Anemone Bordeaux (Pam Erikson/Special to the Langley Advance)

LANGLEY’S GREEN THUMB: Fall cleanup is also about dreaming for the future

Langley Advance columnist Pam Erikson suggests planning for spring bulbs now.

by Pam Erikson/Special to the Langley Advance

The rain dance worked.

The long hot summer has been tough on people, plants, and gardens. But the recent rains are definitely allowing gardeners to get back out and play.

At this time of year, the perennials are starting to look tired, the annuals are getting leggy, and it’s time to start the fall cleanup.

With the cleanup also comes the joy of planning and preparing for next spring – always keeping in mind what you need to plant in the fall that you can enjoy in the early part of spring.

Most important to get planted by mid-October are the spring bulbs – daffodils, tulips, alliums, and hyacinths to name a few.

There are a myriad of different varieties and bloom times – check out all your local nurseries to see what they have to offer.

Each year, the breeders of bulbs in Holland introduce new varieties to add to our gardens.

The small species tulips that only grow between four- and eight-inches tall are also very popular for planting in borders as they naturalize easily and produce wonderful early spring colour.

We say this a lot, but planning where you are going to grow your bulbs is just as important as what varieties you plant.

We always suggest that you group your spring bulbs in between and around other perennials.

The bulbs will come up and flower normally much earlier than perennials, allowing them to be the stars of the garden for a while.

When the blooms are finished, you must leave the foliage there to allow the bulb to feed and replenish itself for next year – this foliage can look messy and unkempt, but as the other perennials grow, they will actually hide the decaying bulb foliage allowing your garden to look nice and clean and at the same time allowing the bulbs to regenerate.

While daffodils and tulips are always big sellers, consider other bulbs for something different.

Those who grew alliums this summer have commented to me on how fabulous the seedheads are looking right now – one of the main reasons we grow them.

A few people have dried them and used them for decoration in their Christmas trees, either naturally or gently spray painted in gold and silver.

For those who have never grown anemones, there is a new variety called Bordeaux that produces stunning deep burgundy blooms on 18-inch stems.

Anemones bulbs are quite unusual – often referred to looking like ‘cat poo’. Indeed, the bulbs are tiny little brown pieces that do actually resemble something from the litter box.

But simply soak those little pieces in water for about a half hour before planting and next spring they will produce beautiful results.

I would be remiss in not mentioning hyacinths as a great bulb. Many of them are grown indoors in the winter in order to fill the house with fragrance, but I find the scent a little too heady for me, so ours are happily in the garden.

Variegated varieties, such as Rembrandt, are striking in any garden. And planted with mini daffodils, they paint a cheery spring picture.

Fall may be garden clean up time, but it is also time to dream of next year – that is what gets us gardeners through the winter.

– Pam Erikson is owner of Erikson’s Daylily Gardens and Perennials

and president of the Langley Garden Club

.

RECENT COLUMNS:

Langley gardener suggests a few climate evolving plants

Lilies bloom for summer in Langley

 

Angel wish tulips (Pam Erikson/Special to the Langley Advance)

Rembrandt hyacinth (Pam Erikson/Special to the Langley Advance)

Allium Schubertii (Pam Erikson/Special to the Langley Advance)

Just Posted

Two Langley affordable housing projects get provincial funding

First phase of $1.9 billion program to build residences for low and middle-income people

Court denies bid to overturn Langley City election

Serena Oh won’t be allowed to launch a legal action against the City.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

Langley author pens tribute to the men and women of Canada’s military for Remembrance Day

‘A soldier, a sailor and an airman … stood before the Pearly Gates’

LETTER: Langley candidate pleasantly surprised by campaign

A local woman who ran for municipal council is grateful for the experience.

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read