24 Mar Pansies and Bulbs
Facts About Pansies
-Pansies are fragrant and edible blooms are desirable in gardens. The pansy is linked forever to the viola, its ancestor. Viola is a large genus containing 500 species.
-The viola family includes both pansies and violets, the former most loved for their perky faces and the latter for their pretty perfume.
-Pansy flowers are single with five petals that are rounded in shape.
-Pansy flowers have one of three basic color patterns. Blooms can be single, clear color, such as yellow or blue. A second pattern is a single color having black lines radiating from its center. These lines are called penciling and are similar to viola markings. The last type of flower is probably the one of the most familiar. The bloom of this type has a dark center called a “face”.
-Some pansies have a delicate perfume-like aroma. Once you have smelled and identified the pansy scent, it is unforgettable. Pansies seem to exude more fragrance at early morning and dusk. The yellow or blue pansy flowers seem to have the strongest scent.
-Garden Pansies are grown during the winter in the South or Southwest and during the summer in the North. Pansy plant popularity increases possible due to its ease of growing.
-Whether grown from seed or bedding plants, pansies are relatively disease and pest free blooms. Pansies are certainly a plant for all seasons.
-The hardy but delicate viola was cultivated by the Greeks for herbal medicinal use and much later inspired William Shakespeare to write of romance.
Uses of Pansies
Both the leaves and flowers of pansies and violas are edible and high in vitamins A and C. The flowers impart a strong flavor and have been used to make syrup, flavored honey and salads. Both the leaves and flowers can be used as a garnish, such as on cold fruit or cream soups. The flowers are also useful as a dye.
-The garden Daffodil’s ancestors come from the states around the Mediterranean Sea, such as Spain and Portugal and the Middle East, such as Turkey. The earliest record mentioned about Daffodils was around two or three hundred years B.C.
-Grown extensively by the ancient Greeks and the Romans, Daffodils nevertheless became a forgotten flower until about 1600 and even in 1860, there were fewer than 350 cultivated hybrids.
-Around 1629, a group of Englishmen took the Daffodil out of the weeds and put it into the garden. Daffodils were in favor again.
-During the days of the American experience and the expansion west, Daffodils were well established as a “must have” in the garden.
-Daffodils were brought to Britain by the Romans who thought that the sap from Daffodils had healing powers. Actually the sap contains crystals that can irritate the skin.
Daffodils grow perennially from bulbs. In temperate climates they flower among the earliest blooms in spring. Daffodils often grow in large clusters, covering lawns and even entire hillsides with yellow.
Depth, as a general rule, needs to be thrice the height. This means large bulbs should have a depth of 6 to 8 inches, a medium size 3-6 inches and a smaller size 2-3 inches. Always remember that the load of soil proves helpful in protecting the bulbs from breaking too easily and in keeping them upright for a longer duration.
If this fact is ignored and enough depth is not given, the Daffodil will bend down very soon. Though Daffodil blooms will come in bigger clumps, the bulbs and flowers will be scant.
-An ancient Greek legend describes the origin of the Hyacinth. Two of the gods, Apollo and Zephyr, adored a handsome young Greek called Hyakinthos. Apollo was teaching Hyakinthos the art of throwing a discus. Zephyr, who was the god of the west wind, was overwhelmed with jealousy and he blew the discus back. It struck Hyakinthos on the head and killed him. From his blood grew a flower, which the sun god Apollo named after him.
-The word ‘Hyacinth’ has also surfaced in an ancient language (called’Thracopelasgian’) which was spoken 4,000 years ago.
-The wild Hyacinth is a native of Turkey and the Middle East, along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. Hyacinths were grown in Europe in the time of the Greeks and Romans. Both Homer and Virgil noted its sweet fragrance.
-After this, the Hyacinth faded from history and did not reappear until the 16th century when it was reintroduced into Western Europe from Turkey and Iran. Leonhardt Rauwolf, (a German doctor) collected some Hyacinths when he visited Turkey in 1573.
-Hyacinths have been cultivated commercially since the second half of the 16th century. They became very popular in 18th and early 19th century Europe.
-The bulbs are now grown commercially in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In the Netherlands Hyacinths are also grown as cut flowers.
-The common garden Hyacinth is cultivated to a minor extent in the Netherlands for the perfumery trade. However, most Hyacinth perfumes sold are synthetic, based primarily upon phenylacetaldehyde. Hence, the Hyacinth is also called the Dutch Hyacinth.
-The normal bloom time for Hyacinths is from March to April.
-In the Victorian language of flowers, the Hyacinth flower symbolizes sport or play. The blue Hyacinth signifies sincerity.
-Plant hyacinth bulbs in fall, 6 to 8 weeks before a hard frost is expected and when soils are below 60 degrees F. This is usually during September and October in the North, and October and November in the South.
-Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2 to 4-inch layer of compost.
-Dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep.
-Set the bulb in the hole, pointy end up, then cover with soil and press firmly.
-Space bulbs 4 to 6 inches apart.
-Water thoroughly after planting.
After they bloom in spring, allow the plants to grow until the leaves die off. They need time after blooming to store energy in the bulbs for next year. To remove the dead plant, either snip them off at the base, or twist the leaves while pulling lightly.
-There are now over 3,000 different registered varieties of cultivated Tulips.
-Every year billions of Tulips are cultivated, a majority of which are grown and exported from Holland.
-Historically, Europe considered Tulips as the symbol of the Ottoman Empire.
-Tulips grow wild over a great territory in Asia Minor through Siberia to China.
-Tulips were first cultivated and hybridized by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire.
-Tulips symbolize imagination, dreaminess, perfect lover and a declaration of love.
-Fresh out of onions? Use your Tulip bulbs instead! Tulip bulbs are a good replacement for onions in cooking.
Tulips are very easy to grow. Many people design an artistic, colorful layout for the Tulip blooms.
-Select the location for planting.
-Prepare the soil by working it well, removing rocks and weeds.
-Mix in plenty of organic material and fertilizer.
-Special bulb formulas and bone meal work best.
-The Tulips will bloom in almost any soil with a good drainage.
-When buying Tulip bulbs, select only the finest quality bulbs. In general the bigger the bulb, the bigger the bloom.
-Follow the directions from the supplier for spacing and depth. If no directions are included, plant the bulbs 6-8″ apart and at a depth twice the diameter of the bulb.
-After the Tulips bloom, let the plant continue to grow until it dies off. During the post bloom period, the plant sends energy to the bulb to store for use next spring.
-Tulips require a period of cold while they are dormant and resting between shows.
Courtesy of theflowerexpert.com