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Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & GreenhousesWith March temperatures hovering around 22-38 degrees, we all welcome any sign of spring. One of my favorite signs is a mixed garden pot of spring flowering bulbs. Mixed gardens are usually made up of an assortment of spring bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and crocus and new for this year, mini iris. Mixed gardens can be placed around the house at any stage of growth and you get to watch them grow and develop into bloom.

When we see these gardens we are all tempted to try and make one of our own but it is too late. Bulb gardens take a little bit of advanced planning. Last October or November when you see outdoor garden bulbs for sale is the time to pot up these gardens. It is a very simple procedure. You will need pots and good soil (a good quality "soil-less" blended mix of Canadian peat moss, vermiculite and perilite) and, of course, the bulbs. Simply place 2 or 3 of each type bulb in the bottom of a 10" pan (a shallow pot is called a "pan"), cover with the soil and water. These gardens are stored in a dark, refrigerated area such as your refrigerator...but enough about what you could have done last fall.

Most bulb gardens are scheduled to come into bloom any time between Valentine's Day and Easter. They are usually only available at your local florist or greenhouse and not the so-called "box" stores as they are a bit pricey and in the heat of those stores, they do not last long. Yes, it is also warm in the floral shops but they usually keep these gardens in a display cooler where they will last for a very long time. I would suggest that when you purchase a bulb garden, try to get one that has not matured too far along so that you can enjoy its growth at your home.


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