Category: ‘Spring’

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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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Spring Flowers = Spring Fashion

by Brian Wheat on March 30, 2014 at 8:12 am

Colorado State University Trial Garden — Photo Courtesy All-American SelectionsWith the new and fresh planting season, our thoughts turn to new explosions of color and resurrection. Marching into spring, Mother Nature delights us with bulbs’ noses emerging, buds swelling on branches and the occasional warm breeze. Oh yes, the spring flowers, they’re coming.



The flower world is a lot like the fashion world. Trends abound. There are new styles, new colors and new textures. What was old, is now revamped and new again.

Welby Gardens — Photo Courtesy All-American SelectionsWe are blessed in our flower world with hundreds, more likely thousands of new cultivars and varieties introduced every year. The Internet allows us to search out the newest plants for our unique locations, styles and tastes.  All-American Selections (AAS) is an independent, non-profit organization that tests new varieties and introduces only the best-proven garden performers as AAS Winners. Test and trial gardens from across the country are there to help the gardener get informed and earn trust of the AAS Winners. My favorite trial gardens, which I visit annually, are at Welby Gardens in Denver, and at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Petunia “African Sunset” — Photo Courtesy All-American SelectionsSo to wet your whistle for the gardening season, I’d like to introduce you to a few new flowers and a vegetable.

Petunia “African Sunset”-2014 AAS Winner! Wow! The shades of bright orange flowers cover the entire plant. A great color, it has it all: excellent mounding habit, strong stems, exceptional vigor, tons of flowers and humidity tolerant. It grows 7”-12” tall and spreads up to 20” wide in full sun with average to dry watering. Read More

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Celebrate Spring with the Easter Lily

by Brian Wheat on March 26, 2013 at 8:03 am
- Photo Courtesy Lafayette Florist & Greenhouses in Lafayette, Colo.,

– Photo Courtesy Lafayette Florist & Greenhouses in Lafayette, Colo.,

When I started working in our family greenhouses 30 years ago, my father-in-law, a respected and renowned grower, shared his floral wisdom. The perfect Easter lily, he told me, is one that when you knock on the door to deliver it to a customer, the vibration of the knock opens the first bloom for them to enjoy.

Along with colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, jellybeans and baskets, Easter lilies are a traditional part of the holiday celebration. The lily symbolizes purity, virtue and hope. As a gift or enjoyed in your home, it is a fitting symbol and tribute to the meaning of Easter — a time of rejoice and celebration.

This year, Easter is Sunday, March 31. Easter lilies make festive gifts. Call your florist or stop by the shop and pick one for yourself. When selecting Easter lilies, choose plants with healthy dark green leaves and one bloom opened with other buds puffy. Read More

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Potted DaffodilsSpring is almost here! Each year as the days slowly lengthen and the sun begins to warm the earth, I venture forth looking for the seasonal blooms. As a professional floral designer, I turn to Mother Nature for visual inspiration. I have my favorite spots I visit every year, and places that I vow to visit someday. If you love flowers as much as I do, you’ll want to search out the flowers in your own area. Then, dash to the florist and grab some blooms to bring home and brighten your home. To get started, here are a few of my favorites. These spots are so popular, many include festivals focused on the fabulous bloom. (Hint: Visit early in the morning for the lightest crowds.)

The daffodil is one of the earliest blooms to be celebrated. In the Pacific Northwest, they begin showing their colors in late February. Each year the third weekend in March brings thousands of visitors to the Daffodil Drive Festival in Junction City, Ore. to view mile after county mile of daffodils. Soon, their sunny yellow faces will bloom with a reminder that really and truly, spring will return. To be honest, I can’t wait for the daffodils to arrive in March.  By January, my house was filled with purchased daffodils to give spring a little jump-start.  Read More