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Flower Garden Landscaping: 4 Sources of Plant Materials

Apr 1, 2019 | Gardens

We all love a bountiful display of blossoms in the spring. Prepare now for spring blooms on your property by planning your fall flower garden landscaping early. 

Numerous paper and online catalogs display slick photos of the final result: flowering plants. But they don’t look anything like those photos when you plant them. Fall planting of bulbs, corms, tubers  and rhizomes results in a bevy of bountiful blooms in spring and throughout the year. To get those results, you want to start talking with your landscaping expert at Johnson’s today, so we can be ready to get planting done when fall rolls around.

Most gardeners refer to underground flower sources as bulbs. They are all underground food storage units that eventually produce flowers. It is good to be aware of the appearance and results before you begin ordering and planting.

Flower Garden Landscaping Plant Sources

  • True Bulbs are split into two categories, tender and hardy. Hardy bulbs are planted in autumn. Bulbs are layered inside, similar to an onion. They are rounded in shape. Healthy bulbs are solid, not soft or mushy. Many bulbs have a pointed end that should be planted upward
  • Bulbs are either tunicate (with a papery skin) or scaly (without a papery skin).Bulbs remain in the spot where they’re planted and produce baby bulbs, called offsets. Numerous varieties of flowers grow from bulbs; Lilies, Daffodils, Crocosmias and many more.
  • Corms are similar to bulbs, but don’t have layers. Corms are actually the base of the stem and die when they produce flowers. Before they get to the flowering stage, they will also produce offsets for flowers in future seasons. Liatris, Daisies and Gladiolus are flowers that grow from corms.
  • Tubers are shaped somewhat like a potato. In fact, a potato is a tuber. Many food crops grow from tubers. The eyes on the tubers produce food and flowers. Begonia, Canna lily, Ranunculus and Anemones grow from tubers. Some flowers, such as Dahlia, grow from a unit called a tuberous root.
  • Rhizomes are stems that grow beneath the ground: They grow horizontally, with only the flower stems growing upward. Often, these spread quickly and may need division sooner than the other types of storage units. Flowers that grow from rhizomes, such as bearded Iris, can quickly cover a bare area in the landscape. The popular Solomon’s seal grows from rhizomes as does the Shamrock plant.

Many of these underground storage units benefit from fall planting. Some, such as tulips, require the winter chill to bloom. If this kind of flower garden landscaping would benefit your yard and flowerbeds, contact us for a professional plan. We know what grows well in the area and how to locate bulbs for a maximum effect.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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