Twice the Color, Half the Work
While you’re out there slogging away and planting spring bulbs, it’s a good idea to have a few packages of flower seeds on hand to sprinkle around the bulbs. The seeds will come up with and after the spring bulbs and hide the unattractive fading foliage of tulips and daffodils.
Plant spring and summer flowering annual flower seeds of alyssum, calendula, cerinthe, bachelor buttons, forget-me-nots, poppies and love-in-a-mist. You can also plant spring and summer flowering seeds of perennials like columbine, delphinium, bleeding hearts and coneflowers. The perennials require a cold spell and germinate better if planted in fall. They rely on Mother Nature and not the gardener.
Naked Ladies in my Garden!
Amaryllis belladonna, aka Naked Ladies, do quite well in the warm pockets of zone 8’s we have sprinkled around the South Sound. Give these large bulbs fast drainage and a hot spot and they’ll surprise you every year. The thick grassy leaves come up in spring; go dormant in summer and then in September and October up pops 14-inch stems of typically neon pink lily looking flowers.
They’re a shocker when you are used to autumn’s usual displays of bronze mums and purple pansies. They are called Naked Ladies because they have stems and flowers but aren’t “clothed” in any leaves at all.
Veggie and Herb App
If you don’t grow herbs and vegetables now, this app will make you want to start. “Botanical Interests” is a top-rated garden iPhone app. That’s saying a lot since Apple claims a new app is submitted every 2.5 minutes. Botanical Interests is a seed company known for two things, excellent seeds and beautiful artwork on its packages. Load the app and you have both the artwork and quick and easy information about growing the seeds. Use the app now when shopping for fall vegetable starts. $5.99 through iTunes.
Nurseries with Fall Vegetable Starts
We’re so lucky in the South Sound. In a “normal” winter, we can still grow plenty of vegetables straight through fall and winter. Check local Farmer’s Markets for fall and winter vegetable starts. These nurseries also stock vegetable starts for cool seasonal veggie gardens.
Portland Avenue Nursery, Tacoma, 253-473-0194
Gordon’s Garden Center, Yelm, 360-458-2481
Watson’s Greenhouse and Nursery, Puyallup, 253-845-7359
The Barn Nursery, Olympia, 360-943-2826
Gardensphere, Tacoma, 253-761-7936