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

Photos by Cral Von Zumwalt

Ranunculus (R. asiaticus)

Winning quality: Tubers produce plump flowers with papery textures and vivid hues that glow like stained glass in sunlight. Some look like miniature peonies.

Favorite varieties: All the colors this flower comes in―from red and orange to yellow, peach, and deep pink―blend well in beds. Find bulb mixes at Peaceful Valley Farm + Garden Supply.

When to plant: Set out tubers as soon as the soil is workable in cold climates; fall in mild climates (or check nurseries in spring for blooming plants).

Growing tips: To prevent tubers from rotting after the growing season, dig them up after foliage yellows.

Cut off the dry foliage, allow roots to dry, then store indoors, covered with vermiculite, in boxes.


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