by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
How do you know what your birth flower is? Best birth flowers Arizona. What is the birthstone for each month? What are the 12 birth flowers? What are the rarest birth flowers?
Birthday gemstones are exciting, but there are limits to the number of emeralds, diamonds, rubies bestowed on loved ones. Birth flowers are practical and versatile gifts well suited for the gardeners in your life. Here are flowers that look their best by the month your gardener was born. Each is readily available at the garden center that month and in bloom for their birthday.
January ~ Carnation shows well in the perennial garden that is often denuded of flowers. The spicy clove scent of carnations is most welcoming. The low cost of carnations has somewhat sullied their reputation as a sophisticated, gift-worthy flower. A skilled gardener can create spectacular designs with this evergreen perennial that is both deer and javelina proof.
February ~ Violets, like few flowers, take the snow and cold in stunning Amethyst, gold, and blue like no other mountain plant. I envied those with February birthdays as they claim the lovely Amethyst as their birthstone, plus receive the regal Violet also!
March ~ Daffodils announce the arrival is spring in the mountains. The bright gold flowers erupt from the gardens in brilliant golds reliably each year. You can order fresh-cut daffodil arrangements as a March birthday gift, but why? Plant a daffodil garden of your own for enjoyment that announces spring every March from now on? Daffodils are squirrel, rabbit, and javelina-proof and so easy to grow.
April ~ Daisies celebrate April birthdays and look so good in a vase cut fresh from the garden. Both perennial Shasta Daisy or one of the cold hardy Gerbera varieties grow well in local gardens. The secret to a long-lasting daisy arrangement is to put a fresh cut to the stem under water daily. This encourages water uptake and discourages stem rot.
May ~ Lily of the Valley has always been a favorite of royalty, as seen in the bridal bouquets of both Princess Diana and Princess Kate. The quintessential springtime flowers make a fragrant birthday gift, either as a container plant or planted directly in the gardens. The unusual and hard-to-find pink form is every bit as vigorous in the garden as the white variety.
June ~ Roses often feel cliche after all of the other flower-giving holidays. A live blooming miniature rose is a long-lasting alternative to a short-lived rose bouquet. Ultimately, nothing tops the fragrance of old fashion roses picked directly from the gardens instead of a florist’s standard bouquet of scentless roses.
July ~ Larkspur, by its botanical name, is called delphinium. This flower prefers cool, moist gardens. If this doesn’t describe your yard, create a dramatic, shade garden area to grow the tall pink, blue, purple, or white spikes of this perennial favorite.
August ~ Dahlia automatically conger thoughts of giant dinner plate blooms at their mention. Dahlia includes small poms and single daisy-like flowers, and more. Provide plenty of Watters Flower Power Food and your gardens are in for a show. Pinch flowers off the plant as they fade to encourage waves or reblooming flowers.
September ~ Aster is a welcome way to bridge the gap between summer and fall when most flowers are winding down for the season. You can choose from flower colors in all shades of blue, white, pink, and purple on plants that will stay in bloom through late Autumn. Plant them in the ground, and this hardy flower comes back every year.
October ~ Marigold, with its vibrant pumpkin orange and harvest gold flowers, stands out above the rest of the autumn blooms. Try using them to create a pretty border around patios or place potted marigolds near entryways and windows. The flowers prefer cool, moist soils that follow our monsoon rains.
November ~ Chrysanthemum, nothing ushers in Autumn like mums. Slip them between coleuses in summer pots for a big show of color. All mums pair well with boxwood, salvias, ornamental cabbages, and kales. Dark mocha, oxblood red, and earth-toned pots planted with mums blooming red, yellow, and orange echo the season’s thankful warmth. Add a pumpkin and a gourd, and your house could qualify for the front cover of any garden magazine.
December ~ Poinsettia in traditional red is not for everyone. If you feel holiday red impinges on your birthday celebrations, give a cheerful coral-color poinsettia, or one of the color-enhanced pink, burgundy, or white bloomers we grow special at Watters Garden Center.
There you have it, the most popular flowers to honor each month of the year. All can be found and grown as plants during the growing season. It’s incredibly touching to celebrate your loved ones by planting their respective birth flowers in your garden.
Until next issue, I’ll be helping gardeners celebrate floral birthdays here at Watters Garden Center. Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site at WattersGardenCenter.com or Top10Flowers.com.