Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, but Succulents are Green

I admit it! I am a hopeless romantic at heart. I believe in true love, love at first sight, and soul mates. I guess that's why I love Valentine's Day so much. Any time we can express to those we love how much we love them, well, I think that's worth celebrating. Even though I'm a romantic, I don't necessarily like to limit my Valentine's Day arrangements to the clich├ęd expressions we have of love. Don't get me wrong; I love roses and violets. I hope these flowers are given, grown, and cultivated forever. They are beautiful plants worth tending. I just think our expressions of love should be as unique as the people we are thinking of when we make them. Instead of a traditional bouquet of roses this year, tell the special guy or gal in your life how "hot" they are with bouquet of chilies. Let your partner know you value their commitment to a greener planet with a sustainable succulent arrangement that can be cultivated in an outdoor or indoor garden for years. Better yet, establish a container arrangement this year that you can add to for years to come, letting it grow along with your life together. And if all these suggestions don't quite inspire, I design a beautiful arrangement of roses that will express how lovely and beautiful you think your loved one is.

Contact me today to order your arrangements in time for Valentine's Day. La Fleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora is committed to providing you with the best customer service and highest quality arrangements for all your floral needs. I look forward to working with you!

February: The Month of Love

I think it would be fair to say that when February rolls around, pretty much everyone thinks of Valentine's Day. Love, hearts, candy, flowers...these are all the traditional images of how we say, "I love you," to those most special people in our lives. I encourage you to celebrate love in all the forms it takes in your life this year. Don't forget to tell your sweetheart how much he or she means to you. Better yet, show them how much you love them with a living arrangement from La Fleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora. I can custom design arrangements for you to commemorate any special event. Do you remember what flowers were in your wife's wedding bouquet? I can create an arrangement using the same flowers and color palate. Does your mother have a favorite flower or plant? Let me know, and I can build a container garden for her that will last for years. Do you have a crush on someone special? How about surprising him at his office with a sustainable arrangement or succulent to add warmth, life, and a reminder of how much he's valued. La Fleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora is committed to creating unique arrangement that will capture the magic of your feelings for that special person in your life. Contact me today to secure your arrangement in time for Valentine's Day.

Ask A Horticulturist: Orchids

A client of mine recently sent me this question. It's a good one, and one I get asked frequently: Q: I have an orchid question, when it stops blooming at the very end and then starts sprouting lower on the side, do I cut where it stopped growing?

A: If the stalk is completely yellow/brown and the blossoms are spent, you can cut it back to about an inch from where the blossom stalk originated from the plant. If there's still some green in the stalk then cut it back to the branching sprout, but leave about 1/4 inch above the node( which is indicated by a small leaf-like bract clinging to the stalk).

Do you have a plant problem that needs diagnosis? Are you curious about finding out what herbs love to grow in the desert? How about setting up a drip irrigation system to keep plantscaping and flora in the garden fresh all year long? I'd love to help! Tweet, post on Facebook, leave me a comment, or contact me with a gardening question (or two) that has been puzzling you. I will post your question, along with my answer, in the coming weeks on my blog.

My gardening brain is ready and waiting to help you with all your plantscaping questions. Want to learn more about La Fleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora? Check out my website or contact me for a free consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.

Winter Garden (part 3): Flowering Annuals

Now that we've covered what edible annuals will flourish against a hardy backdrop of winter perennials, let's discuss what flowering annuals work well in the Tucson winter garden. There is one flowering annuals I would like to focus on, although there are many other flowering annuals that will do well in our climate for winter growing: Pansies. Pansies are exceptionally colorful, cold hardy, can tolerate varied levels of sun without stress, and require minimal care to thrive. Though all pansies are technically violas, not all violas are pansies. It is common to hear the names "pansy," "viola" and "violet" interchanged in the world of gardening. True pansies are derived from the Viola family, Viola tricolor to be exact. Pansies are planted the world over, but have done particularly well in North America. Said to resemble a thoughtful human face, pansies come in a variety of colors such as gold, red, purple, white, and yellow. Normally, a pansy takes two years to bloom and produce seeds, but because of mass cultivation of this favorite flower, most pansies purchased at your local nursery will bloom the first year planted - some in as little as nine weeks! Pansies will tolerate freezing temperatures, but need well-drained soil and at least partial sun to thrive. Pansies are a perfect border for garden spaces, and fill gaps in container gardens with a pop of color quite nicely. And since there are multiple colors and varieties of pansies to chooses from, you can plant this beautiful flower for years and enjoy a new effect each time you plant it.

Have you had success planting pansies in your garden? What other winter flowers do you cultivate in your yard? I'd love to hear about it! Leave a post in the comments section or contact me. I'd love to give you a complimentary consultation to help you design the winter garden space of your dreams. Check out La Fleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora for more information.