Flower Bulb Information
The Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center Web site offers practical information on choosing and planting spring-flowering bulbs. It also offers articles on a number of other bulb-related topics, including heirloom varieties, designing with color, and managing pests, plus charts matching botanical names with common names. I always get a kick out of their "Trends" analysis; the 2007 list is so inclusive I can't think of anything that isn't listed as a trend!
Clever Gardening Technique
Overwintering Potted Plants
Hardy perennials and woody plants in containers need special protection in winter. Cycles of freezing and thawing and the resulting expansion and contraction of the soil can heave plants, exposing their roots. If the temperature drops and the soil freezes, it can shatter clay pots and crack plastic ones. Take steps now to protect your container plants:
1. Insulate plants by surrounding containers with mulch or straw, or sinking the pots into a hole in the ground. Mulch the soil surface, too.
2. Move planters to a sheltered location, such as an unheated shed. Cluster pots together, then insulate with mulch. Don't move plants to a warm spot, such as a heated garage. You want the plants to remain cool; otherwise they'll break dormancy too early.
3. Evergreens, especially young plants, are vulnerable to drying winter winds; spray these with an antidessicant (also known as an antitranspirant) to minimize water loss.