Normally, fall signals the end of the gardening season—not with these fun tips! Instead of waiting with bated breath for next spring, try picking up a fall or winter plant at one of the many garden centres located on Danforth Avenue. . .
1. Plant Alluring Amaryllis Indoors
Around late autumn, amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs will start to pop up for purchase in stores. These pretty plants hail from South America. To enjoy their tropical, trumpet-like blossoms, they should be grown indoors so they can enjoy year-round warmth.
At my local shop, I found two varieties of amaryllis. “Minerva” features strawberry-red petals, stark white centres, and kiwi-green hearts. But it was “Apple Blossom”, with its snow-white petals brushed softly with pink, that begged me to take it home.
An amaryllis bulb should be planted straight away after purchasing, or it should be kept in a cold place. I bought mine in a kit that came with well-draining soil, a pot, and the bulb. My amaryllis plant had a bright green leaf already beginning to push its way through the top, and feathery roots at the basal plate.
I planted the bulb according to the packaging, watered around the bulb, and began to eagerly wait. If planted in late autumn, amaryllis plants will blossom in January or February, brightening grey winter days.
Try East of Eliza at 1360 Danforth Avenue
2. Prepare a Whimsical Winter Garden
Late autumn is the perfect time to plant a winter garden bursting with pearl-white snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), golden-yellow winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis), and candy-pink eastern sowbread (Cyclamen coum).
These winter beauties are grown from bulbs and can be purchased in the late fall. You can also purchase sprouted snowdrops that can go into the ground as is.
Try planting these flowers in groups for a pretty display of flowers growing in succession. Eastern sowbread can bloom from December to March, while snowdrops and winter aconite begin to flower around February.
Here’s a tip: plant these bulbs closer to your house so you don’t have to venture too far to enjoy them. This way, you can look outside your window and enjoy the blooms pushing through the winter snow.
Try Davenport Garden Centre at 903 Pape Avenue
3. Design a Long-Lasting Bulb Lasagna
Do you know that lasagnas make beautiful floral displays? (No, don’t plant the pasta in the ground). Just layer some bulbs and dirt in a deep pot or in the ground to enjoy a stunning arrangement of blooms all spring long!
For a good bulb lasagna, pick flowers that bloom at different times of the season. For instance, early spring crocuses, then daffodils and late spring tulips, would be a great mix. You can also get creative with colours; choose shades that will look good together, as the bloom times for these flowers might overlap.
In the fall, plant the largest bulbs in the bottom of the pot or ground (in our case, the tulips). Then, go plant the daffodil bulbs, which flower before tulips, and plant your earliest-blooming bulbs (crocuses) last. Be sure to add sufficient dirt between each layer. You don’t have to stop at three layers and you can add more if the plants don’t come up and flower all at once. Then, give your bulbs some water to kick-start growth and leave them be. In the spring, you’ll be rewarded with waves of blooms for weeks.
Try the Prince of Wales Garden Centre at 1846 Danforth Avenue
Interior photos sourced from unsplash.com and pexels.com
Article header photographed by Aminah Deen and Emma Jay, edited by Angelo Cruz