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6 Steps to Growing Perfect African Violets

1.  Provide adequate light for the flower. It is the most important factor in promoting flowering. Place plants near any window that has bright, but filtered, light. An east window is best because it gets morning sun. A thin curtain will be necessary if placing plants in a south or west window. In order to develop a nice symmetrical form, plants must be turned 1/4 turn every week. If a good natural light source is not available, plants can be grown under fluorescent lights. Use double tube fixtures with one cool white bulb and one broad spectrum bulb. Lights should be 8 to 10 inches (20.3 to 25.4 cm) above the top of the plants and turned on for 12 to 14 hours a day. If plants have tight centers or seem to be bleaching out, reduce the number of hours to 8-10 a day.



2.  Water at the right times. Most violets die from over-watering than from any other single cause. Violet soil should be kept evenly moist and never allowed to become soggy. Water only when the top of the soil is dry to th…

Winter Blooming Camellias

Growing up in Alabama I took the Winter blooming Camellias for granted. Why not, they bloomed everywhere and everybody had one in their yard. Naturally that is why Camellia, is the state flower of Alabama.  But later in life and miles from Alabama I find it is not as popular in other states and many people have never heard of a Camellia.  Camellias are broad-leaved evergreen shrubs that grow up to 12 to 25 feet tall and produce showy, rose-like flowers in a wide range of colors between white and red flowers. Camellias grow in hardiness zones 6 through 8.  I live in the desert plains of Las Vegas which you would not consider idea for camellias, yet grown in a shady spot, and in a large pots and tubs, they have acclimated and do well.


Camellias produce flowers with overlapping petals that are up to five inches in diameter from late winter to early spring. The lustrous deep green leaves stay glossy year round. The plants grow slowly but they can reach a height of 20 feet when mature. C…

Three Reasons to Plant Flower Seeds in the Fall

Did you know that fall is the best time to plant many wildflower and flower seeds for next spring? It’s true – if you want a beautiful patch of flowers for their scent, color or to attract pollinators, the best time to plant them is not next spring, but very soon – this fall.Most wildflowers can (and should) be planted in the fall or early spring throughout many regions of the U.S. In the Southern and Western areas of the country the fall months of September through December are the most favorable time to plant wildflower seeds. In Northern and Northeastern regions seeds planted in the fall will remain dormant over the winter. Many varieties will quickly germinate in order to allow the seedling enough time to become established before going dormant for winter. Other varieties will just remain dormant within the soil until early spring. They will germinate and emerge in the spring when the conditions are favorable. In the wild, as wildflowers bloom and ripen into seed all summer and in…

The 10 Best Perennials to Plant for Fall

10 favorite perennial flowersThese unfussy, long-lived plants pump out beautiful foliage and flowers year after year. Plant in fall or spring when cooler temperatures help them get a healthy start
1. Pineapple sage (salvia elegans)At its best in fall when it sends up spikes of vivid red flowers, this salvia’s foliage smells like ripe pineapples. The plant grows 4 feet tall. S.e. ‘Golden Delicious’ grows 1- to 3 feet tall with fire-engine red blooms and chartreuse leaves.



2. Penstemon (P.  gloxinioides)
These bushy plants are fairly short lived, but to make up for it, they produce lots of trumpet-shaped blooms over a long period.
Deep purple ‘Midnight’ and scarlet ‘Firebird’ are standouts for their vivid, south-of-the-border colors. Pink and white ‘Appleblossom’ looks fresh and springlike.


3. Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily)


Flowers of the evergreen hybrids come in shades of purple with dark flecks and last well in bouquets. Alstroemeria aurea blooms come in shades of yellow and orange.
The 2-…

How to Grow Dazzling Daylilies

Why is the daylily the perfect perennial?
The daylily is sometimes referred to as the perfect perennial because it is: Available in a rainbow of colors and a variety of shapes and sizes. Able to survive with very little care in a wide range of climates. Suitable for all types of landscapes. Drought tolerant when necessary, with relatively few pest and disease problems in most gardens. See descriptions of pests and diseases that may be encountered . Adaptable to various soil and light conditions. Known to bloom from late spring until autumn.DUKE OF GASCONE, 6.5” FLOWER, 4 WAY BRANCHING, 24 BUDS ON A 27” SCAPE. DUKE OF GASCONE HAS CAUSED MUCH EXCITEMENT IN THE GARDEN AND ITS SEEDLINGS HAVE SOLD AT AUCTION FOR OVER $300.00 . THE COLOR IS AN INCREDIBLE CLEAR BURGUNDY RED. THE GOLD EDGE IS ONE OF THE HEAVIEST I HAVE SEEN, ONE HALF TO THREE FOURTHS OF AN INCH DEEP. THE FLOWERS ARE HELD ON STRONG SCAPES AND WELL PRESENTED ABOVE THE DARK GREEN FOLIAGE. POLLEN IS FERTILE. REBLOOM THREE TI…

A Visit to the Most Beautiful Garden in the World

Butchart Gardens 2015




I take very few vacations, but when I do, it is to see another garden. This year my husband and I went yet again to visit Butchart Gardens on beautiful Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  The gardens receive close to a million visitors each year. The gardens have been designated a National Historic Site of Canada due to their international renown.

In 1907, 65 year old garden designer Isaburo Kishida of Yokohama came to Victoria, at the request of his son, to build a tea garden for Esquimalt Gorge Park. This garden was wildly popular and a place to be seen. Several prominent citizens, Jennie Butchart among them, commissioned Japanese gardens from Kishida for their estates. He returned to Japan in 1912.

In 1909, when the limestone quarry was exhausted, Jennie set about turning it into the Sunken Garden, which was completed in 1921. They named their home "Benvenuto" ("welcome" in Italian), and began to receive visitors to their gardens. In 1926…