Burnett: Spring bulb advertising can sometimes be misleading

It is that time of year when I see the signs up in front of the garden centres saying that spring bulbs have arrived. 

Of course, they don’t really mean bulbs because other than lilies, everything else is either a corm as in gladioli, a tuber as in begonia, a rhizome as in canna lily or a tuberous root which is what a dahlia is. 

But I guess it’s just as easy to call them all bulbs. 

All joking aside, I love to get in when the stock first arrives when they are the freshest. 

In particular, it is very important to get the lily bulbs early. They can be planted as soon as the ground can be dug. 

If you wait until April, chances are they will be past their best and even quite useless for any kind of showing. 

Now is the time as well to pick up a few begonia tubers and start them in potting soil on the windowsill. 

Do this and you will have an unbelievable show all summer long in the shade garden along with the hostas and other woodland species.

Dahlia roots and cannas can be started early (mid-March) in one gallon pots to get a jump on things. 

They can be put out on warm sunny days and brought in if frost is expected. 

A great trick with dahlias is to take a cutting of the new growth after it reaches about six inches. 

They root very easily and you can get more bang for your buck.

This also makes the parent plant much bushier.

•••

As you read this column, I will be on a tour bus to Seattle loaded with my gardening friends as we all anticipate a wonderful trip to the North West Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. 

With over 120 seminars to choose from and over a dozen large landscape displays to offer ideas, I will come home with lots to tell you over the next few weeks. 

•••

There are still a few seats available in my classes held at the UBCO campus:

Pruning: Saturday, March 5, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Trees and Shrubs (woody ornamentals): Saturday, March 12

Plants and Flowers (herbaceous ornamentals): Saturday, March 19

Roses: Saturday, March 26

Home Landscape design: Saturday, April 2

For more information or to register call the folks at UBCO, 250-807-9289, or go to  www.ubc.ca/okanagan/continuingstudies.

Also check out my You Tube super-fast landscape project by googling Random Acts of Creativity-Horticulture.

Tune in to The Don Burnett Garden Show on AM 1150 News Talk Sports Saturday mornings from 8 to 10 a.m. 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Vehicle rollover on Highway 33

Emergency crews are responding to a single vehicle rollover near Big White Road

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Fence to go up along part of Mission Creek

360 metres of chain-link fence to go up in Mission Creek Regional Park

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Three-vehicle accident on Highway 33

Crews are on the scene of the multi vehicle collision about 10 kms east of Kelowna

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Letter to the editor: Missing woman’s parents appreciate search effort

To take part in the banner drop, poster distribution and the drone… Continue reading

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Most Read