The Name Says It All

After this year’s long winter no wonder everyone is reacting with joy to every single new plant we put in the ground.

There are more plants than ever coming out from all over the world.  But sometimes seeing the tried and true can give anyone a pep in their step!

Right now pansies are seen everywhere in a multitude of colors. Their sweet fragrances are unmistakable.  But where did the name pansy originate?  The name comes from the French word, “pensee” for thought.  By the 1400’s it was changed to viola from the late Middle English word to represent a symbol of remembrance.

Whether you prefer the small violas or the pansies, they are all in the same family, Violaceae.

Writing this article brought back memories of my sister and I collecting wild violets (Viola papiolanacea) which are actually considered invasive weeds. We used to string them on thread and create a little violet crown for our mother for Mother’s Day.

Interesting that all those years and still now I think of my mother Jackie when I see a violet or a pansy! It is the “pensee” that counts every day in every way.


Hybrid or Species tulips? Which is best for my garden?

Hybrid or Species tulips? Which is best for my garden?

Autumn is almost here, and its time to think about planting spring blooming bulbs.

Tulip-TardaClients often wonder and dismayed when they see us pulling up the tulips which were for a few weeks a bright harbinger of spring. “Can’t we replant them for next year?” Well, yes and no.

We plant several types of bulbs in the fall: crocus, narcissus and tulips. Of those three, crocus, daffodils and species tulips will naturalize or “perennialize.” An important fact to know about urban gardening. There is not much space to create seasonal plantings, so many times bulbs are simply disturbed too often to come back the following year.

What are the differences between hybrid and species tulips? Species tulips most likely have smaller blooms and narrower foliage. Hybrids have bold colors and long large leaves.

Lilac-WonderHybrid tulips are more used as annuals and create a burst of color in different time periods in the spring. Species tulips will hybridize but often are less conspicuous, spicing up a little corner or small centerpiece. Examples of species tulips would be Tulip tarda, originating from the mountains of China is only 5” high, yellow and white. Planted in masses it creates a beautiful meadow like effect.

Turkish Tulip Plate“Variety is the spice of life.” I like to mix all kinds of tulips in my gardens to create as an artist uses a palette of paints.

Below are some examples of both hybrids and species tulips for you to choose from.

You will find that their early spring colors are enough to take the late winter blues away