Flower Garden Girl | Uplifting And Enhancing Your Life
About Flower Garden Girl
Flower Garden Girl was started back in 2008 by Anna Marie and published regularly until 2018 and had over 1 million visitors to her site – an amazing achievement. The website was created to show of some of her professional work and also documented the building of her home and garden from 2008.
Anna Marie was a published writer and keen amateur photographer and her work appeared on many web sites and special publications. Her blogs and articles, showing her love for gardening over 40 years, revolved about the South and those who gardened there. She loves the cottage style of gardening. Her blogs were about the good and the bad in her garden – whether it was a success or failure – all had a part to play in the story. They were shared hoping that it would help others and maybe share a laugh or two. A fine thing to have done.
The name of the site – Flower Garden Girl – reflected her main passion and who doesn’t like to see flowers. With the large variety of species, the colours, the fragrance and their appearance all are uplifting on even the darkest day. Where ever you are there are flowers which will thrive in your garden and some which will struggle but that is one of the beauties of flowers is that you can experiment and to find out what is best for you.
Hopefully, some of the articles added to this page about flowers will reflect and enhance the love that Anna Marie had for them. Whilst her blogs and articles are not online anymore you can search for them on the Way Back In Time website https://web.archive.org/ so you can see the rays of sunshine which were brought to the web over the years.
By combining our expertise of over 40 years in the garden buildings industry with Flower Garden Girl then we hope we can share our knowledge with you.
Fuchsias are tender woody plants that do best under cool, humid conditions. They are especially successful in coastal areas, where fog and humidity prevail, though some varieties, as the single all-red Mephisto and the red-and-white Mme. Cornelissen, will thrive in hot, dry inland regions. They are great favourites because they bloom in shade, not the heavy shade of low-branching trees, but high, open shade and that found on the north side of a building. In dense shade, plants get leggy and flower sparingly. In hot, direct sunshine, however, they dry out and the leaves burn. In hot climates, lath houses provide ideal conditions. Windy locations should be avoided because of the delicate flowers and brittle branches.
When growing fuchsias, moisture is essential. Plants show dryness by wilting. In containers, they usually need water every day and sometimes more often, particularly in the summer. Good drainage is important. In the bottom of the container provide sufficient rough material such as broken flower pots, pebbles, or cinders to insure free passage of water.
Do not allow pots to stand in water, and in hot weather sprinkle the foliage to remove dust and increase humidity. Fuchsias require an acidic soil. The mixture should be rich in organic matter. A good combination consists of one part good garden loam, one part leaf mould or peat moss, and either one part old manure or a small amount in dehydrated form.
Containers should be large enough to allow for full development of plants during the summer growing season. A small plant needs a six-inch pot; if two or three are grown together, use a ten- or twelve-inch pot. Starting with young plants is preferable, although large specimens are satisfactory if they are healthy and vigorous.
When fuchsias are wintered in containers and are not treated as annuals, you can enrich the growing medium the first year by scooping a few inches of soil from the top and replacing it with a fresh mixture. The next year, take plants out of containers in early spring, cut back the tops and some of the roots and re pot in fresh soil in the same container. Drastically cutting back branches in the spring, before growth commences, will make plants branch well.
Increasing Your Supply
When you want to increase your collection, take three-inch cuttings from the tender spring growth, dip the ends in a hormone powder and insert the lower inch of each stem in a mixture of half leaf mould and half sand. Protect the cuttings from sun and either spray them lightly from time to time or cover with polyethylene plastic to prevent their drying out. When roots have formed, transfer the plants to small pots in a mixture of light loam and leaf mould. Cuttings can also be taken in late summer or early fall for small plants that are easier to winter.
Fuchsias require regular feeding through the growing season. Give liquid fertiliser once a month, following directions on the package. Fish emulsion, applied monthly, will give especially good results.
During the winter, store plants at 45 to 50 degrees to keep them dormant. Water sparingly, just enough to prevent wood from shrivelling. Outdoors, hardy fuchsias will survive to 25 degrees, but where hardiness is questionable, it is safer to winter plants in a greenhouse, cool room, summer house, shed, or in a cold frame. During this period, cover the roots with a layer of peat moss.
Insects likely to attack fuchsias include aphids, red spiders, white flies, thrips, mealy bugs, and leaf hoppers. Use a safe insecticide from your local gardening supplier, and apply regularly, especially before an infestation is heavy, will keep these enemies under control.
The Beauty of Growing Fuchsias
If you want enchanting flowering plants for shade, you cannot beat growing fuchsias. Whether in individual pots, window boxes, or hanging baskets, lady’s ear drops, as fuchsias an sometimes called, are gorgeous plants noted for their grace and splendor. There are hundreds of varieties, single and double, in rose, purple, and white shades, and in both upright and hanging types. Fuchsias are particularly popular in California, where the summers are cool and the winters sufficiently moderate; but they make handsome container plants in other climates too.
Except for the hanging types, fuchsias are by nature upright shrubby growers, fine as specimen plants for containers. Under proper conditions, some attain considerable size. The dark purple-and-red Reiter’s Giant grows to five feet or more, and the single red Mephisto is even taller. Alice Hoffman, a semi-double white and pink, is a dwarf, to two feet, as is the three-foot Camellia, a double white and red.
Tree, or standard, fuchsias are always greatly admired. These are simply the usual fuchsias trained to tree form. With patience, you can develop your own, starting with a four- to five-inch cutting kept tied to a strong four- to five-foot stake. At the desired height of two, three, or four feet, the single stalk can be pinched back and allowed to branch. In the meantime, do not remove all leaves from the stem, because they are needed to manufacture food.
Good varieties to train to tree form include the purple-and-red Muriel, the red-and-white Storm King, the double lavender-and-red Gypsy Queen, and the all-white Flying Cloud. Tree fuchsias lend themselves to the simplicity of modern architecture; the large specimens are always attractive on the terraces and patios of contemporary ranch houses. On the other hand, they are also handsome with houses and gardens of traditional design.
For Hanging Baskets
Many gardeners believe that the best way to appreciate fuchsias is in hanging baskets, because their exquisite blooms are seen at or above eye level. They are most decorative for patios, entrances, lath houses, and on walls and tree trunks. They can be suspended in redwood slat boxes and in glazed or plastic containers. In moss-lined wire baskets, they require more water because the roots dry out more quickly.
For basket planting, you will like the double magenta-and-carmine Anna, the single red-and-white Claret Cup, and also the semi-double purple-and-red Muriel, mentioned for tree-training. Among the most brilliant varieties are the double, bright red Marinka; the nearly orange Aurora Superba; the carmine-rose and orange-red San Francisco; and the rose-purple-and-pink Amapola. It is more effective to grow but one variety in a container.
Espaliers and Pyramids
In planters or raised beds of containers, fuchsias can be trained into interesting espalier forms against a wall or fence where the space may be too narrow for other plants. Though not difficult, the espalier plant requires time and patience. First make a trellis of wood or wire. Five to seven tiers are customary. Then train your plant as it grows, pinching growth frequently to induce branching and to avoid bare stems. Varieties to espalier include the red-and-scarlet Falling Stars, the blue-and-rose Coquette, and the red-and-white Dr. John Gallwey.
Fuchsias can also be trained into pyramids in the manner of formal English ivy plants. Since the young fuchsia shoots tend to break easily, it takes patience and a steady hand to tie them properly to the form. Fully grown plants are delightful in a formal setting, and a pair for an entranceway are distinctive indeed.
Rose Of Sharon Tree- 4 Reasons Why You Should Use The Rose Of Sharon Tree To Beautify Your Garden
A number of rose gardeners are keen on planting a wide assortment of roses in their garden and the Rose of the Sharon tree is an all time favorite. It is a magnificent tree, which is not difficult to grow, tending to it is easy, and it blossoms for a relatively long period.
However, a little secret needs to be shared about the Rose of the Sharon tree. It may be hard to believe, but the Rose of the Sharon Tree is not a rose. In fact, this beautiful tree is really a hardy hibiscus. The pretty hibiscus bushes are well accepted by the gardener as they serve to enhance the look of the garden and provide the gardener the opportunity to grow them or other varieties of plants as a part of the standard gardening activity. Utilising your garden workshop in the preparation is not a bad idea as it’s important to follow the basics before planting.
1. The Rose of the Sharon tree can reach lengths of about 8-10 ft when they are fully developed. The blossoms occur in a kaleidoscopic range of colors such as pink, white, blue, lavender and violet. Some varieties of the Rose of Sharon give rise to double-blooms. These twin bloom varieties usually have a darker shade in the middle and lighter hued blooms on the outside. You will simply love these plants, as they are not hard to grow, they can withstand drought and are resistant to pests, and will blossom for a number of weeks, from the end of summer to the start of the fall season.
2. One more wonderful aspect of this particular plant variety that is so widely used in gardening is that the Rose of Sharon does not very much resemble tropical plants, as do the other types of the hibiscus. Therefore, if you reside in a region where the presence of tropical plants in your garden would look incongruous, you can always fall back on the Rose of Sharon.
This plant tends to flourish in the hardiness zones. Hence, the Rose of Sharon can be easily grown in most regions of this country where other varieties of the hibiscus are considered as annuals. It is all the rage in the south east of the US, where almost every garden has this plant to lend color to the garden at the end of the year.
3. The Rose of Sharon trees are marvelous plants for bringing in insects and hummingbirds to the garden. They will not bear foliage until the middle of July but if you think the plants have decayed, you cannot be more wrong. They will grow new leaves and start flowering by the middle of August, right when all the remaining flowers turn a pale shade and start to wilt due to the sweltering heat. The Rose of Sharon require very less maintenance but will bring forth more blossoms, if the soil is enriched with nutrients just before it is time to bloom every year.
4. The Rose of Sharon has multiple stems, but it is possible to guide it into taking the shape of a tree, and this imparts a beautiful appearance to the garden. The plant grows quite fast and you can thus, employ it to bestow on a newly set up garden some rapidly growing plants in rainbow hues. Hence, go forth and plant the Rose of Sharon (which is a not truly a rose) and it will provide the garden with vibrant flowers in varied hues.
Rose Gardening – Tips On How To Take Care Of Your Rose Garden
Roses are not only gorgeous looking but also give a marvelous fragrance. This stunning beauty has been widely used in the making of fragrances, food and in remedial pills. The rose’s history goes as far back as the 1500s when the first rose was grown in China. Down the years, a multiplicity of rose varieties has been grown and it is an unending venture to raise the latest hybrid roses. Referring to hints on rose gardening will assist in creating the setting for the prosperous growing of these sweet-smelling blossoms.
Rose plants should be given the right care and attention particularly in the planting phase. One should have the basic knowledge on how to tend to roses, as it would be valuable in deriving pleasure from these flowers. Hints on rose gardening stress that the right choice of rose plants is a crucial process when searching for the simply divine varieties. The place where the rose will be grown, the amount of time that can be devoted to nurturing them, and the amount of sunlight accessible to the rose in the location are vital issues. In general, roses require about 4-6 hours of sunshine and lots of moisture.
Winter is the perfect time to buy roses as they are yet inactive and it is important to plant them before spring. Robust and strong roots will help produce healthy roses. Prior to planting, the rose plant should be immersed in water for about twenty-four hours in order to get it ready for planting. You can utilise your wooden garden building for this. Water is a crucial factor and it should be checked on a daily basis to aid in transplantation as stated in the rose gardening hints.
Soil testing during the planting phase is very helpful. Roses tend to bloom when the pH level of the soil, with an acidic setting, is approximately 5.8 – 6.3. Proper soil drainage is extremely important since the rose plant depends on this environment. Making enough breathing room available for the plants to get the right distribution will help in checking likely disease.
As stated in the rose gardening hints, rose plants are prone to crowd against each other and fight for root room, so planting them about 2-10 feet should reduce this dilemma. The use of fertilizers enables rose bushes to reach their maximum growth. Paying close attention to the information labels supplied by nurseries regarding the various types of roses will provide further applicable tactics for giving the best care to roses.
Looking up hints on rose gardening will give you the knowledge to handle a rose gardening job. The pleasurable outcome of pursuing these gardening hints on caring for roses can present pretty scented rose-sprays to cherish for many years.
Different types of Orchids
Winter-flowering Calanthe can be potted in a soil mixture of equal parts of loam, leaf mould, and sand, and grown in semi-shade in a 65-degree house. When, in the fall, the leaves turn
yellow and drop, it is time to rest the pseudo bulbs. Flowers, small and borne on long stems, are white or rose, sometimes blotched with crimson or yellow.
Cattleya is the largest orchid grown by professional florists. It is the one most people think of as an orchid. The cattleyas have large showy blooms of white, rose, yellow, and purple. Grow them at 60 to 80 degrees. Propagate by separating the back bulbs and placing them in a shaded pot until growth starts. Some of the most popular florist varieties are Cattleya alba, pure white; C. caerulea, pale violet-blue; and the white or yellow C. Wageneri.
Cymbidiums keep the longest of any cut flower. No wonder they are so popular for corsages. They may be epiphytes or terrestrials—with flowers of white, green, red, or brown. Grow them in a medium of equal parts of loam, leaf mould, and shredded bark or osmunda fiber. Many species of these orchids need temperatures lower than 60 degrees F. for bud-setting.
These, called cyps or lady slippers, are favourites for window garden or greenhouse. You can grow them in a cool or intermediate house (55 to 60 degrees). They come in many colours.
The pouchy flowers of some of the green and brown ones have a varnished look. Cypripediums do well in a soil mixture of 2 parts peat moss, 1 part sphagnum moss, ½ part loam and ½ part crushed pot chips, and in a light position, near the top of the greenhouse.
Utilising your garden shed or garden potting shed – place at least some drainage material in each pot; insert some of the potting mixture—then be relatively firm about potting. Be careful, too, not to over water, at least until roots have taken hold.
Propagation is generally through division. Cypripedium viridissimum has yellow-green flowers; C. Maudiae is a cool green; C. aurobe is brown and yellow, alladin is pink. Green and white C. Sanderae and C. giganteum are favourites with professional florists.
Dendrobiums are epiphytes, producing their 3-inch flowers in pairs or triplets. The flowers have firm substance, are easy to ship, and will keep a long time in storage. The plants grow rather tall and must be staked. Give them full light, keep them warm and humid during the summer, cooler and drier in the winter. Dendrobiums come in white, orchid, purple, red, and orange.
Species Dendrobium nobile produces white-petaled, amethyst-tipped flowers; D. album, white; D. Colmanianum, large white with a yellow marking (disk) on the lip; D. aureum has yellow sepals and petals, and Arundel is yellow.
Laelias, originating in Mexico, are a delightful group of fall-and winter-flowering orchids, closely related to cattleyas. Give them strong light and a 60- to 65-degree temperature. This plant is often used to cross-pollinate cattleyas. Laelia anceps, with yellow-marked, red flowers, is a favourite; L. alba is white with a yellow marking on the lip; L. purpurata has large flowers with sepals and white petals flushed with rose and a purple lip.
Tips On Growing A Tropical Flower Paradise
Exotic and tropical flowers and plants continue to grow in popularity amongst home decorators and garden hobbyists. They are some of the most beautiful and brilliant plants available and come in a huge variety of colours and textures. Some are almost alien in appearance and can mesmerize the beholder.
Entering your own tropical garden can be like leaving the world for a tropical paradise vacation. It’s no wonder this hobby is becoming so popular nowadays.
Raising tropical plants and flowers successfully requires dedication and work, but it is not difficult or laborious. In fact, it’s a lot of fun once you get started!
Outdoor or Indoor? If you live in a gardening zone lower than eight, you’ll probably not be able to grow your tropical plants outdoors full-time. Growers in these zones often keep their plants in portable containers so they can be moved in and out of doors to match the season and weather. Greenhouses are also popular for this area of growing. Maybe inside your garden office or summer building will be a great place to display these flowers but like most things you need to check the advice relating to the plants you are thinking of growing.
If you live in a warmer climate, however, you can probably plant a tropical garden outside, permanently, and use mulch or other layers to shield the plants from the worst weather.
Containers The container you use will depend not only on your sense of style, but also on the size of the plant at maturity. Some plants get quite large, so a larger container will be needed. Often, growers will start a plant in a smaller container and move it up in size as the plant grows. This is fine if you have the time and expertise to do this properly. For most of us, though, this is a lot more work than we’re ready for, so choosing a large enough container to start with is best.
The drainage properties and water retention properties of the container are also important. Most tropical plants require lots of water and need that water to be retained, so a container without drainage is optimal. Other plants will require long dry spells followed by lots of water, so an appropriate pot should be considered there too.
Humidity If you’re in a dry zone and your plants require humidity to thrive, you’ll want to consider options to keep the air around the plants moist. A greenhouse usually does this quite readily, but a room in your house or growing in the back yard is not so accommodating. In these cases, you’ll want to consider misters, shrouds, and other options that can help the plant keep humidified.
Other plants, such as the moth orchids, will prefer it to be dry, so you’ll need to make sure they’re out of reach of lawn sprinklers, the watering of other plants, etc. A humidity level for moth orchids is ideally at 55-75%.
Many plants will adapt to considerable changes in their environment without too much problem, but knowing the needs of your tropical is important if you want them to look their best. Caring for them is a work of love, though, and is enjoyable year-round. So try growing some exotic plants and escape to a tropical paradise!
Amaryllis For Holiday Cheer
Brilliant red, snowy white and rosy pink Amaryllis blooms bring a festive air to your home, and add showy splashes of red, white and green to your Christmas decor. Since Amaryllis bulbs are so easy to grow you may want to buy a Twinkle Twinkle or Candy Floss or other happily named Amaryllis for your home or as a gift.
Thankfully, you do not need a green thumb to successfully grow Amaryllis, and as the thick stalks rise up, visitors will stop in their tracks and say “wow, what is that?”, even before one bloom appears. These are spectacular holiday plants. And if you have a log cabin in your garden then can you think of a more magical vista at this time of year, particularly after it has snowed.
Select the largest bulb you can find, which will provide flowers six to eight inches across. The growers have done much of your work for you, by nurturing and fertilizing the bulbs in ideal conditions. All of their energy is already in the bulb, so all you need to do is provide a sunny indoor location near a window and water once or twice a week.
Buy a bulb already in a pot, an ideal gift to give or for your own home, or buy a bulb and select a pot that is slightly wider than the bulb, and that has a drainage hole. Add a small amount of potting soil, leave the top one third of the Amaryllis bulb uncovered, and it is ready to grow. I add coloured glass florist’s marbles on top of the soil for a pretty effect. Ceramic pots are my choice since their weight helps stabilize the plants as their huge flowers open, and as the sturdy stalks grow quickly, turn the pot to keep the stalks heading straight up.
Amaryllis can be planted outside after Christmas, or kept indoors in their pots, for blooms next year.
Planting time is the key to when flowers will appear. Dutch Amaryllis bloom six to eight weeks after planting and South African Amaryllis bloom in four to six weeks. Favourite South African varieties include Twinkle Twinkle Holiday Star, also called Star of Holland, which blooms in glorious red with a white star in the centre, Lemon Lime in a rare delicate lime colour, Candy Floss with deep rose pink flowers, and the pure white of Al Fresco. Merry Christmas Amaryllis is the most popular Amaryllis in Europe, with red velvet blooms that are eight inches across, on twelve inch tall stems.
From its name alone, who could resist adding the red Merry Christmas to their home? Spectacular Dutch Amaryllis include the gorgeous red and white striped Clown or Candy Cane, Minerva with its white centres and red edges, Red Lion with its bold cherry colour, and the refreshing pink Rozetta. A new Dutch Amaryllis is Dancing Queen, with white double flowers streaked with red, that measure eight inches across and Grand Cru has the deepest burgundy blooms that can be imagined, on twenty four inch tall stems.