YORKTON - A dear friend was showing me some spring flowers that she received as a gift. One vase held a cheery bouquet of bright yellow daffodils; the other gift was a pot of planted tulips in a beautiful Easter-egg mauve. Simply beautiful to look at, especially since the backdrop through the kitchen window was still a huge mound of snow!
It was a lovely tabletop spring garden!
In this time before Easter, we’ll be able to enjoy pots of assorted planted bulbs: tulips, hyacinths and lilies, just in time for Easter and perfect for eager gardeners who long to see growing and blooming things! But what do we do with these plants once they are finished blooming?
First of all, some guidelines on how to care for them while they are fresh and at their peak. We should be careful not to over-water them, and to make sure that they are not sitting in water. If the container comes in a decorative sleeve, remove the pot when watering, and let the water drain out well before replacing it. These plants will enjoy bright light. They’d like a room that is a bit on the cool side to help them last longer.
When the blooms fade, we should snip them back and continue to take care of the plant. The leaves will be absorbing the sun and make the bulbs stronger, and when the time comes that we can find our gardens again and warm weather arrives, we can plant those bulbs out in the garden.
Some interesting factoids. Lilies are beautiful, but many people find the scent of them overwhelming. It can be minimized a bit by removing the stamen, and the problem of messy pollen sprinkling on your Easter tablecloth will be solved if you remove the anthers. I have read that this also helps to extend bloom life.
And with tulips: they like to bask in the sun, so keeping them in a sunny location will stop them from getting too gangly and stretching.
The deep colors and striking blooms of the hyacinth make them a windowsill favorite. These blooms, too, have a strong but pleasing fragrance. What to do when they are finished? When the bloom is spent, snip the bloom’s stem as far down on the plant as you can. Once again, leave the leaves intact, because they are helping to make the bulb strong, hopefully strong enough to bloom again in the future. Eventually the leaves will die back as well. This is not the end of the plant! Just place the pot in a cool space, out of the sun until the warmer weather arrives, and then plant the bulb outside in the garden.
The dream of working outside is not so far away as we think! The snow has been going down quite gradually, perhaps a result of the very dry summer of 2021. But anything can happen yet; if you recall we had terrible blizzards, probably the worst of the entire winter, on April 30 in 2011 and 2013. But gardeners are optimistic: we will hope for an easy and gentle melt and a nice spring!
The Yorkton and District Horticultural Society is tentatively planning a live April meeting. I’ll keep you posted as plans are made. Maybe I’ll have more details next time we chat; and be sure to visit our website at www.yorktonhort.ca
Thank you to our friends at YTW for their great work in bringing us local news. Gardeners, enjoy this time to peruse the seed catalogues and have a great week!