Category: ‘Flower and Plant Care’

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Plant a Garden for Pollinators

by Brian Wheat on July 20, 2015 at 9:02 am

My family has been in the flower business for more than 66 years, now in our fourth generation. We take pride on being good stewards of the land and its resources. Planting, growing and selling plants and flowers that not only beautify, but also benefit the environment and its creatures.

MPGC-FINAL-315x315By now, most of you have heard there may be a global problem with some of our most trusted winged friends — the bees, the butterflies, hummingbirds and bats. They are responsible for one out of three bites of food we take, and we are at a critical point in their survival. The reasons we find ourselves in this predicament are numerous. Some man-made and other things we can’t control. Our duty is to find a way to help in any way we can. Habitat loss, degradation and climate change are major concerns, with others being parasites, non-native species and diseases. Pollution and pesticides account for some of the decline, and we have to get better at understanding these effects. Education is critical; it’s the key in how we all move forward to make a better future for our pollinators. We need to identify the problems, work together for positive results and in turn Mother Nature will thrive and benefit from our efforts.

I support the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a nationwide call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of the pollinators. I’m going to share with you some advice on how you can plant gardens that benefit pollinators. Read More

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Patio Pots on Parade

by Brian Wheat on June 9, 2015 at 7:46 am

As our population grows older, heck who am I kidding, as I grow older, getting down on my knees to garden is a bit of a chore and getting back up is even more of a challenge. Thank goodness there is an easier way; we call them patio pots.

Patio pots come in many colors, textures, shapes and sizes, ovals, window boxes, umbrella half circles and even whimsical types. One of my garden center customers fills her colorful hand-painted Mexican turtle planter named Fernando each spring with ocean blue lobelia. It’s become a tradition, and it makes her smile.

Patio Pots — Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop & Garden Center in Lafayette, Colorado

I plant roughly 15 pots of various shapes and sizes for my home, some tall and colorful, some old school and others more traditional. That’s just on the back deck. Each container has a different story, a hodgepodge mixture of different times and places. In the front of the house, a more uniform statement of five circular ceramic gray pots are planted in full sun with a theme. This year’s color combination is that of red “Calliope” geraniums with white “Angelonia” snapdragons and “Wave” petunias of red, white and blue. Instead of using a traditional spike for the center, a red banana and King Tut Cyperus make fine tall additions standing at attention. This is my patriotic theme with Old Glory waving over the floriferous display, all summer long.

OldGlory — Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop & Garden Center in Lafayette, Colorado

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TulipVarieties-BrianWheat-LafayetteFloristAs winter recedes across the land, the promise of new life emerges from the soil. The grass takes on a familiar hue, and the smell of spring wafts in the garden. As the growing tips of fall planted bulbs push skyward, their history is deeply rooted in folklore and stories of power and intrigue.

From healing powers in Greek mythology to the Dutch Tulip Bubble of 1637, it’s a story worthy of the movie of the week or at least an exciting novel. Fortunes were made and lost, and lives forever changed over simple tulip bulbs.

At the peak of Tulip Mania in March of 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman of the era. Exported from the Netherlands to the world market for a hefty price, a coveted luxury item is now a very affordable common, but impressive, part of the American garden scape.

Gorgeous spring gardens are enhanced by the power of the bulb, an underground fleshy storage, whose life cycle delights us. As temperatures and moisture content speak to the inner bulb clock, its timing is a wonder of nature. Blooming occurs when conditions are perfect from early spring, mid spring and late spring. Read More

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Bringing Spring Inside

by Carol Caggiano on March 18, 2015 at 4:37 am

Well, it is March and we are ready for spring. The only problem is that the weatherman isn’t always ready for spring, but there is a quick fix. We can’t control spring outdoors, but we sure can bring it indoors. With a few simple additions, spring is in the air.

We immediately associate bulb flowers such as iris, tulips, hyacinth and daffodils, with spring. Fortunately, both as cut flowers and plants, these gorgeous blooms are readily available and just waiting to become part of our introduction to spring. The great thing about bulb flowers is they are splendid on their own and don’t need a lot of fussing to make them look fabulous.

CarolCaggiano-Daffodils Read More

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A Few Minutes = Days

by Carol Caggiano on February 14, 2015 at 2:43 pm

FB-SAF-Blog-VD-1Valentine’s Day is here, and hopefully a lovely arrangement of flowers arrived for you from someone you love. Romance is literally in full bloom when flowers arrive.

Because flowers are so beautiful and bring us such joy, we want them to last as long as possible. There are a few simple things you can do to ensure you get every moment of enjoyment from your lovely bouquet.

First, make sure you place them in a cool place away from drafts, sunlight and heat vents. Once you have the flowers in your chosen spot, filling the vase to the brim with cool water will help make sure that all stems get enough water. Often all the stems do not go all the way to the bottom of the vase. Flowers drink a lot of water, faster than you might think. Checking the water daily makes sure there is always enough for even shorter stems.

If your flowers arrive as a wrapped bouquet that you place in your own vase, make sure you add the little packet of floral preservative that comes with the flowers to the water as directed. This preservative contains both nutrients for the flowers and a biocide to keep algae at bay. Science has proven that using a floral preservative does extend the vase life of flowers. Changing the water every few days also helps, especially if you continue to add the floral preservative to the fresh water each time. These little packets usually come with your flowers, and I always keep some handy at home. Stop in your local florist next time you are in town and buy a half dozen or so to keep on hand. These packets are inexpensive and they do make a difference. Read More