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  • Writer's pictureJulia Watson

Looking Back on March

mixed flower bouquet
'Chocolate' ranunculus, 'Deep Blue' anemones, 'Thalia' and 'Pippit' daffodils

At the end of every month I try to have a post about what happened with our flowers that month. It's as much for me as for my readers, but if you have a garden, and especially if you live in Northern California, you'll relate to a lot of things on this list.

Tulips finished. The orange tulip 'Parrot King' was a good one. The double tulip 'Orca' had very short stems and we aren't sure why. I've grown it before and didn't have this problem. Many blooms were unsuitable for arrangements, but others grew enough to be used and they were excellent - not only beautiful but long-lasting too. The double tulip 'Blue Diamond' was excellent all around.

Daffodils kept going since we have many varieties. 'Brackenhurst' started last month, followed by 'Golden Salome' and 'Pippit' and 'Thalia.' 'Thalia' is especially valuable in bouquets. Also in the mix: 'Hawera' and 'Avalon' and 'Minnow' and a few more that are nice but don't last at all as cut flowers.

Plans had to be adjusted! I spent a lot of time last fall, figuring out which flower crops would be planted and harvested, and where they would go. It's like a jigsaw puzzle with both space and time factors. But some of those plans are unraveling, at least in the time component. I can't plant zinnias in our front space until the ranunculus have bloomed and been removed. So if they're slow, it pushes everything back.

Trouble with snapdragon seedlings. They simply didn't grow well and I don't know why. I didn't have this trouble last year. Other seeds seemed to germinate and grow, so it's probably not the soil mix or lighting, although we did have a problem with some tiny mushrooms from the soil mix. They didn't appear to hurt the other seedlings, but maybe snaps are more sensitive.

We planted the north section of the front parking strip. Some of the seedlings were too tiny and probably won't work, but I started backups of the same variety that can be added later.

Ranunculus started. The variety 'Chocolate' was first, it's from the LaBelle series of ranunculus. I think we won't plant it again. It's lovely, but the color is not what you want for spring.

The "annex" flower beds are wonderful! It's only a tiny space but the owners are enjoying it and that makes me very happy. We harvested lots of anemones from this space so it's useful already.

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