this plant are extremely robust. The plants are put into weed barrier fabric in the hoophouse and continue growing until the really cold weather hits. It isn’t until the temperatures drop into the 20s or so, that I close the hoophouse and break out the frost blankets. Even on cold days, the hoophouse can warm substantially, and you may or may not occasionally find me just sitting in there in a chair soaking up some much needed sunshine.

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This is what things could possibly look like when you’ve had two weeks of snow and single digit high temperatures. I wish I was as resilient as some of the plants out in the garden, sometimes.

We had quite a bad winter last year, and the ranunculus did take a beating. At one point, yellow and dying leaves had almost convinced me that I had failed – you wouldn’t have believed my relief when I finally saw the buds beginning to form! When the weather begins to warm a little, growth starts kicking in again. My first bud appeared in early March, and by April there were flowers everywhere. You’ve definitely got to stay on top of the weeds though, because seeing these flowers disappear under a sea of grass is so heartbreaking! When the weather gets into the 90s, they finally stop producing and gradually fade away into brown nothingness. I usually plant something new before this happens though, because quite frankly, I need the space and I’m so sad to see them go! Some folks who live in an ideal world can probably save the corms for next year, but around here they’d surely rot, so I’ve never given it a try.

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These corms are plump, beautiful, and ready to be planted! YES.

The growing process really is something that you learn from experience, and will vary from one location to another. While I wouldn’t suggest going crazy and diving right in the first time you give this a try – I think it’s definitely worth the extra attention that growing this beauty requires. I can’t help but rejoice when plants are able to withstand and endure my sloppy and haphazard gardening record! That’s when I know I’ve truly got a winner! Like many flowers, ranunculus are toxic, so proceed at your own will.

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When your $30 hoophouse can handle 3 feet of snow like a boss – you go girl! This is 6 mil poly. 12’x12′ and 7 ft tall.

Have you grown ranunculus before? What are your thoughts? What should I grow next? Don’t forget to comment and subscribe! Hope you have a great day, much love!

 

 

Out with the old, in with the new.

Out with the old, in with the new.

Hi Lovelies! It’s that time of week again, and by that I mean – it’s raining here and I actually have the time to breathe for a second. It’s been another week of orders rolling in, mostly some perennials that I really, really wanted. I’m […]


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