This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

November 13, 2014

Planting a bouquet of flowers in Phoenix, Arizona

It's November 13th here at The Tropical Paradise in Glendale, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix) and I just spent some time this morning planting a bouquet of flowers.

Yeah, it doesn't look like much now, but these flowers grow fast, and will be beautiful all winter and through late spring. Every year I learn something new, but mostly I stay with the same design. You may have heard it described as *thrillers, fillers, and spillers*. That is, a tall flower, a medium one, and one that just sort of spreads around.

My tall flowers (or thrillers) are the bulbs that come back every year, freesia and daffodils. My fillers this year are vincas (the ones with the pink flowers), dianthus (with the purple flowers), and cyclamen (red flowers). The spiller that I always use is white alyssum, which stays low.

As usual, I'm doing the *red carpet* treatment for the plants. All of them get some moisture crystals and slow-release fertilizer. And then I water them in with Miracle-Gro.

I keep the flowers on the edge of the garden not only to make them easier to see, but easier to care for. I hand-water these annuals every day until I'm convinced they're established, then not quite so often in December and January. Besides, we usually get gentle rains around Christmas. The freesia will require staking and dead-heading in February and March.

The smaller rocks, by the way, move out of the way when the plants are growing, and then back in place in the summer when they die back. That way the area looks less like there's a dead space, and more like a display of rocks. Yeah, it gets very hot here in the Phoenix area in the summer, but the next few months will be glorious!
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