Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

September, 2005
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Bearded Iris
This is a good time to manicure these over-ruffled spring delights. Trim the foliage fans to about 8 inches from the rhizome. Divide clumps if they have less than an inch of soil space between individual rhizomes or if they didn't bloom well last spring. Discard the old, leafless center sections, trim the roots of the newer ones to 2 inches in length, and plant them just below the soil surface. Don't fertilize or mulch them, but water them in well after planting and every other week until the rains take over.

Clever Gardening Technique

Drying Your Own Flowers
Collect flowers for drying to make arrangements that you've grown yourself. The easiest to dry are baby's breath, bachelor's buttons, bells of Ireland, lavender, scabiosa, statice, strawflowers, and yarrow. All but the bells of Ireland are best air dried; tie a few stems into a loose bunch and hang it up -- flower heads down -- in a cool, dark, dry place for several weeks. Stand up bells of Ireland in a container with a half inch of water; flowers will dry as the water evaporates.


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