async defer src="//" My Enchanting Cottage Garden: October 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

7 Fall Flowers for the Southwest Garden

Did you know that many spring blossoms will bloom earlier, for longer periods, and on taller stems if planted in the fall? Here are 7of my favorite flowers to plant in your fall garden.

1.  Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus). An old cottage garden favorite, rambling sweet peas in all shades of pastels take off when planted alongside a fence line or allowed to overtake a trellis. Plant in rich, amended soil and water deeply and regularly to encourage vigorous roots. To prolong flowering, pick stems or deadhead often. plant early in the fall for early spring bloom.

2.  Garganzia. A native of South Africa, the daisy-like gazania flower is a member of the aster family and can tolerate dry climates. Gazanias are hardy and will thrive in most soils, no matter how poor the quality is. Ranging from terracotta to bright yellow in color, gazania plants grow an average of 12 inches and bloom during the spring and summer months. These flowers grow as a perennial in zones nine to 11 and as an annual in zones three to eight. Gazania flowers will blossom in the first year.

3. Poppies (Papaver somniferum) A show stopper. Lovely, old-fashioned beauty, this poppy is a must for country or cottage gardens. Impossibly substantial peony-like pastel blooms from white to rose to deep purple. Not pastel like easter kitsch, but pastel like classy Victorian. The gene pool spans singles and doubles, many with frilly deeply serrated petals. Very top heavy, 3-4’ plants benefit from staking or dense cluster-planting for support. Old and rare variety. The seed pods produce lots of great poppy seeds for baking. This annual with its big peony-like flowers is among the most lovely you can grow.

4. Hollyhocks   (A. rosea.) No cottage or country garden would be complete without showy stalks of hollyhock.   Once you have planted your hollyhocks, they will need minimal care, The one benefit that comes from growing hollyhock flowers is that they easily reseed themselves. While they may be short-lived, in their proper growing conditions they will continually grow more, which will keep the hollyhock flowers consistent in years to come. Growing hollyhocks in your garden will add some drama and new height.

 5.  Flowering tobacco (Solanaceae (nightshade) contains the poisonous belladonna and datura species, as well as vegetable garden favorites like potatoes and eggplant. Flowers of the genus Nicotiana bear some resemblance to petunias, another nightshade relative, in appearance and evening fragrance. Flowering tobacco plants produce fuzzy, sticky foliage and flower stalks with nodding trumpet-shaped flowers. Each flower has five petals that flare at the end. The flower colors complement one another so that you can plant a mix for an attractive large nicotiana bed. Most varieties are various shades of pink, white, red, and pale green. Nicotiana cultivars vary from 18 inches to 5 feet in height. Gardeners looking for tall flowering tobacco varieties should stick with heirloom types, as newer compact varieties are bred to flower while still growing in nursery six-packs.

6.  Love Lies Bleeding. Amaranthus (A. caudatus) A. caudatus, commonly known as “love lies bleeding,” a large, showy plant with unusual and striking red plumage that offers summer and fall drama. As the plant matures, impressive, large, and red-tinged light green leaves are joined by long “tails” of drouping flower heads populated by hundreds of tiny deep-crimson blooms. Also known as tassel flower, the plant’s 2-foot-long “tails” can retain their color for six to eight weeks and look especially striking when planted with chrysanthemum, sunflower, or viburnum.

7.  Larkspur  (Consolida sp.)  Growing larkspur flowers (Consolida sp.) provides tall, early season color in the spring landscape. Once you learn how to grow larkspur, you will likely include them in the garden year after year. Once established. However, larkspur flower care is simple and basic. When planting larkspur seeds, they must have a cold period before germination. This can be accomplished before planting the seeds, after planting the seeds in peat pots, or after sowing the seeds directly in the flower bed. The most reliable method of chilling larkspur seeds before planting can be done in the refrigerator. Chill protected seeds for two weeks before planting. Place seeds in a ziplock sandwich bag and include some damp perlite to provide moisture. Larkspur seeds often will not germinate at temps above 65 F. (18 C.). Learning when to plant larkspurs that have been chilled requires knowing when the first frost date occurs in your area. Planting larkspur seeds should be done early enough before frost for them to begin developing a root system to hold them over through winter. Growing larkspur flowers do not like to be moved, so plant seeds into their permanent location. Spring planting of larkspur seeds can be done, but flowers may not reach their full potential. 

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