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Home | Turkish Gardens | Flowers 1 | Flowers 2 | Flowers 3 |

- God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures... Francis Bacon (1561–1626)


Oleander ( Turkish: Zakkum ) is well known through-out the world for its toxicity. In Turkey it is incorrectly believed to be a useful plant for fighting cancer. With its colourful flowers, and contrary to its innocent appearence, all parts of this attractive shrub type plant are poisonous.

The toxicity of this plant was known since early history. Many horses of Alexander the Great 's army were killed in Iran by the the retreating soldiers who poisoned their water with oleanders. Similarly soldiers who barbecued meat on skews made from Oleander plants were unable to take part in the war.

Deaths related to ingestion of Oleanders are rare. Nevertheless in Australia some fatalities were reported after ingestion of Oleander flowers, particularly by children. In 1986 an elderly woman was reported to have died with severe heart failure after having drunk an infusion made with Oleander leaves by error, instead of Eucaliptus leaves. When burnt in open fires and stoves Oleander also gives toxic fumes, and this requires attention.

Oleanders bloom from summer to fall, with fragrant flowers in shades of apricot, copper, pink, lilac, red, purple, salmon, yellow, and white, depending on variety. Ideally, select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. However, oleanders are adaptable and will withstand dry conditions as well as marshy soils.

Plant in spring or fall. Space plants 6 to 12 feet apart, depending on variety. Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball and 2 to 3 times as wide. If your soil is in very poor condition, amend the soil you've removed from the hole with a small amount of compost. Otherwise don't amend it at all. Carefully remove the plant from the container and set it in the hole. Fill the hole half full with soil, then water it well to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets. Let the water drain, then fill the remainder of hole with soil and water thoroughly.


Petunias ( Turkish: Petunya ) are normally propagated from seed. Petunia seed is best sown indoors four to six weeks prior to planting outdoors. Sow the seed in a moist, well drained, pasteurized medium. Commercially prepared mixes work best to germinate seed. Do not cover the seed when sowing.

Water with a fine mist from above or sub-irrigate from below by setting the germination container in a shallow container of water. Excessive water should be allowed to drain. The germinating medium can be kept from drying out by covering the container with a pane of glass or with a plastic bag. Keep the container in a location with bright light, but not in direct sunlight, until germination begins.

Once the seedlings have emerged, remove the covering and allow the growing medium to become slightly dry between waterings, but do not allow the seedlings to wilt. Watering is critical at this small seedling stage! Fertilize the young seedlings with a diluted formulation of starter fertilizer.

Plant after all danger of frost is past and when the soil temperature has reached at least 60 degrees F. Avoid excessive root and soil disruption around the transplant. Plant the young transplants at the same depth they were growing in the containers. Water thoroughly after transplanting to avoid excessive wilting. A soil ridge around the plant will help hold water in the vicinity of the plant. Young plants may need protection for a few days following transplanting during hot, windy weather. Plant on a cloudy day if possible. Plants can be spaced about 12 inches apart in the garden.

Petunias do best in full sun, although they will tolerate several hours of light shade a day. Water to a depth of six to eight inches when the soil becomes dry. The frequency of watering will depend on the type of soil, weather conditions and the amount of mulch. A mulch will not only reduce soil water evaporation but will also reduce splashing of water onto the lower leaves, moderate soil temperatures and reduce weed competition. Petunias are relatively free of disease and insect pests.


The Poppy ( Turkish: Haşhaş ) plant prefers full sunlight at least of 6 hours, it does not grow in shady places. It needs light sandy, medium loamy, and heavy clay soils and it should have well draining property so that it can retain moisture. The plant can grow well in all kinds of soil ph that is the soil can be acidic, neutral, or basic.

The sowing time begins in September and continues till late April. Germination lasts two to three weeks and after a month leaves start appearing and then again after two to three weeks stem emerges and within two months the plant reaches upto its full growth. The plant flowers day by day and the flowering lasts upto thirty to fourty hours. After the petals fall the capsule continues to grow and becomes ripe in about two weeks.

  • Seeds are used for edible puposes in cakes breads etc.
  • Its young leaves are eaten raw or cooked.
  • A high quality edible drying oil is obtained from the seed.
  • It is a good Antispasmodic, Antitussive, Astringent, Narcotic, Sedative.
  • It is a good pain reliever but if used in excess it can be very injurious to health.
  • A homeopathic remedy is made from the dried latex.
  • The seed yields 44 - 50% of an edible drying oil

Prophet flower

Prophet Flower ( Turkish: Peygamber Çiçeği ) is a beautiful and distinct perennial herb, 12 to 18 inches high with flowers of red petals and a distinctive funnel shape. It is quite hardy and suited either to the border or rock garden. Quite happy in rich light loamy soils. It is a native of the Caucasus and N. Persia, and though long introduced is still among the rarest of hardy flowers. It is a most profuse bloomer, which adds to its value. Seeds are but sparsely produced and rarely, and should be carefully sought after. The best method of increase is by root cuttings, which may be inserted from October to March. Besides the banks of Mogan Lake, it is also known to grow on property in Gölbaşı owned by the Directorate General of the State Opera and Ballet. There are 170 species of Centaurea in Turkey, of those, 110 are endemic.

These so-called love flowers with red petals and a distinctive funnel shape, are part of the Aster family and mainly grow in the empty fields at the northern and southern ends of Mogan Lake. The locals also call the species the Burning and Turning flower, the Prophet flower and Bride's button.


Roses ( Turkish: Gül ) should be pruned in early spring once the rose starts to show signs of new growth, usually in the form of tiny red buds swelling. These buds will become new branches. Cut out any obviously dead or damaged branches first. Then cut out all but four or five healthy stems, each ideally about as thick as a pencil. Cut the rose bush back by 1/3 to 1/2, depending on how tall you want it to be. Make these cuts right above an outward facing bud - that is, a red bud that's on the outside of the rose bush. This directs the bud to grow up and out, leaving the center of the rose bush open for a prettier shape and better air circulation.

Fertilize roses regularly during the growing season. Roses are hungry plants, demanding lots of nutrients for best growth and flowering. Each rose grower has his or her own favorite method. One of the easiest is to buy a slow-release granular rose food and work it into the soil so it can feed the plant all season long. Otherwise, you'll want to fertilize the rose with a liquid fertilizer every three to four weeks during the growing season (stop in early autumn) or according to package directions.

Water diligently. Roses need a steady source of water during the growing season, about 1 inch a week from rain or watering. In arid regions of the country, if you have several roses, consider installing a do-it-yourself drip irrigation system. Roses need less weeding and watering and have fewer diseases if you mulch. Lay down 1 to 2 inches of organic mulch, such as wood chips, pine needles, grass clippings or other biodegradable material.

Trim spent roses off the shrub to encourage it to produce more. While some roses bloom only in one big flush in June, others are bred to keep producing off and on all season long.

Spray. If your rose becomes diseased or has an insect infestation, you may want to deal with it by spraying. First try simply trimming off the diseased portion of the plant and giving the plant a good strong blast from a hose. If you choose to spray, first identify the problem by trimming off the diseased part and taking it to a reliable garden center, where the staff can prescribe the correct pesticide or herbicide.


Violets ( Turkish: Menekşe ) like a lot of bright light but not hot direct sun. In their natural habitat under forest canopies, African Violets are protected by the tree canopy. The better the sunlight you give your violet without it being direct, hot sun, the more often it will bloom for you. If your violet is not blooming - then it probably needs more light.

Violets need to stay evenly moist at all times. Violets will flower more often if you use fertilizer.

Violets do not like to be very hot or very cold. They prefer a temperature between 70°F and 80°F with about 80% humidity. At night they can tolerate temperatures in the upper 60’s. However, it is important to avoid temperature and humidity fluctuations, including sudden drafts.

Your violet should not be too dry or soggy, but evenly moist. Add 1 to 2" of potting soil to the soil, then take your violet out of its present container. Plant it into the soil and press down to compact. There are many varieties of violet plants. Common colors are purple, pink, white, and lavendar. Some have variegated leaves, ruffle edges on the flowers, or spotted flowers. It helps to start with a healthy plant from a grower.

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