Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
Last week, l was telling you about meat-eating plants and how to grow them.
lf you prefer plants with pleasanter habits, this week l am going to tell you about flowers that grow from bulbs – and they are really easy to grow, if you know how to do it properly.
Firstly daffodils; these are a lot of people’s favourite spring flowers.
They should be planted in autumn. Make sure the bulbs are hard not soft and squashy because this means they are rotten. And don’t store them with your onions because they are poisonous so you don’t want to get them confused!
Use a trowel to dig out a hole in your flower bed, and loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole so that the roots can have a chance to grow.
Daffodils can last for many years so it is worth doing this job properly.
lf you have heavy soil, put a handful of coarse grit underneath the bulb so that it doesn’t get waterlogged. The little stones will help drain water away from underneath the bulb so that it is not sitting on really wet soil.
Plant the bulbs with the point facing upwards and twice as deep as the height of the bulb. Leave gaps between them 2-3 times their width.
lf you don’t plant bulbs deeply enough, they won’t flower; you will only get leaves.
Gently pull the soil back over them and don’t tread on them because you might damage the tips.
You can plant daffodils in grass as well but it may be difficult to dig a hole in the grass – you may need help.
Take a bucket of bulbs and throw them across the grass. Plant them where they land and the planting will look more natural and less formal and regimented. There is a tool especially designed for planting bulbs in grass. You need a lot of strength to use it though, so you will need to employ an adult to work with you.
Tulips like growing in free-draining soil with their heads in the sunshine. This is because they come originally from the mountains of Turkey. So if your soil is compacted clay, it will be easier to grow them in tubs or pots in loam-based compost. They are planted in autumn too.
When tulips leaves have died down, take them out of the pot and store them in a dry place if you want to keep them – somewhere like a shed. lf you plant them again in the autumn, you might get a few more flowers the following year but they will probably not be as good, so gardeners usually put new bulbs into their pots every year.
Daffodils are mainly yellow, white, orange and even pink but tulips really do come in a huge variety of colours. They flower later than daffodils so can be planted with other plants. They look especially pretty with wallflowers or forget-me-nots.
lf you want a spring flower bulb that will last many years, you could try planting imperial fritillaries. The bulbs are a very strange shape with a hole running through the middle of them.
Put a handful of grit into a 30cm/12” hole and put the bulb in on its flat side. Mark the place where you have planted them so that you will remember they are there over the winter. They should flower every spring for the next 10-20 years!
There is no need to water your newly planted bulbs, but you should remember to wash your hands after working in the garden.
Other spring flowers produced from bulbs are snowdrops and crocuses. They are much smaller and don’t need to be planted so deeply. They flower earlier than daffodils to give cheerful colour at the end of the winter.
You can plant them in the autumn.
lf you don’t have a garden, you can grow snowdrops inside. Fill the bottom of a flower pot with compost to a depth of 5cm/2 inches from the top. Push up to about 15 snowdrop bulbs into the top of the soil with the pointed end up. Space the bulbs evenly around the pot and don’t allow them to touch the sides or each other.
Fill in around the bulbs with compost and then add an additional layer of compost over the tops of the bulbs. Firm the soil very gently; don’t pack it down hard.
Water the bulbs and throw away the water that drains from the bottom (don’t forget to put a saucer under the pot first).
Place the pot of bulbs in a plastic bag and keep in the fridge or some very cold place until the shoots start to show. Remember that snowdrops in the garden often bloom in the snow – they like it cold.
Remove the pot from the bag and place it in a bright room in January.
Water the pot often enough to keep the soil lightly moist, but not soggy. Snowdrops will not stand drying out completely.
Bulbs are usually planted about three times the depth of their own height otherwise they will not flower.
There are other things that you can plant as well that are a little bit like bulbs. They are called corms and tubers.
Summer bulbs and tubers are planted in the spring when the soil is beginning to warm up. You have lots to choose from like alliums, agapanthus, crocosmia, lilies and alstroemeria.
Planting them in tubs is easier, but they will need more watering than if they were planted in the garden.
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And see you again next Fun Friday!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bob: What is the world’s tallest flower?
Bill: l don’t know. What is the world’s tallest flower?
Bob: A giraffodil.
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
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Snowdrops flower in the cold of January
Daffodils can be many shades of yellow, white, orange and even pink
If you plant a large group of daffodils you will be able to smell their sweet fragrance
Tulips are often grown with other flowers underneath them
Tulips can be different shapes and many different colours
These tulips are being grown with primroses
Myosotis or ‘forget-me-nots’ are easy to grow and look nice grown with tulips
Fritillaria with tulips
Crocosmia are grown from corms – they the kind of flowers that can look after themselves –
and the clumps will grow bigger over time
Dahlias are grown from tubers and flower late summer
Planting bulbs in the ground
Planting bulbs in containers
Daffodils with two-colour flower heads
Snowdrops are one of the first flowers in spring
Crocuses can be planted in a lawn
Alliums are related to onions
Crocosmia come in many shades of red, orange and yellow
Some crocus flower in late summer
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
Beaver Scouts often do community projects, and Mr Crackenthorpe, the leader of the Rocky Bay Beaver Scout Colony, said a few weeks ago that it was about time his group did something for the community.
He discussed his plan with the boys, and together they hit upon the idea of putting on a show at the Rocky Bay Retirement Home.
Mr Crakenthorpe said that it was a wonderful idea to cheer up the old folks – but the show would only cheer them up if it was a good one!
He said that they could also plant up a large tub of bulbs and give it to the old folks to put by their front door. Then every time they went in and out of the door it would be a cheery sight for them. He could transport the tub there in the boot of his car.
He explained that any boy that wanted to put on an act himself or in a small group with other Beavers was welcome to. But if anyone was too shy to do that, they could just join in with the singing at the beginning and the end of the show with the whole colony.
He told the boys that they would have time in the scout hut at their weekly meetings to practise singing in a group and putting their whole show together, but if they wanted to do their own thing, they could put in extra practice in their own time at home.
He said that they could call the whole show ‘Rocky Bay’s Got Talent’.
Then if all went well at the Rocky Bay Retirement Home, they could put the show on again in the scout hut and charge people to see it in order to raise funds – and if anything went badly, they could end up on ‘You’ve Been Framed’.
The boys all thought it was a fantastic idea.
Well, Henry said that he wanted to recite his favourite poem and he could practise that at home, and Roger, a boy in their class at school, said he would do a comedy slot, so although Bill and Bob really like telling jokes themselves, they decided they would put on a magic show together.
Bill and Bob went round to Henry’s house quite a lot to listen to the poem he was learning. They were his ‘practice audience’.
To A Butterfly
I’ve watched you now a full half-hour,
Self-poised upon that yellow flower;
And, little Butterfly! indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless!—not frozen seas
More motionless!and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again!
This plot of orchard-ground is ours;
My trees they are, my Sister’s flowers;
Here rest your wing when they are weary;
Here lodge as in a sanctuary!
Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We’ll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days, when we were young;
Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.
Bill and Bob also spend quite a lot of time practising their magic tricks and when Mr Crackenthorpe saw how they could make a toy rabbit disappear into a top hat, he said that that should be the grand finale of the show.
(Blog Post 50)
When the Beavers went round to the Rocky Bay Retirement Home to put on the show the old folks were delighted and gave the boys a slap-up tea.
Then the boys showed them how quickly they could make food disappear!
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Can you un-jumble these names of flowers that grow from bulbs?
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lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO MAKE A GARDEN OUTFlT
FOR YOUR TWELVE lNCH DOLL
If your doll likes relaxing in the garden, this is the perfect outfit.
SUN TOP (KNIT ONE)
Using 3¼mm knitting needles and green 4 ply yarn cast on 36 stitches
Knit 3 (purl 2, knit 2) repeat these last 4 stitches until the last 3 stitches, knit 3
Purl 3 (knit 2, purl 2) repeat these last 4 stitches until the last 3 stitches, purl 3
Repeat these last 2 rows 4 times
Cast off rib-wise
Decorate with a button or felt flower.
- Cut a rectangle of fabric 17cm/6¾ inches by 13cm/5¼ inches.
- Fold the fabric in half right sides together with 15cm seams together.
- (Using a ½cm seam) Seam the 15cm edge from 3½cm down from the top – this will be the centre front seam.
- At the top of the skirt (the 17cm edge) turn down a 1cm hem then turn the edge down again to make a 1¼cm hem – make sure the ends are neat and there is a hole left to thread through a piece of ribbon – this will make a tube at the waist.
- Turn up the bottom hem to make the skirt the length you want it to be.
- Thread a 40cm length of very thin ribbon through the tube at the top of the skirt (using a safety pin attached to one end).
- The skirt should slip easily onto the doll and the ribbon can be tied into a bow to make a gathered waistband.
When making small objects out of fabric always choose fabrics that will not fray easily.
- Cut a circle of pink felt 5cm/2 inches in diameter and another 8cm/3¼ inches in diameter.
- Cut a rectangle of pink felt 2½cm/1 inch by 15½cm/16⅛ inches.
- Sew the side to the top starting a little way in from the end of the strip using over-sew stitching and as you get to the end tuck the end of the strip under the other end and sew down the side seam.
- Draw a 5cm circle onto the 8cm circle and cut 8 cuts from the centre to just inside the 5cm circle, then pin the triangles to the inside of the crown of the hat and sew the brim to the bottom of the hat.
- Decorate with a ribbon and buttons or felt flowers.
If you make the hat in yellow it will look like a straw hat.
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns
Use of the toys and projects on all of these blogs is at your own risk
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015
Quick Quiz Answers