The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 3, 2001 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

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Salina, Kansas
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Thursday, May 3, 2001
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Page 13
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THURSDAY MAY 3, 2001 THE SALINA JOURNAL Home EL Garden ASK THE BUILDER / C2 CLASSIFIED / C2 ALMANAC / C8 4. # 1 A praestans fuselier tulip emerges. It will have three or four blooms per stem. % 5: • jRlii^ s r The popular Professor Einstein daffodil features a flat orange crown. Photos by Soripps Howard News Service Now is the time to make fall planting plans for flower bulbs By LISA KREMER Tacoma News Tribune Now that you've seen spring's gorgeous daffodils, it's time to make a plan. Next fall, when you're thinking about digging out the garden to create new flower beds, it'll be tough to recall exactly which flowers romanced you in the springtime. Was it the Duke of Windsor daffodil that won your heart? Or was it Professor Einstein? Both have white petals with an orange crown. Use the glorious blooms of spring to plan ahead. Take a notebook along on flower-viewing jaunts and jot down the names of the ones that make you sing. Write down the color, height and bloom time of each flower you admire, said Marsha Hoyt, retail manager and buyer for Van Lierop Bulb Farm in Puyallup, Wash. Make a note of other things that might be important to you, such as the scent, the leaf color and size and other factors. When planning your garden, think about the color of the fence or the house, the plants your bulbs will grow next to, and how many groupings of bulbs you want. Plan to bury several bulbs in each spot you dig so you'll have blooms throughout the spring. Crocuses bloom first, as early as January; then daffodils in March, tiilips in April, hyacinths in March and April and irises in May Other tips: • Take pictures of blooms you like. But make a note of the flower height and bloom size, since you probably won't be able to tell from a photograph. • Get a bulb catalog, available from bulb vendors and in book stores. The catalogs note size, color and other information.' Some have photos of blooms. • If you can't find the exact bloom you admire, bulb vendors are often good at helping you find something similar. The Delft's blue hyacinth adds a powerful fragrance to the garden. il The plckwici< crocus Is one of the earliest bulbs to flower. • LILACS • MASTER GARDENER CHIP MILLER KSU-SaVme County Exieiision Horticulture Agent Use native plants to save time and money Native plants can save valuable time in your home landscape. They will survive drought with minimum watering. They grow well in poor soils without fertilizer, mulch or soil amendments. Native plants have lower maintenance requirements, once established. Considering the weather we have experienced this past year, the fact that native plants are unlikely to be killed or damaged by seasonal temperature extremes makes them quite attractive. Furthermore, they are unlikely to be killed by diseases and insects. Plus, they attract native insects, birds and other wildlife. Not everything about native plants for landscaping will please the modern gardener. Many people do not like the wild, rough appearance of a wildflower bed. Very few wildflower species have prolonged blooming periods. Some species spread aggressively and may tend to take over. Most nurseries stock little variety of native plants, preferring to offer newer varieties that have more industry support because they are patented. Growing native plants from seed may be challenging because germination often is difficult. Afterward, it may be dif- - ficult to recognize wildflower seedlings. Some species tend to grow tall and fail to support themselves in the wind, especially after they flower and set seeds. Wildflower and native grass seedlings are difficult to distinguish from many annual and perennial weeds, making weeding efforts difficult. A general rule of thumb: Do not pull or destroy any plant until you recognize it as an unwanted species. Larger plots may be mowed 6-10 inches high in the spring and/or early summer to discourage annual weeds if hand weeding is impractical. Given the pros and cons of using native plants in the home landscape, I believe they offer many valuable and attractive plants for the home landscape. When selecting sites for native plants, try to match the conditions of their natural habitat as nearly as possible. Some wildflowers that do not bloom until late summer or fall may be cut back several times in the spring and early summer to keep them from growing too tall and to force them to branch more. Species that are too aggressive must be monitored and thinned to discourage their invasive spread. See NATIVE, Page C2 Fragrant flowering shrub signals spring's arrival lilacs remain an old-fashioned favorite of many gardeners By GEORGE BRIA The Associated Press POUND RIDGE, N.Y. — Lilacs bring mixed emotions, linked in poetry to love but also death. Prized by gardeners in many lands, the flowers' beauty and fragrance, aside from promptings of joy or sadness, proclaim spring has fully arrived. T.S. Eliot perhaps struck the bluest note with his "April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire." But Walt Whitman also waxed elegiac in mourning spring's passing in "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed." To Victorians who doted on the "language of flowers," lilacs meant "the emotions of first love," and the poet Alfred Noyes had that in mind when he wrote, "Go down to Kew in lilac time." Lilacs come in many varieties, but the common lilac, Syringa vulgaris, of Balkan origin, has enjoyed immense popularity since it was introduced into western Europe from Turkey about 1550 and into America by the earliest colonists. By the 18th century, Thomas Jefferson was frequently mentioning lUacs in his garden notes and letters. The common lilac's ability to survive harsh winters and summer droughts with little care — you can practically neglect it — obviously contributed to its The Associated Press The Persian lilac's ability to survive harsh winters and summer droughts, with little care, has contributed to Its widespread adoption. widespread adoption. Cultivars of the shrub produce flowers of various colors — blue, lilac, magenta, pink, purple, violet, white and yellow — and some bear honorific names of noted men and women. A blue one, for example, is called "President Lincoln," a pink one, "Montaigne," for the 16th century French essayist, and a lUac-colored one, in French, "Christophe Colomb." A double-flowered white lilac is named "Edith Cavell" for the British nurse executed by the Germans in World War I for helping to smuggle Allied troops from Belgium to the Dutch border. One minus about lilac bushes: There's not much to attract you after the blooming season, and you could call them boring. Also, the leaves mildew easily in shade, but little if any serious harm results. In my own garden, I have long-standing shrubs of blue and white common lilac, but my favorite is a smaller shrub known as Persian lilac. Historians have determined that it really originated in China and was taken to Persia many centuries ago. It has more delicate- looking flowers than the common, and I fancy that its fragrance is sweeter. This bush rises to a height of about 12 feet at a corner of my house where I can see the pink-violet blooms, in mid-May, both from the kitchen and living room, a sight that has become a longed- for springtime experience. And with Whitman I truly grieve when, each year, the flowers die. Most lilacs have the same soil requirements, exposure and culture, which means survival in virtually any soil, doing best in a rich loam with a pH of about 7. The shrubs can stand some shade but need a generous amount of sun for the blooms to thrive. See LILACS, Page 02 SUGGESTIONS? CALL RICHAE MORROW, GRAPHIC DESIGNER, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjrmorrow@saljournal.com

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