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Garden Ramblings, Issue #037
September 15, 2007
September 2007

Monthly Musings on the Garden Scene

If you prefer, you can view this month's issue online where you can also subscribe if this copy has been forwarded to you by a friend.

If you are reading the text version you will need to go online to see the videos.


In this issue:

- Letter from the Editor
- American Orchid Society
- Bulbs For Spring Flowers
- Let Other People Pay You To Improve Your Soil
- Special Offers
- Tailpiece



Welcome to the September issue of Garden Ramblings. It's hard to believe that it is three years since I started this newletter. From time to time I have asked for your feedback and suggestions for any changes you would like to see, but have received little response. So I will assume that your silence implies, if not approval, at least not extreme dissatisfaction. But I would love to hear from you.

September is the month for planning your spring flowering bulbs, so the first article is here to remind you that you need to start thinking about this now and to suggest some combinations that will make for a good display.

Then we have an article by James Lynn with his suggestions of ways to improve your garden soil and get something else to pay for it!

As usual there is a Special Offers section with all the bargains that I've managed to find this month.

I'm a great fan of orchids so could not resist this video by the American Orchid Society.

Enjoy the issue.




American Orchid Society



Bulbs For Spring Flowers

Keen gardeners are always planning ahead and so will not need to be reminded that now is the time to think about spring flowering bulbs. Bulbs are some of the easiest plants to grow and so are ideal for beginners. Plant and forget is all you need to know. Then look out for the green shoots and flowers that herald the arrival of spring.

With a little care in choosing varieties it is possible to enjoy eight weeks of continuous flowers. I have listed a selection of plants divided into four categories. Choose one or two from each group and you will be assured of a good succession of flowers. Although the onset of spring will vary depending on where you live, the bulbs will bloom in succession starting whenever winter ends.

Very Early Spring
Chionodoxa (Glory-of-the-snow)
Winter aconite
Scilla siberica (Star of Holland)
Snow crocus
Iris reticulata (reticulated iris)

Snow CrocusSnow Crocus


Early Spring
Early daffodil
Emperor tulip


Species tulip
Muscari (grape hyacinth)
English bluebell
Fritillaria imperialis (crown imperial)


Late Spring
Dutch iris
Iris pumila (dwarf iris)
Late tulips
Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)



Here's a planting scheme suggested by Kathy LaLiberte of Gardener's Supply Company using bulbs from the Dutch Gardens catalog. It includes 195 bulbs for just under $90, and in most locations it will give you a nice variety of flowers for at least eight weeks.

Sergovia Daffodilicon


Very Early Spring
Snow Crocus Mixture icon

Early Spring
Chionodoxa forbesii icon
Segovia Daffodil icon

Muscari armeniacum icon
(Blue Grape Hyacinth)
Attila Tulip icon
Geranium Daffodil icon

Late Spring
Zurel Tulip icon
Maureen Tulip icon
Royal Acres Tulip icon




Let Other People Pay You To Improve Your Soil
by James Lynn


We've all seen gardens "To die for"; and wished we could have a garden like that. Yet, how do they do that you might ask. The answer: It's all in the soil. You do not have to have a "Green Thumb" to have such a garden. You do have to have good soil. How do you achieve great soil? You must incorporate large quantities of organic matter. By this I mean leaves, grass clippings, manure, straw, etc. Now you can do just that and make money at the same time. In other words, people will pay you to improve your garden soil.

Every fall, I see people raking leaves, bagging them up, and setting them out on the curb to be picked up by the trash haulers. With landfills filling up, a lot of cities have either stopped picking up bags of leaves, or they have started their own leaf composting recycling centers. Sometimes, the bags get left there for a long time only for the homeowner to get frustrated. This is where you come in. Either way, homeowners will actually pay you to remove these big black bags of clutter. You can charge by the bag or by the truckload. Once you've gotten the bags of "brown gold", you mulch them by running over them with a lawnmower or better yet, use a mulching vac or shredder. After you have your leaves mulched, till them into your soil, I mean thick. At least 3 inches of shredded leaves tilled to a depth of 8-10 inches deep. An added benefit is that if you save the leaves dry until spring, you can use them in place of mulch around trees, flower beds, and in the garden between your rows. That beats paying between $2-$3 for a bag of shredded wood.

Another thing a person can do it to offer to clean out livestock pens or stalls. Most farmers do it part time these days. Usually they have another job and have a hard time finding time to get everything done. You offer your manure removal service to them. You keep the manure and charge the farmer for your service. Once you've cleaned out all the manure you cover your garden with it and till this into your soil. You can also use human hair (from a beauty shop) or bedding from pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, and horses. You could possibly charge to cleanup for pet stores. Even if you do it for free, you're still getting valuable organic material to put in your garden and saving the cost of buying fertilizer. All those extra plants can be sold on . Happy Gardening.


About the Author
James Lynn is the owner/operator of


Special Offers

Not much to report this month I'm afraid. At Gardener's Supply Company their Hot Summer Sale continues through September. You can still find reductions of up to 63% off garden and landscaping supplies as well as some items for the home. This runs until 8 August.

Gardener's Supply Company


I have already told you about the spring flowering bulbs at Dutch Gardens. No spectacular offers this month, but you could save 48% on a mixed bargain bag of daffodils in the Collections section.

Nature Hills Nursery are offering 25% off all their Fall Bulbs and also Easy Elegance Roses. Click the banner for details.






Please feel free to pass on this newsletter to your gardening friends. Do let me have your feedback and suggestions to: [email protected]

That's all until next month but in the meantime you can always look at my Blog Garden Supplies News

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