MAIN STORY: Spring has arrived and, with it, myriad colours. The once-barren pots and gardens will be soon teeming with blossoms. It is a good season for florist and flower enthusiasts who love a little bit more colour added to their homes and surroundings.
Spring is also the time of the year when gardeners make a list of spring flowers, looking forward to the first burst of the spring colours. Although one doesn’t have to be a florist or an expert to have blooming beauty in one’s life or at one’s doorstep, there are a few basics that are good for flowers.
A mother of three, Wangmo, 49, has a few tips up her sleeve. As spring come, so does her love for flowers and indoor plants.
One can see her love for flowers at the various potted plants kept in her apartment at Olakha. These pots cramp the little spaces available in her home and her balcony is full of flowerpots. She also has a green house next to her apartment, full of annuals and perennial flowers.
“With spring here, many gardeners and flower enthusiasts are dreaming to get into the garden and plant flowers,” Wangmo said. “Many come and ask me where and how to begin?” Wangmo offers a few basic tips to those that are planning to plant a bulb in a pot for the first time or getting their hands back into the garden.
“The first thing I do in my greenhouse or at the potted plants at home is clean up all the debris left behind from winter, such as fallen branches,” she said. “After all the pots are cleaned up, I make sure that all perennial flower’s roots are firmly planted in the pot. I add enough fresh soil with mulch so that it helps the buds grow quicker.”
For the annual plants, Wangmo’s advice is to space out the young plants to prevent them from crowding each other once they have grown and matured. Fertilise these plants with a fresh layer of soil after separating them into different pots.
“Almost all flowers need about six hours of full sun each day and water once in two days ,” Wangmo said.
If one still hasn’t decided what kind of flowers or plants to buy to beautify one’s home, Wangmo offers a few easy-to-grow plants for beginners. One can choose annuals like cosmos, marigolds, geraniums, calendula, sunflower and zinnia. There are also perennials like pansies, lilies, alstroemeria and hydrangea.
“When one has planted a seedling or a bulb in a pot, it should never dry out. Watering them on alternate days is important,” she said. “New transplants also need frequent watering until their roots are firmly established. After that, how often one needs to water depends on the soil, humidity and climate.”
Watering slowly and deeply is essential so that it sinks into the soil instead of running off into the floor. “One should also cover the top soil with mulch, such as pine needles and bark chips to name a few,” said Wangmo.
If one diligently follows these basic rules, one’s blooms are on its way and don’t forget to stop and smell once it blooms, Wangmo added.
Owner of Utty Nursery at Motithang in Thimphu, Jyotshna Gurung, is also one of the few florists in the capital.
At her nursery, one will find assortments of blooms, which she has been taking care of over the years. Her hard work can be seen at the colourful blooms that fill her green houses and surrounding of her home.
Although it is cool outside, it’s like summer in the greenhouses, but Jyotshna seems unaware. She is busy watering them. Pinks, purples, yellows, reds and greens spread across her house backyard and in the green houses.
The collections of flowers in her nursery include blooming azalea, primula, primrose, pansy, tulip, hydrangea and orchids among others.
Although it’s a Herculean task taking care of all these flowers, Jyotshna loves these flowers like her child.
“I follow basic steps like all flower enthusiasts. I use a lot of fresh soil from the forest, which are clean and has less insects. It is perfect for potted flowers,” Jyotshna said. “I water them whenever I get time and by looking at the soil as well. It takes an instinct taking care of these flowers, which one develops as time pass by.”
Many love Jyotshna’s collections. About five customers walk into her nursery every day.
“Today, people don’t mind spending on these flowers because many love to decorate their homes or offices. They also order bouquets for different purpose. Business is going good for now,” she said.
No matter what your level of experience, when it comes to planting and taking care of flowers, one can have blooming beauty in one’s home with these simple basics, Jyotshna said. “It is only time when one will get to see one’s fruit of labour, when it blooms.”