There are hundreds, possibly thousands of different daylilies but Daylily ‘Happy Returns’ (Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’) is one of my favourites. A non-stop summer bloomer, Happy Returns presents 3-inch, butter-yellow flowers similar in appearance to early spring daffodils. It’s smaller size (2 feet high) makes it perfect for a garden border, a perennial bed or containers. It grows well in full sun but does appreciate some morning or afternoon shade. Hardy in zones 3 to 9, it’s not fussy on soil type and pollinators love it. A bright addition to any garden – large or small!
This time of year, amaryllis (Hippeastrum spp.) kits just seems to pop up everywhere, so I decided to finally give it a try.
Amaryllis is easy to grow, low maintenance and provides spectacular blooms during the cold, and sometimes dull, days of winter. So until I can get back outside and play, amaryllis bulbs will be my winter garden project.
Now available in a wide range of colors, the amaryllis originated in South Africa where it continues to grow wild in some areas. Back in the 1800s amaryllis bulbs were quite rare and very costly, but over time hybridizers have created a whole new flock of interesting and inexpensive amaryllis bulbs.
All you need to do is plant the bulb in a good, clean potting soil, leaving the top third of the bulb exposed. I like this one below. When purchased, it comes complete, ready to plant in a plastic lined burlap “pot” with a bag of both potting soil, and sphagnum moss to add a decorative touch and act like a mulch – a nice gift for those that enjoy gardening.
The second picture shows the bulb slightly sticking up through the centre of the moss.
Now all I have to do is water it now and again without overdoing it and in a few weeks I’ll have a stunning floral display. I chose Red Lion – not one of the more unique colors, but I love the vibrant, fire-engine red of the flower. In a few weeks, it should look like the one pictured below – I’ll post it’s progress as it grows.
Keep the amaryllis in a bright spot while growing, but avoid direct sunlight when blooming. Don’t place them in a south facing window; the heat may scorch the plants.
Here’s a few interesting amaryllis flowers:
Samba Lemon Lime Misty
Amputo Monte Carlo Orange