Looking forward to authintic Delta garden this summer? The Phillips County Cooperative extension offers details on keeping plants healthy.
Delicate petals with vibrant colors are the goal of any home gardener when it comes to plants under their care.
Betty Hendrix's flowerbeds are truly a sight this season as her tender care has produced some excellent bulb specimens.
A favorite and most spectacular specimen is her amaryllis. Standing at more than 2 feet tall, the flowers are not only bright but also very large. The bright orange and reds of her plants can been seen from a long distance and the pinkish or white amaryllis is also stunning.
Of all flowering bulbs, amaryllis is the easiest to bring to bloom. This can be accomplished indoors or out, and over an extended period of time.
The amaryllis originated in South America's tropical regions and has the botanical name Hippeastrum. The large flowers and ease with which they can be brought to bloom make amaryllis popular and in demand in the soggy humidity of the Arkansas Delta. The amaryllis comes in many beautiful varieties including various shades of red, white, pink, salmon and orange. There are also many striped and multicolored varieties, usually combining shades of pink or red with white.
Hendrix has many plants thriving under her care including lamb's ear. Although grown more for the texture and color of its foliage than for its bloom, lamb's ears produce light purple flowers on tall spikes. Its texture can best be described as "velvety."
A native to Northern Turkey, the Southern Caucasus Mountain region and Southern Iran where it grows on rocky hills and scrub areas, it is actually considered a weed in that region.
There are a few folkloric references to herbal uses for lamb's ears, like to staunch wounds and as a washcloth, it has a home many medicinal gardens because of its association with the medicinal herb Betony. When touring Hendrix's garden, she did not mention that she would use the delightful plant for anything other than its beauty as a flowering plant.
A wall of lilies to the right of her property also brings Hendrix pleasure. With about 110 species of lilies, gardeners have many choices when planning beds. Lilies are native to the northern temperate regions. Their range extends across much of Europe, the north Mediterranean, across most of Asia to Japan, south to the Nilgiri mountains in India, and south to the Philippines. Lilies extend from southern Canada through much of the United States and seem to flursih in the Arkansas Delta.
For more information on a variety of bulbs such as how and when to plant, visit the Phillips County Cooperative service online at http://www.uaex.edu/phillips/.
The Daily World