Create a Spanish theme garden with flowers, vines and shrubs. Use gravel and rocks to landscape the garden and mimic the rugged terrain of Spain.
If you think your garden spot is too hot, too sunny or the soil is too rocky to grow hardly anything – think again. A Spanish theme garden may be your green thumb solution.
Those conditions will make plants native to Spain feel right at home. Flowers and plants native to Spain thrive in heat, sun and less-than-optimal soil conditions. In addition to their beauty, many are ultra-low maintenance.
Many flowers and plants native to Spain thrive perfectly fine here in the good old U.S.A. Chances are you are already familiar with some of Spain’s native flowers and plants. Add a lemon or olive tree to complete and authenticate your Spanish theme.
Gladiolus, commonly called ‘gladiolas’ is a classic American cut flower favorite that is actually a native of Spain. Gladiolus has distinctive long spikes and showy fringed flowers.
They are a spring and summer favorite for making floral arrangements. Color choices are as extensive as Gladiolus is long. The range of colors spans from pink to gold, red to orange and blue to burgundy and multi-colored varieties.
Gladioli are grown from bulbs. Plant the bulbs in a location that receive full sun. Loosen the soil twelve to fifteen inches to encourage draining. Mix in two to four inches of compost.
Plant the bulb corms with the end facing up, and from four to 6 inches apart. Cover the corms with soil and press them firmly into the soil. Flowering can take anywhere from 65 to 100 days.
Dr. William C. Welch, at Texas A&M University, suggests a pretty easy procedure to store corms at the end of the blooming season. Dig the corms after the foliage has dried in late summer or fall. Remove the soil and snap off the dead tops, then remove and discard the old corm and save the new corm to plant next spring.
Daffodils are another Spanish native flowering bulb. Other names for daffodils are narcissus (which is the official biological name), and jonquil.
They have cheery colored flowers that are synonymous with spring’s arrival. Colors range from yellow to white, and pink to salmon. The National Gardening Association suggests that you choose varieties that mature at different times to extend the blooming season for your daffodils.
Flowers grow as singles or doubles on stems that can range from six to twenty inches tall. Choose a location that receives full sun to partial shade. Wait until fall soil temperatures are below 60 degrees Fahrenheit to plant the bulbs.
Plant the bulbs in well-draining soil at a depth that is three or four times the height of the bulb. Flowers typically take 10 to 12 weeks to bloom.
The prickly pear is a member of the Opuntina biological family. It is common to see prickly pear growing in home gardens in Spain. Also called bunny ears or beaver tail cacti, the prickly pear is an amusing looking member of the cactus family.
It has pads that protrude in every direction and sharp spines that almost seem to say – “look but don’t touch.” That can become a temptation in the springtime with the prickly pear blooms with yellow, orange, pink or red flowers.
When the blooms fade, the fruit is edible. When you plant a prickly pear, you can control the rate of flowers and fruit the plant produces by decreasing the amount of nitrogen the plant receives.
Use a 0-10-10 fertilizer with no nitrogen on a monthly basis to produce more fruits and flowers.
The list of Spanish native bulbs to add to a Spanish-theme garden would not be complete without including Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica). They are members of the lily family.
Gardeners love their easy-to-grown, low-maintenance characteristics. Beginning bulb gardeners will have a good starter bulb with Spanish bluebells.
What is also great about Spanish bluebells is that they reseed themselves and produce baby bulbs as offshoots from the plant’s ‘mother bulb.’ Spanish bluebell can tolerate full sun to partial shade. Plant in the late summer to get root development in the autumn, and you will see the leaves and flowers arrive in the spring.
Cut a few stems of first blooms and bring them indoors to enjoy as cut flowers. The Spanish bluebell plant won’t mind at all.
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