Tip of the Week

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Need some color in the yard?

With winter fast approaching, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, many of us are planning our spring garden.  Well, maybe not all of us.  For me, I love having vegetables and fruits.  I mean you can't beat reaping the rewards with fresh fruit and vegetables to eat.

Now I admit I do like other plants and flowers, but I do not like to tend ones that I have to replant every year (unless they are fruits or vegetables).  If I am going to plant something I want to benefit from the plant in some way. 

I love lavender, it's a natural pest control around the house and the flowers can be harvested.   If you plant the English or French lavender you will have a lovely smell in the garden and around your house.  Another great bonus is that lavender plants are drought tolerant.  Besides lavender, I like to plant bulbs, such as irises, day lilies, freesias and tulips to name a few.  I find that I do not have to tend the bulbs much, other tend trimming dead leaves and flowers and separating the bulbs every few years. 

My Aunt introduced me to a few local iris and day lily farms in Northern California.  This year we made it to the Pleasant Valley Iris Farm while the irises were still in bloom.  It was a sight to see, so many combinations to choose from.  You can view the catalog and even order online during the season.  If you live in the area it is worth the trip.  The grounds are nice to stroll through and there are picnic tables to enjoy your lunch (be sure to bring one with you).  In addition, there are several local farms and farm stands to pick up local produce.

 Here are a few of the many colors and variations of irises.  You would be surprised with all them.  The names are always interesting and amusing. 

There are many other iris farms, especially in Northern California.  See if you have an iris farms near you!  I'd love to hear about it. 

The next flower I really love is the day lily.  Some of you might be wondering why, right?  You probably see the typical yellow day lily that many landscapers like to use.  Again there all the colors of the rainbow and type of flower bulb as well.  My favorite is the Amador Flower Farm in the foothills, that my Aunt introduced me to.  But you will find more that just hundreds of day lilies here.  Many other plants and trees are for sale in their nursery and they have a pumpkin patch in October.  It's a great place to visit with the family and you can picnic there as well.  But if that's not your thing, there are plenty of wineries in the area and you can have lunch at one of them with some wine tasting.

These day lilies are available on their website, so you can order them if you do not live close by for a visit.  Each of these bulbs add such great color to your yard and do not require a lot of gardening.  So you can see why I love to add color to my yard with some flowers, but even you can grow these, you don't need a "green thumb". 

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