Growing lovely lupines

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) It's daisy and lupine season! It's just a sea of wildflowers; it's so pretty! If you want to have a meadow like this full of lupines and daisies, you can do it! Both of these plants grow really well in our climate and right now lupines are their supreme peak!

You can grow all kinds of cultivated varieties... white ones, yellow ones, red ones, pink ones, but it's the blue ones that are going to naturalize. That's why you see a lot of blue ones. And they are great plants for wildflower meadows because they are in the pea family and they make their own nitrogen, you don't have to worry about feeding them. They have deep roots that can go way down into clay soil and they also spread. But they don't spread by the plant, it's the seeds that get thrown around. If you want to help them a little bit, come August or so, harvest some of the seed pods and sprinkle the seeds around in the meadow so you can have more lupines spread out in a bigger area.

The other nice thing to do with lupines is to use them as a cut flower. Let me show you how to do that. When you are selecting a flower to cut, make sure it's not totally open-- only about a half to a third of it should be open. Then cut the stem and you'll see that it has a hollow stem. Then put some water inside this stem very carefully. Just douse it with some water, it doesn't matter. And now just take a little bit of cotton and stuff it into that hole. What you are trying to do is plug it up. And the idea is that you're going to plug it up so the water stays in the stem, then you put the stem in your vase, and in that way, it will stay nice and rigid. And the other nice thing when you cut them, the plants actually come back and you'll get a second flush of blooms.

~by Charlie Nardozzi