Guides: Patio and Containers
Native to South Africa, Zantedeschia lilies have become popular garden or household plants. Mainly grown for their magnificent, chalice-shaped flowers (spathe) surrounding a yellow finger-like stalk (spadix), and their arrow-shaped, spotted leaves, they are not true lilies, but are arum (Jack-in-the-pulpit) family members. Whether used in borders, containers or as cut flowers, they always provide a spectacular effect with their rich, cheerful colors.
Coveted for their spectacular blooms which come in a wide range of shapes and colors, Azaleas and Rhododendrons are members of the genus Rhododendron, one of the largest genera in the plant world which includes over 900 species and over 20,000 named hybrids. All are fascinating.
Native to southern Europe and western Asia, Sempervivum (Hens and Chicks or Houseleek) is a mat-forming succulent, that produces irresistible, evergreen rosettes of thick, fleshy leaves. Cute but tough, their beauty resides largely in their infinite variations. They are available in a wide range of colors, from light to dark green to brown, pink and purple, either at the tips of the leaves or throughout the whole plant. The leaves may be pointed or rounded, glossy or matte, with a waxy bloom or with downy hairs. Their foliage colors vary with the sun exposure, the seasons and the climate.
Since Lilies appreciate some shade around their roots while keeping their foliage and ravishing blossoms in the air and sunshine, they welcome the company of neighboring plants such as annuals, perennials, bulbs, grasses or shrubs. However, a few rules need to be respected to ensure your Lilies will thrive.
Among the most spectacular summer flowers, Fuchsias are outstanding garden plants with their continuous display of ravishing, dancing blossoms, dangling in clusters like prize jewels. Often blooming from late spring until the first frosts, they are available in a wide range of colors, from luscious pinks and purples to whites and even peach.
Strawberry picking evokes childhood memories of seeking out bright red strawberries hidden in mounds of fresh, green leaves, ready to be plucked and enjoyed. Who can resist a strawberry? There are numerous strawberry varieties available and finding the right one for your garden may be daunting.
Native to Japan and Korea, Hydrangea serrata (Mountain Hydrangea) is a deciduous shrub of rounded habit with delicate lacecap flowers with flattened clusters from early to late summer. Reminiscent of the Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), it is however more refined in habit and its flowers and leaves are smaller. Borne in great quantity, the elegant blossoms of some cultivars have the wonderful habit of changing color 3 to 4 times per season.
Prized for its delightful fragrance, Syringa vulgaris (Common Lilac) is a mainstay of the spring landscape in northern and colder climates. Easy to grow, tough as nails, deer resistant and relatively free from major pests, Common Lilacs are one of the most effective flowering shrubs. Tailored to meet the needs of all gardens, this species counts 2000 cultivars.
Prized by gardeners, Athyrium are mostly deciduous ferns, with feathery, finely divided foliage in a wonderful array of color and forms. The genus includes about 180 species that are suitable to a wide range of garden conditions, including shady borders and woodland gardens, alongside other ferns or shade-loving plants.
Originating in the jungles of the Far East including Indonesia, Paphiopedilum (Slipper Orchids) are semi-terrestrial orchids, growing in humus and other material on the forest floor, on cliffs in pockets of humus and occasionally in trees. Paphiopedilums are called Slipper Orchids because of their unique floral pouch. Resilient and easy to grow in the home, they are probably the easiest orchids to rebloom, or at least to keep alive.
Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchids) is a genus of 60 species and several natural hybrids growing in tropical Asia to the Pacific Islands and Australia. These orchids are usually epiphytic (growing on trees), but occasionally lithophytic (growing on rocks) or terrestrial. They are among the most popular cultivated orchids and thousands of hybrids have been made throughout the years.
Dendrobium is a diverse genus of more than 1000 orchids species distributed throughout tropical and subtropical Asia, the islands of the south Pacific and Australia. These orchids are usually epiphytic (growing on trees), lithophytic (growing on rocks) and rarely terrestrial. Since the Dendrobium genus is so large and complex, the cultural requirements of these spectacular orchids will depend on their native habitat and the section of the genus to which they belong.
Oncidium is an incredibly large and diverse genus of about 300 orchids species distributed throughout tropical and subtropical America. These orchids have been nicknamed the Dancing Lady Orchids because their flowers resemble a small dancer with a colorful skirt. Relatively trouble free, these orchids are attractive plants for the home or greenhouse. They are sometimes described as difficult to grow. However, with proper care, it is possible to grow them relatively easily.
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