Keep an Amaryllis flowering year after year.

Many people by these wonderful bulbs year after year, but a potted Amaryllis will live and flower for many years if looked after properly, caring for it by following the natural cycle of the plant.

For a Christmas flowering Amaryllis, In October or November you should place the pot in a light warm place (20 centigrade is good) and water it a little and often until the buds appear.

Increase the volume of watering gradually as the shoots grow and enjoy the wonderful flowers.

The important bit is to continue watering once the flowers have faded.This usually happens in January or February. Cut off the flower stems and continue to water your Amaryllis till July, feeding with an organic general purpose plant feed every 2 to 3 weeks.

In July you will want to stop watering altogether, allowing the plant to go dry. Store the pot in a cool place such as a garage until early October when you can begin the whole process again, leading up to a second Christmas flowering. If you follow this advice the Amaryllis bulb will continue growing for many years to come.

Growing Bonsai Trees

The purpose of growing small trees that resemble full-sized mature ones is simply for the pleasure of growing them and to be able to enjoy their beauty.

They are generally grown outdoors. Seeds arerarely used to grow these trees and those that are partially grown are preferred. A partially developed plant is known as mature stock and it gives the desired aged appearance necessary. One very important aspect is to choose the type of tree that will grow well in the particular surroundings it is to be placed in.

Mature stock is collected in a couple of different ways. Cuttings are one way; they are placed in a medium for growing until roots develop. Another technique often used is layering which allows the roots to grow next to the live branch before it is removed.

A good option especially for the beginner is to buy nursery stock from a dealer or garden centre. There are things to consider with nursery stock; the shape may be predefined and difficult to alter which will limit the trunk direction. An advantage is that the tree can be worked with right away.

For tending trees it is a good idea to purchase the special tools available. Plan to spend a great deal of time watering as these trees need to be kept moist a lot of the time. It is also important not to over water them to avoid root rot. The trees will need to be re-potted frequently to promote new root growth and to prevent them from becoming bound to a particular pot until completely mature.

Many different techniques are used when developing a bonsai which include pruning, trimming, clamping, wiring, defoliation, deadwood and grafting. Any of these techniques is acceptable, but particular aesthetic characteristics need to be considered to comply with tradition. There are some principles that are key including miniaturization, asymmetry, proportion among elements, expression of wabi or sabi and no trace of artist. With developing technique and patience it can be possible for anyone to experience the tranquility of caring for bonsai trees at home.

Help the bees by planting the food they love

Bees are the best pollenators there are, and are directly responsible for the pollenation of about 30% of the human food supply. So if we want lots of fruit and veg, big flowers and altogether nicer gardens we should do things to attract the bees. Obviously, not using pesticides is a given. Even if a particular substance doesn’t seem harmful to us, bees are so small that the effects are proportinately so much larger on them.

So dumping the chemicals is a great start, but to really get them working your garden, invite the bees in by planting flowers they particularly like. Make life easy by planting large swathes of their favourites together.

what flowers do bees like?

Here is a bee friendly list of flowers.

  • Borage
  • thyme
  • mint
  • Lavender
  • Asters
  • daisies
  • foxgloves
  • snapdragons
  • penstemons
  • heathers
  • Crab applie
  • fennel
  • angelica
  • sedums
  • cow parsley

Amaryllis tips

Many people by these wonderful bulbs year after year, but a potted Amaryllis will live and flower for many years if looked after properly, caring for it by following the natural cycle of the plant.

For a Christmas flowering Amaryllis, In October or November you should place the pot in a light warm place (20 centigrade is good) and water it a little and often until the buds appear.

Increase the volume of watering gradually as the shoots grow and enjoy the wonderful flowers.

The important bit is to continue watering once the flowers have faded.This usually happens in January or February. Cut off the flower stems and continue to water your Amaryllis till July, feeding with an organic general purpose plant feed every 2 to 3 weeks.

In July you will want to stop watering altogether, allowing the plant to go dry. Store the pot in a cool place such as a garage until early October when you can begin the whole process again, leading up to a second christmas flowering. If you follow this advice the Amaryllis bulb will continue growing for many years to come.