News / 
Flower Bed Design Classes

Flower Bed Design Classes

Posted - Aug. 27, 2004 at 9:07 a.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Larry Sagers Horticultural Specialist Utah State University Extension Service Thanksgiving Point Office © All Rights Reserved

Flower Bed Design with Larry Sagers and USU Extension Service Advanced Master Gardeners Wonderful flower gardens don't just happen. They are created by careful gardeners. Learn how to plan and plant flowerbeds that are aesthetically pleasing and that will bloom from early spring through autumn. Fee: $40.00.

Please note there are two location this course is being taught.

Thanksgiving Point Tuesdays, September 7,14 and 21 1:30-4 PM or 6:-8:30 PM Join us in the Oak Room on the lower level of the Thanksgiving Gardens Visitors Center. Call Gretchen at 801 768-7443

Utah Botanical Center Thursdays, starting September 2 at 2:00 pm at the Utah House classroom in Kaysville. Call 801 451 3403 to register for this class.

It is hard not to be delighted by those first spring flowers. Even those with a “Scrooge” gardening spirit melt when the delightful spring flowers finally show from underneath the snow.

In a sense, spring gardens are like the resurrection of the earth after it has been asleep for the winter. Whatever the reason these gardens look so good, following the ideas of garden experts can help you create a little spring magic of your own in your garden.

Spring blooming gardens for Utah are not automatic or easy. Years of study, of trial and error and of consistent looking for and finding the right way to grow plants has created a recipe for designing successful spring gardens. There are still many gardeners who do not understand how to create these gardens. They persist in waiting until spring in hopes of planting a beautiful spring garden.

Waiting until the soil dries out before planting pansies and other spring flowers means that they start so late that by the time the become established, it is almost time to take them out. Fall planting lets them establish a good root system so they are ready to burst into color when winter snows finally disappear.

If you make the mistake of leaving them in the ground and Mother Nature soon lets you know that these cool season flowers are not flowers that are going to thrive in the blistering heat of Utah’s summer.

Spring flower gardens in Utah require another approach. Horticulturally it requires adding many other flowers, trees and shrubs to the mix to get the desired results for the spring gardens

Face the reality and admit that the bulbs look bad for much longer than they look good. Although bulbs are truly spectacular flowers, they cannot sustain the garden for the entire season. It is a fact that most spring bulbs are outstanding for a week, nice for two weeks and tolerable for three weeks. After that they become nothing more than dead petals, gangling flower stems and long leaves that eventually turn brown and die.

The salvation of the spring garden is the other plants we grow there. These are a diverse group. Some are winter annuals, some are biennials that take two years to complete their life cycle and some are spring blooming perennials that come back again and again.

All share a common characteristic of being able to survive the winter and grow in early spring. They burst forth with brilliant color to paint an exquisite spring garden.

The secret of a beautiful spring garden is to get the plants well established in the fall. Inexperienced gardeners often ask, “Why are you taking out those perfectly good flowers before they have been killed by the frost?”

Many people have a hard time have a hard time taking out flowers that are blooming perfectly well. They want to let them continue to struggle to grow until the frost finally destroys them. If you wait that long, you likely will never see the beautiful flowers you want next spring.

Dig and divide iris and daylilies at least every three years. If you do not, bloom size will go down or they will stop blooming completely.

One common mistake is that people plant their iris too close together. The plants increase three fans each year so allow two feet between the plants. I recommend digging iris every three years and separating them. True irisiarians keep two of each variety (in case one doesn=t make it through a tough winter) and give the others away or compost them.

Overgrown iris clumps also cause a decrease in bloom stalks and bloom size -- another reason to divide triennially. After digging up your iris, mark the name (if known) on the fan, cut the foliage in the shape of a triangle and trim off long roots.

Divide and transplant iris after they bloom. Bearded iris grow from underground stems called rhizomes. The stringy roots arise from these fleshy stems.

To replant iris, dig a hole deep enough so that the top of the rhizome will be just an inch beneath the soil surface. Dig a narrow trench on either side of the center hole in which you will place the roots which remain C solely for purposes of stability.

Cover with soil and tamp down firmly so that no air remains to encourage rot. Water frequently until the plants are established.. This is evident when one of the cut fans shows a leaf growing taller than the others.

Daylily and Iris Sale at Utah Botanic Center

The Davis County Master Gardener Association will hold its annual bare root Daylily and Iris Sale on Saturday, August 28, in conjunction with the Utah Botanical Center Garden Fair. The plants will be sold at the Trailhead Pavilion located at 750 South 50 West, Kaysville from 8am to 12 pm. Proceeds from this sale will help provide support to projects at the UBC.

Utah State University has operated the 7 acre Utah Botanical Gardens in Farmington since 1954. With the expansion of Highway 89 the UBC was relocated to Kaysville. The daylily and iris collections were relocated to the Agricultural Experiment Station Research Farm. There will be heirloom plants as well as newer varieties. The sale will have plants from these collections.

There are currently over 600 varieties of iris grown here. Of these 75 varieties have been chosen for sale this year. The choices are magnificent; beautiful color combinations, ruffled, laced and space age specimens. Many of the irises are from the collection of Melba Hamblin of Roy who was internationally known for her iris hybridization.

The bearded iris is the most common, with the Tall Bearded being the ones that are so spectacular each spring. Iris grow very well here and once established require less water than other perennials. The rhizomes or bare root iris will be sold for $1.50 each or 4 for $5.00.

Approximately 70 different varieties of daylilies in a wide range of colors, sizes and forms will be sold. Spiders, unusual forms, small flowered, and doubles highlight a few of the choices of this sale. Photos of each variety for sale will be displayed. The daylilies will be sold bare root with two or more fans per bag. The prices will range from $1-$12 per bag.

Daylilies perform well in our climate and require at least 6 hours of sunlight for the best bloom. They are relatively drought tolerant but additional water is beneficial during the bloom period. They are a very tough plant with relatively few pest problems.

This is the perfect time to plant as both the iris and daylilies will have at least 6 weeks to get established before winter. They will be ready to provide gorgeous blooms next summer.

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast