Iris flowers are named after a Greek goddess who delivered messages to mortals while traveling on a rainbow. Just one reason they have so many colors.
In our family, my sister Chris hosts Christmas and I host Easter. Among her many talents, Chris pulls out the stops when it comes to holiday decorating. Even in the dead of winter, her house brims with festive greenery, twinkling lights and potted poinsettias.
Then comes early spring and Easter. How can I compete? The ground is muddy at best or still snow-sodden at worst. No buds have popped yet, and any early bloomers have, more often than not, petrified pitifully in a late freeze. Being a gardener, I consider it a point of pride to find a way to jumpstart the season in time for the spring holidays.
Containers are a great solution since they can be moved to protect against volatile spring weather. But what plants might work well in early spring – I’m talking late March or early April – and where do we get our hands on them?
It’s like the emperor with no clothes. The crown imperial stands 3 to 4 feet tall, its Sun King-bright flowers lording it over the spring garden with the hauteur of Louis XIV, utterly unaware that its dignity is fatally undercut by the absurdity of its green bad-hair-day topknot.
Not every spring bulb has the classic sculptured grace of a lily-flowered tulip. Yet many bulbs beyond the ordinary have charms that can grow on a gardener, adding variety and interest where tulips, daffodils and crocuses may seem old hat.
There’s a nip in the air — I wouldn’t yet call it a chill — that prompted me to rummage through the box on the back porch ...
Container gardening is so enjoyable because of its possibilities for creative expression.
People ask me why, year after inexplicable year, I continue to crank out these bizarre little lyrics for the holidays.
January, February and March are the great equalizers of the horticultural world. This is the time of the year when I can ...
Irises are named after a goddess who delivered messages while traveling on a rainbow. Just one reason they have so many colors.