How to make your garden bloom

The West's best flowers for borders, beds, bouquets, and containers

How to grow flowers organically

Los Angeles farmer Tara Kolla shares her secrets to growing great blooms, using organic methods

Poppy-flowered anemone
Photos by Coral Von Zumwalt

Poppy-flowered anemone (A. coronaria)

Winning qualities: The clear reds, blues, and whites sparkle in spring, and the blossoms’ simple shapes make them perfect companions for sweet peas. 

Favorite ​varieties: Most are sold by color; blues and pastels are Kolla’s mainstay.

When to plant: Set out tubers in early spring in cold climates; fall in mild climates (or check nurseries in spring for blooming plants).

Growing tips: Plant tubers at least ​8 inches apart to discourage powdery mildew from forming on the leaves.

Mark the location of the tubers with a plastic fork or wood stick when planting so you don’t accidentally dig them up later while weeding.


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