New Gardener, Tulips & Wildflowers

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Jessica, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. Jessica

    Jessica Member

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    Location:
    Surrey, BC
    Hi,

    I am moving from a condo to a house and will be starting my first garden. We will be living in Surrey and the garden will be in the backyard (faces west) so I think it will get lots of sun.

    I have two reasons for gardening:

    1) I think it will be relaxing and make our yard more attractive.
    2) I will be growing flowers for our wedding (Summer 2004).

    My questions for the forum:

    1) I wanted to grow tulips but I have heard that they do not survive past the end of May. Is this correct? I really wanted to use tulips for our wedding.

    2) If I cannot use tulips for the wedding, I would like to use a flower (or flowers) that comes in many colours (bright, similar to tulips). A friend suggested wildflowers. What are the planting guidelines for wildflowers in the Lower Mainland? (i.e. when to plant and when are they in full bloom). Can you recommend any other flowers?

    3) I would like to give away small potted plants as our favours at the wedding. I was thinking ivy or herbs...can you offer any suggestions/advice?

    4) Can you recommend a beginner's gardening book so that I don't have to post all my "newbie" questions?

    Thanks for your time!
    Jessica
     
  2. dulcinea

    dulcinea Member

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    A good beginners gardening book I can suggest David Tarrant, he works at UBC.
    I would ask advice as what to plant in a good nursery
    I like the idea of giving away little pots of plants, ivy oos good especially the variegated varieties.
    Good luck.
    Dulci
     
  3. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    sweeetpeas would be a good choice for a fragrant summer flower.any good local nursery would be able to suggest and most likely supply small potted plantsat a reasonable cost.
     
  4. Joan

    Joan Active Member

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    A favourite book

    "12 Month Gardener' by Stevens , Hungerford, Fancourt Smith Mitchell and Buffam, published by Whitecap Books in Vancouver, new edition 2000, is a very good introduction to our style of gardening in the lower mainland. It gives an idea of what todo each month and what to grow to have interest every day of the year!
     
  5. Lisa K

    Lisa K Member

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    Wedding Flowers

    I had a May wedding also and did some of the same thing. We put a special request in at a nursery and had them force some early impatiens for us. We put them on the tables in small (2") pots covered in cool coloured foil. It worked beautifully for adding colour to the tables. You may want to consider ivy as well. If you're considering flowers, talk to a nursery asap as they may need to be forced or started sooner than usual as ours were.

    What were you intending to use the tulips for? bridal bouquets? decorations?

    To continue with the theme, we also had about 10 large hanging baskets with live plants and flowers to decorate the outdoor tent. We actually sold them to family friends and relatives after the wedding (they asked!), as they were too many for us and it helped recoup costs a little.

    You may want to try the library for gardening books to find out exactly what you need and want from them before you buy. One person may want lots of colour photos, another may want more 'how to'.

    Hope this helps!
    Lisa
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2003
  6. westgatea

    westgatea Active Member

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    re your summer 2004 wedding

    The tulip thing will not work (we tried it for my daughter's wedding) - but we grew (and bought some, too) freesias - lovely colours, glorious scent and very easy to grow - just get some bulbs from your local store and you can start them indoors. If you start ivy cuttings now, you will have all you need by 2004.good luck - westgate.
     
  7. Jessica

    Jessica Member

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    Update to Tulips

    We are no longer moving to a house so I am stuck in a condo. We will still be trying to grow the flowers at our parent's houses.

    We've now moved the wedding to May 15, 2004. I'm hoping that will have some effect on the availablity of tulips. Any comments?

    westgatea - what problems did you have with tulips for your daughters wedding?
     
  8. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    Timing is always a problem . You will probably be aware that spring flowers are about 20 days earlier this year than last. Tulips can be hit by rain, hail, wind, slugs , sun if the weather turns hot or the dread squirrels, which munch bulbs ,often ripping off the leaves to get at the goodies.
    Tulips in the stores are greenhouse grown in the Fraser valley, coming through the flower auction in Burnaby...which, by the way , is one of the biggest flower auctions in North America. But mid May is late for spring flowers like tulips.
    By Mothers Day, rhododendron, irises, peonies are in bloom. Lily of the valley are fabulous about that time. You might consider anemones which do grow from bulbs.

    Good luck!
     
  9. lorien_i

    lorien_i Member

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    I have just about the same exact problem... I, too am getting married in May (May 19, 2006 to be exact), and have an offer of friends to grow tulips for my flowers.

    Some of the varieties say they are a mid-to-late spring bloom, such as Blumex, a parrot tulip from the "Spring Garden" 2006 catalogue.

    When does 'mid-to-late' spring occur in the lower mainland? I'm in Gibsons, which is apparently much the same soil/climate as UBC itself. It would be nice to know in case I need to get some other flowers too...

    Thanks so much.
     

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