Saturday, 11 September 2010

Flower Profiles

We’ve been blessed with weather this weekend – it’s been sunny and warm (lets forget the short interval of rain early in the morning). Even knowing that there’s so much to do in the garden, I was fooled into thinking that all of these jobs can wait. I must have thought that the summer was back. I know it’s not, but still keep my fingers crossed that the weather stays warm right to the Indian summer in the beginning of October. Meanwhile everything’s fine – we haven’t had the first frosts and the flowers are holding on.

Here are the most stunning ones:

This was the first summer I grew zinnias. I was very lucky to see them in bloom as there was a time, when my mum wanted to get rid of them thinking they were weeds. I’m glad I managed to convince her that we should wait a bit longer… Now I’m sure I will be growing them again as their colours are so bright!

Zinnia is a genus of 20 species of annual and perennial plants of family Asteraceae, originally from scrub and dry grassland in an area stretching from the American Southwest to South America, but primarily Mexico, and notable for their solitary long-stemmed flowers that come in a variety of bright colors.

Their flowers have a range of appearances, from a single row of petals, to a dome shape, with the colors white, chartreuse, yellow, orange, red, purple, and lilac. They seem to be especially favored by butterflies.

Zinnias are popular garden flowers, usually grown from seed, and preferably in fertile, humus-rich, and well-drained soil, in an area with full sun. They will reseed themselves each year. Over 100 cultivars have been produced since selective breeding started in the 19th century.

Dahlias can be very pretty indeed, but the main downfall with them is that they need to be removed from the soil before winter. This can be annoying, but there’s also the storage problem – ours are kept in boxes in the cellar, we cover them in peat. And here’s the next bad thing – such boxes attract naughty cats…

Dahlia is a genus of bushy, tuberous, perennia plants native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. There are at least 36 species of dahlia. Dahlia hybrids are commonly grown as garden plants. The Aztecs gathered and cultivated the dahlia for food, ceremonies, as well as decorative purposes, and the long woody stem of one variety was used for small pipes.

I’m really impressed with begonias, they’ve been blooming on my window for nearly three months! And although, like dahlias, they have to be removed from the soil and kept warm and dry in winter, I think it’s worth the hassle.

With over 1,500 species, Begonia is one of the ten largest angiosperm genera. The species are terrestrial herbs or undershrubs and occur in subtropical and tropical moist climates, in South and Central America, Africa and southern Asia. Terrestrial species in the wild are commonly upright-stemmed, rhizomatous, or tuberous.

Because of their sometimes showy flowers of white, pink, scarlet or yellow color and often attractively marked leaves, many species and innumerable hybrids and cultivars are cultivated. The genus is unusual in that species throughout the genus, even those coming from different continents, can frequently be hybridized with each other, and this has led to an enormous number of cultivars.

Most begonias are easily propagated by division or from stem cuttings. In addition, many can be propagated from leaf cuttings or even sections of leaves, particularly the members of the rhizomatous and rex groups.

1 comment:

nikkipolani said...

Gorgeous in deed. I like the cheerfulness of zinnias and how easy they are to grow from seed. The colours in your dahlia are so rich and perfectly set off by the dahlia's symmetry.