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Chrysanthemums: growing in the garden, care, planting, varieties

Chrysanthemum flowerChrysanthemum (lat. Chrysanthemum) is a herbaceous perennial and annual in the family Asteraceae. In Greek the flower’s name means “golden-colored”, or “flower-sun”, since many species have a yellow coloring of the inflorescences. According to the GRIN site, in nature this genus includes 29 species distributed in the northern and temperate zones, mostly in Asia. Archaeologists say that more than 2,500 years ago chrysanthemum was already cultivated by the ancient Chinese who used its petals for food, and in the treatise “Spring and Autumn” it was mentioned by Confucius himself! Then, the Japanese cultivated the flower and idolized this flower so much that only members of the imperial family had the right to wear clothes depicting chrysanthemums. Chrysanthemum was brought to Europe in the eighteenth century, but it was only in the nineteenth century when it was intensively cultivated.

Scientists believe that the widely known florist’s chrysanthemum (chrysanthemum hortorum) appeared as a result of crossing two Asian species – Indian chrysanthemum (chrysanthemum indicum), that comes from Japan, and chrysanthemum morifolium that comes from China. Chrysanthemum is so popular among the breeders that experiments on breeding of new varieties do not stop, especially since for people chrysanthemum is not just a beautiful flower, but the last rich chord in the autumn symphony of flowers and colors …

Hydrangea: planting and care, growing in the garden

Flower hydrangeaThe hydrangea plant, or hortensia, belongs to the genus of flowering plants in the Hydrangeaceae family that according to different sources includes 30 to 80 species of shrubs, lianas and small trees. In the wild, hydrangeas are most often found in East and South Asia – in Japan and China. It also grows in the Far East and North America. The hortensia flower was named after the Princess of the Holy Roman Empire and it received its Latin name “hydrangea” when the scientist systemized the plant referring to its huge water consumption (hydrangea is translated as a “vessel with water”). The Japanese call the hydrangea “ajisai”, which in Japanese means "purple sun-shining flower". Despite there is a large variety of hydrangea species only bigleaf hydrangea is grown in indoor culture as it is compact and low-growing. In cold climate zones all other species and varieties of hydrangeas are cultivated in the gardens.

Salvia: planting and care, growing from seeds

Salvia flowerSalvia plant (lat. Salvia), or sage, is a large genus of herbaceous perennials and shrubs of the family Labiatae or Lamiaceae, common in tropical and temperate regions of all parts of the world except Australia. The name “salvia” is derived from the Latin word “salvus” meaning “to be healthy”, and this is due to the fact that some species of the plant have long been used for medical purposes. Nothing heals a dental abscess so quickly but a gargle with decoction of sage. There are only about 900 representatives of salvia genus, and they prefer to grow in bright places. To avoid confusion, a medicinal plant and a spice are commonly called “sage” while ornamental plants of this genus are called “salvia”. Although salvia is sage as well, but it is used mainly for decorative purposes. Sage was known since Roman times, but salvia flowers were brought to Europe only in the XVIII century when there was the era of the gardening boom. Salvia divinorum, or diviner’s sage, stands apart from the other species in the classification. It is used to extract salvinorin, psychoactive hallucinogen, from its leaves. But in this article we will focus on ornamental salvia shrubs.

Astilbe growing: planting and care

Flower AstilbaAstilbe is a representative of the genus of herbaceous perennials in the family of Saxifragaceae, and, according to different sources, it comprises from 18 to 40 species. “A” means “without”, “stilbe” means “brilliance”, that is, Lord Hamilton, a botanist from Scotland, when giving the name to the plant, referred to matte, dull astilbe leaves. Astilbe is native to East Asia, North America and the Japanese Islands. It grows in broad-leaved forests, along the banks of streams, in places where it is humid in summer. Astilbe was brought to Europe from Japan at the end of the 18th or the beginning of the 19th century by the hunters for unusual plants Carl Peter Thunberg and Philipp Franz von Siebold, and since then it has been a favorite of all the shady gardens.

Lilies: growing, planting, care, varieties

Flower lily in the gardenLily (lat. Lilium) is a genus of plants in the family Liliaceae that is a perennial herb growing from bulbs. In nature there are about 80 species that gave life to many varieties and hybrids through cultivation. Lilies grow in Asia, Europe and North America. An ancient Gaelic word “li-li” means “white-white”, and although in nature there are species with both pinkish and yellowish flowers, the name of the flower is apparently derived from a species known as “lilium candidum”. Lily is associated with many legends: the ancient Greeks said that the white flowers of lily were the drops of the milk of Hera, the wife of Zeus; the Jewish legend tells that among all flowers of paradise after the Fall of Eve only lily retained its purity and chastity; in the Christian culture white lily (lilium candidum) is the symbol of the Virgin Mary.

Very often the lily flower is used in heraldry. Poets and writers also often mention this flower in their works. But in addition to beauty, lily also has unique healing properties: an ancient Greek physician in the Roman army Dioscorides, in his work “On Medical Material” told contemporaries and descendants that lilium candidum and lilium martagon healed wounds, bruises, burns and abrasions, helped in the treatment of heart diseases and relieved toothache.

Peonies: planting, caring, transplanting and pruning

Цветы пионыPeony is a monotypic genus of herbaceous perennials, the only genus in the family Paeoniaceae. There are herbaceous peony species, tree peonies, as well as species that combine the properties of both tree and herbaceous peonies. There are about 40 species in all. In nature, the peony flowers grow in the temperate and subtropical zones of North America and Eurasia. Cultivation of peonies was started in China, in the Han era, more than two thousand years ago. The peony flower was named after Paeon, a legendary physician who treated both the gods and people for the fatal wounds received in the battles. In gardens herbaceous peony is mostly grown as gardeners highly appreciate its beautiful fragrant buds that start blooming in May and decorate flower beds for a month and a half. And our story is going to be about these peonies.

Spirea: planting and care, species and varieties

Кустарник спиреяSpirea (lat. Spiraea),, or meadowsweet, is a genus of ornamental deciduous shrubs in the rose family (Rosaceae). The name of the plant is derived from the ancient Greek word “speira” that means “bend”, and the validity of this name is confirmed by the extra flexibility of its shoots. The main virtue of spirea is its unpretentiousness. There are about a hundred species of spirea growing in the steppe, forest-steppe and semi-deserts. The mention of spirea, or rather meadowsweet, can be found in the Russian heroic epic "Sadko" (circa 1478), then in the 19th century information on this plant was included in the dictionary of V. I. Dahl: he wrote that strong and thin branches of meadowsweet were used for ramrods and whip handles. Today different species and varieties of spirea are cultivated, and all of them are characterized not only by high ornamentality but also by frost resistance and duration of flowering.

Callas: planting and care, growing in the garden and at home

Flower callaThe plant calla (lat. Calla), or zantedeschia, is a genus of perennial plants of the family Araceae or arum family. Calla flower grows in damp areas in South America and Africa, from Nigeria to Tanzania. It is a relative of such plant as arum lily, or water lily, that is the only representative of its genus, the geographic range of which is located in the Northern Hemisphere. Zantedeschia is sometimes named as arum lily, or calla lily. The flower received the name “zantedeschia” from the German botanist Kurt Sprengel, who named it in honor of his friend, the Italian botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi, but zantedeschia is still called simply “calla”. This plant attracts flower growers not only by its very large showy leaves and flowers of an unusual form, but also by the fact that you can grow calla in the garden, at home, in a pot.

Verbena: planting and care, growing from seeds

Verbena flowerVerbena (lat. Verbena) belongs to a genus in the family Verbenaceae and includes more than 200 species native to tropical and subtropical regions of America. In common parlance the verbena flower is called “iron grass”, and more poetic variants are “tears of Juno”, “grass of Hercules”, “Mercury's blood” or “veins of Venus”. Christians believe that verbena is a sacred grass as according to the parable the first verbena flowers appeared at the spot where a drop of blood of the crucified Jesus fell to. Verbena has long been surrounded by an aura of mysticism: the Druids made a love potion of it, and the Celts hung its dry bunches in their houses for the protection of the family home, attraction of wealth and to deprive their enemies of hatred and malice. In addition, verbena along with garlic, silver bullets and aspen stakes were considered to be a powerful weapon against vampires. Verbena healing properties have long been known. Not only does it adore your garden by blooming from June until late autumn, but it is also widely used in folk medicine as a remedy for many illnesses.

Clematis: planting, care, pruning, growing

Clematis flowerClematis (lat. Clematis), or virgin’s bower is a genus in the buttercup family. It is a woody plant or herbaceous perennial, native to the temperate and subtropical zones of the Northern Hemisphere. There are about 300 species, and sometimes they differ greatly from each other. The Greek word “klema” means “any climbing plant”. In home floriculture mostly clematis-lianas are grown. They say that clematis is a plant that can replace a whole garden.