Selecting Tulip Cultivars February 25, 2009

Today there are over 100 species of growing tulips and many hundreds of hybrids, primarily due to
the extensive breeding programs and tulip care that began in late sixteenth century Holland.
Tulips originated in Central Asia where they grew in the wild. The word tulip means turban and
comes from a Turkish word, turbend. Tulips were cultivated in Turkey as early as 1,000 AD.
In August of 1593, Carolus Clusius received a gift of tulip bulbs from his friend, Ogier Ghiselain de
Busbecq, the ambassador of Constantinople. He planted the bulbs and the spring of 1594 gave birth
to the first tulips of Holland. Clusius’s planting is still considered the birth of the Netherlands flower
bulb business.
The colorful flowers soon became major trading commodities. Different color strains and mutations
were status symbols and in such high demand in the 1600’s that tulips were often sold by estimated
weight, even before they were lifted from the ground. Trading in tulip futures

Little Miss pink

Little Miss pink

was dubbed as
“tulpenwindhandel” (tulip wind trade). Soon this speculative trading got out of hand and the Dutch
government introduced trade restrictions to quash it.
The most popular tulip color has always been, and remains to be red. However, yellow closely
follows red as the second most popular color.


Agapanthus flower February 23, 2009

Gentle Caress

Gentle Caress

The strap-like leaves of the Agapanthus plant form a thick scrubby base. It flowers in summer, with cut Agapanthus usually available from November to February. The Agapanthus, also known as the Lily of the Nile or the African lily, is native to South Africa. Agapanthus grows on incredibly tall slender green stems, known as ‘scapes ’, with no foliage. The head of the Agapanthus, called the ‘cymes’ or ‘umbel’, is an explosion of hundreds of miniature funnel shaped flowers and flower buds, which can be in either purple, blue or white.

The name ‘Agapanthus’ comes from the Greek, meaning the flower of love. Florists find the blue Agapanthus useful in baby boy arrangements, as the color is quite rare in the world of flowers. Agapanthus is frequently used in traditional, ‘cottage’ arrangements. The Agapanthus is a common garden plant, easily grown even in coastal areas – especially if the plant is well watered.



so beautiful

so beautiful

fragrant bloom

fragrant bloom

L i g h t—B r i g h t , i n d i r e c t s u n l i g h t i s
recommended to keep the plant growing without fading the bracts.

Water—Water daily as the plant needs it, when the potting mix

becomes visibly dry. Irrigate with enough water to allow

some to come out the bottom of the pot. Be careful not to

allow the potting mix to become too dry, as it will

not easily become wet again.Fertilizer—Fertilizer
will not be needed on poinsettias
Remove all dead leaves and faded bracts to help prevent

disease and insect problems.Usage. The poinsettia is not

a poisonous plant. The American Medical Association has had no

confirmed reports of serious or fatal injuries from the ingestion

of poinsettia leaves, bracts, stems,or flowers. While the plant is

not meant to be eaten, caution should be used when displaying plants

around young children and pets. The leaves of poinsettia are very
fibrous and can cause choking

if caught in the throat. Enjoy colorful poinsettias
by displaying them out of the reach of curious children and pets.