In bloom this second week of August in my Ottawa zone 4 to 5 gardens

Here are the newest perennial blooms in my own zone 4 to 5 gardens this second week of August;

 

This ornamental grass is my favourite although it is only an annual here in zone 4 or 5.  It makes a beautiful centerpiece for a container or it can be planted right in the garden!

grass 1

 

Still strutting their stuff, these perennials are still looking great:

 

On their way out (unfortunately) are my gorgeous lilies.  They will return bigger and better than ever next year though!  Every client I have planted some of these lily trees for have commented on how spectacular they are, well worth the price.

 

I hope you are enjoying these weekly walks through my gardens…

whole garden

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What blooms in June in your garden?

Everything is blooming a bit later this season due to the long, hard winter we experienced here in the Ottawa area of Canada, but there is still lots of color this June.

The first clematis bloom has arrived, with many more to come on the six vines I have throughout my gardens.  The lilacs are just about done.  They are the late blooming variety, later than most lilacs.  We pruned them back hard this spring as they were growing sideways due to the overgrown apple trees beside them.  The pruning did not affect the blooms, probably because they are a late blooming variety.

The general rule of thumb for pruning flowering shrubs is:

  • if it blooms before June, wait until after blooming to prune
  • if it blooms after June, prune in early spring

Missing this June are the many roses usually in bloom.  Four of my roses did not survive the winter, so will have to be replaced.  The ones that did not survive are planted in front of the brick wall of our garage.  The snow melts first in this area, and the bed is under an overhang, so with the many freeze and thaw cycles (mostly freeze) we experienced, the roses were often exposed to the cold without the insulation of snow.  I tried to shovel snow on them from other areas of the yard as it melted from the rose bed, but to no avail.   I have a few other roses planted elsewhere in my gardens that survived, but the blooms are still in bud phase.

How to make your indoor orchids rebloom

If you have you purchased orchids with beautiful blooms, but the blooms are now gone, follow these easy steps to make them rebloom to their former glory.

Water:  The easiest way to kill your orchids, and most other houseplants, is to overwater them.  The best way to water orchids is to take the pot to a sink, pour approximately 1/2 cup of water into the pot and then let ALL of the water drain out.  Do this every 7 to 10 days, letting the soil dry out in between waterings.  Of course, this means your orchids should be in a pot that drains well.

Light:  Another important requirement of orchids is the amount of sunlight they receive.  Direct sunlight is too harsh and will burn them, but too little sunlight will prevent them from flowering well.  Orchids prefer sunlight (not directly) from a south-facing window in the winter months, and an east or northwest exposure in the summer months.

Temperature:   Preferred temperatures vary between types of orchids.  Read the labels on the ones you purchase to ensure optimal temperatures for your orchids. None of them like temperatures below 60 degrees F though and none like to be near cold air drafts.  If you do not know whether your orchid is a cool, warm or intermediate type, keeping it between 65 and 80 degrees F should work.

Food:  Keep in mind that the rest periods in between blooms allow for the plants to restore their energy levels.  After the blooms have faded and fallen off, wait until the stalk has completely turned brown before cutting it off at the point where it meets the plant.  Food is important though to keep your orchids blooming their best.  There are commercial products available for orchid food which contains a higher phosphate (the middle number) level than nitrogen (first number) and potash (third number) for optimal blooms.  Feed your orchids every second watering while in bloom, otherwise once a month.

Hopefully the tips above will help you keep your orchids looking great.  If you have put off buying them because you thought they were too difficult or fussy, give them a try.  They cannot be beat for their spectacular blooms!

pictures courtesy of Wikimedia commons.

copyscape picture