Ranunculus corms are in garden centres now, so buy some and bung them in the fridge. A cold spell helps to break dormancy and encourages germination and good flower production. Four weeks is a good time. After that, soak them in tepid water for a few hours, then plant them out, with their claws facing down. If you plant them now you’ll get winter blooms, a little later and you’ll get spring blooms. Don’t forget to feed your plants. Ranunculi are greedy guts. Feed them once a month with a general purpose fertiliser.
Hellebores don’t last too long once picked, but gosh they do look spectacular in bouquets. Here are two beautiful examples of this winter bloom at its best. The top photo, from Wedding Chicks, shows hellebores teamed with rosemary, lavender and green ranunculi, and the bottom photo, from Butterfly Philosophy, sees them partnered with white daffodils and ranunculi. Both are so, so lovely. Head to your local garden centre and you’ll find plenty of these plants in store now, ready for planting. They like a party shaded position in free-draining soil. The latter is very important if you want to keep these plants alive.
Anemones and ranunculi are some of my favourite blooms and if you planted yours early enough they should be in flower now. The top photo shows a rainbow of colourful ranunculi and the bottom shows a mix of purple anemones combined with white ranunculi, hydrangeas and blue tweedia. This gorgeous design (purple anemones) was created by the lovely Kiwi ladies from Roses Florists and photographed by Lavara Photography. The top design is from the ever fabulous Style Me Pretty. If you didn’t get around to planting anemone and ranunculus bulbs earlier in the year, don’t worry. You can pick up some flowering plants from your local garden centre.
What a fabulous plant combination! Snow white flowers, black berries and golden-orange kumquats. We don’t seem to have the egg-shaped kumquats in New Zealand but the round kumquats are equally effective. The white blooms look so pristine against the black berries and orange fruit. The blooms here are ranunculus and amaryllis. The berries are actually from the privet tree – a weed here. You could try viburnum berries instead.
This gorgeous arrangement features over at Ruffled. Check it out.
Such a simple bouquet but so, so striking. This arrangement uses just two colours – bright yellow, from the winter and spring flowering ranunculi, and blue-grey from the fuzzy leaves of lamb’s ears. Now’s the time to plant your ranunculi, so if you haven’t already, trot down to your local garden retailer and buy a packet of bulbs.
This lovely bouquet, by Janie Medley Flora Design, features over at Wedding Chicks.
You can buy them in garden stores now, and if you planted yours early enough, you could be picking them from your garden too. Ranunculi are spring blooms but they often appear in winter, like their seasonal friends, anemones. The top bouquet features ranunculus (top and top right of photo) alongside colourful foliage, providing a mellow yellow glow to your winter days. The second design has nothing to do with ranunculus, but I liked it anyway. It features the stunning chocolate vine, akebia. Unfortunately akebia is a banned plant in New Zealand, given its runaway tendencies, but you can create a similar picture using flowers such as pansies, violets, primulas, clematis or hardenbergia.
These two divine floral displays are from the amazing girls at Florali.
There’s still time to plant hyacinth bulbs – in fact, they like a cooler ground, just like tulips. Any time up to early June is fine. And, like tulips, hyacinth bulbs are best chilled in the fridge for a few weeks before planting to promote strong root and flower growth.
Plant bulbs about 10cm deep in free-draining soil in full sun. Once growth emerges, feed with bulb food.
If you prefer to grow your hyacinths indoors, plant in a hyacinth vase instead. [Read more...]
If you haven’t already, plant winter/spring flowering ranunculi. Ranunculus bulbs can be planted any time from February to May, and if you stagger the planting you’ll have them in bloom from winter till late spring – and in some areas early summer. Ranunculi prefer full sun but they will grow in light shade. Plant in moist but free-draining soil and provide plenty of food for plenty of blooms. The flowers, which come in vibrant colours to pale shades, are superb cut flowers, lasting a couple of weeks in a vase.
Bulbs are available from garden centres or specialist bulb suppliers such as NZ Bulbs.
I picked a bunch of white anemones and orange ranunculi yesterday, two of my all-time favourite flowers. I reckon they’re the best-value bulbs on the market. Last year mine bloomed for five solid months, providing endless bunches of flowers for indoors. And they’re super long-lasting in the vase, the ranunculi lasting up to two weeks and anemones 5-7 days. [Read more...]