The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 29, 1998 · Page 351
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 351

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 29, 1998
Page 351
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22 fH Alm1 Be Acfi 'Pdst 'rteSiDEftCES ADVEtrrisiNG Section-' soniOaVv piah i&s'n- ; Learn basics of bulbs to ensure burst of beauties Be adventuresome: Pick pink daffodils or yellow and purple Dutch irises. A color scheme traditional or funky is more effective than a medley of colors. porous and rich in organic content. Finally, throw some leafmold or mulch on top. If you have been discouraged by squirrels, which dig up certain bulbs, there is a way to secure your buried treasures. Try a metal mesh called hardware cloth with half-inch squares for openings. It is available in hardware stores either in sheets measuring two feet long and one or two feet wide, or rolls that are typically three feet wide and 15 or 20 feet long. Chicken wire, with larger openings, is just as good. After planting the bulbs and back-filling the holes, lay the mesh over the ground, and secure it with U-shaped pins of heavy-gauge wire. Another method is to secure the mesh with wooden spikes, which are hammered into the ground and fastened to the hardware cloth with galvanized wire. The mesh then can be hidden under a layer of mulch. Bulb foliage will find its way up through the openings, but squirrels will not be able to remove the mesh and will not chew through the wire. Finally, do not postpone planting your bulbs. The sooner you get them into the ground following proper preparation, the faster they will establish themselves. And the more spectacular their show will De next spring. By CHARLES FENYVESI The Washington Post For novice and veteran gardeners alike, catching bulb fever at this time of the year makes perfect sense. After all, is there another class of plants that, once put in the ground before early November, is as certain to rise and shine next season as spring-flowering bulbs? Is there a succession of perennials that can match crocuses, daffodils and tulips to mention only a few bulbs in diversity of form, novelty of cultivars and beauty? Are there any other exceptional plants that require less gardening expertise and less care, yet, with the exception of some tulips, come back with undiminished vigor year after year? Here are some tips for gardeners con- fused by the many bulb bins at garden centers and the irresistible photographs of mail-order catalogs: Buy only those bulbs that feel firm in the hand and look healthy to the eye. I low to tell? Bulbs are relatives of the common onion used in cooking, and the same criteria apply. You wouldn't buy an onion that feels soft in some parts, is discolored here and there and looks kind of old and withered. Buy bulbs early when selection is the largest, and pick out the biggest specimens from the bin. If you receive your bulbs of a natural expansion. Avoid planting in single file, which suggests regimentation. The tulip is the one spring-flowering bulb that does not always come back the following year, repeating the same stellar performance. Others especially snowdrop, lily-of-the-valley, crocus, eranthis, daffodil, fritillary and squill will faithfully return and expand in the years to come. But so will certain tulips, for instance those known as "botanicals" or "species tulips." Follow the instructions for planting depth, found on illustrated charts in most garden centers and printed in many bulb catalogs. But in a pinch, remember the rule of thumb: Plant at a level twice as deep as the vertical length of the bulb. Even more important is the quality of the soil. No bulb will thrive in hard-packed , clay, and it is best first to dig up the area to be planted and mix in plenty of dried manure, peat moss or compost with the existing soil. The planting mix should be half and half to ensure that the soil is through the mail, return those that do not look promising. Do not buy leftover bargain bulbs that often grow into puny plants. Pay attention to the bloom shapes and petal colors of the mature plants you should find a picture in a catalog or on the front of the bin. Spend time determining just exactly what appeals to you most, and don't hesitate to satisfy your whim for trumpet or small cupped daffodils, or tulips that look like tipsy roses or cordial glasses, or hardy gladioli with strange, bell-shaped flowers. Be adventuresome and pick pink in daffodils or a combination of yellow and purple in miniature Dutch irises. Experience suggests that a color scheme be it a traditional yellow-and-red or a funky orange-and-violet is more effective than a medley of colors, no matter how attractive they are individually. Do not plant just one bulb of a cultivar. Bulbous plants look best in clusters, preferably in a free form giving the impression mmMmmmm i 1 JUDY DAUGHERTY gjjj Fax 1 I 1 IRON HORSE Country Club Resales" A unique community of just over 300 home sites offering a truly exciting and fun-filled Social Calendar throughout the year. Located at the intersection of Jog Road and the Beelme Highway in West Palm Beach. Amenities include 25,000 SF Clubhouse. Golf and Tennis Pro Shops. Men's and Ladies' Locker Rooms. Private and Banquet Dining. 1 8-nole Championship Golf Course. Six Lighted Har-Tru Tennis Courts. 24-hour security. r fit ... Estate Home on 18th Tee and Lake Beau Mul 4 BR 5 5 Bath, 3-Car plus golf carl Developers Custom Home - A Tropica Seciuston Spectacular 4 BR 5 Bam. 3-Car plus golf cat garje Doubie-door enfry wtrt oscular tray and wood panec Ceiirg and coauma columns m foyer Tip se's o' f-enrj-. doo over toomng pod Reverse T'avetii parage Custom marble floors, custom built ns. 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