Most every gardener strives to grow the best, most stunning flowers around, but that goal is hard to get hold of. Whether you want to raise prize-winning blooms or just have a home garden filled with of beautiful flowers, there are some things you can do in order to ensure your garden is in the best shape possible.
Soil chemistry counts
The chemical make-up of the soil is one of the biggest factors that contribute to the success or failure of your garden. If the soil in your planting beds is poor in nutrients, it is unlikely that your plants will thrive or produce those beautiful flowers that you want until you enrich the soil with the nutrition the plants need.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the soil chemistry is the same all over your yard. It is important to test the soil in each area of your property that you plan to plants, especially if the areas are away from each other. This can be important if part of your property is on a slope, or if it has been used for other things in the past.
The slope of the land and the soil type in your area are important considerations to make. A complete analysis of the soil in your yard will give you a good place to starts and a help you to monitor the quality of the soil as your garden matures.
Know what your plants will need to thrive
You probably already have an idea about what you want to plant in your garden, so it is important that you understand what those plants will require in order to grow and flourish. Although many types of annuals, perennials, and bulbs can grow and thrive in a broad range of soil and weather conditions, others can have special requirements for food, water, and soil conditions.
For example, if you are interested I n cultivating roses in your garden, you will need to know the pH level of your soil, and adjust it if you need to. Roses are commonly acid loving plants, and therefore they will not thrive in soil with a higher alkaline level. Getting some humus and tilling it into the soil can amend alkaline soil. If the humus does not do the job, adding sulfur to the soil can raise the acidity level.
Keeping an eye on nutrition
The nutrients in the soil will dictate the health and vitality of your plants and flowers. If the phosphorus and nitrogen levels, as well as the presence of other types of organic matter are not sufficient, your plants may be malnourished, and not thrive at all. Nutrients can be added to poor soil by suing humus or any number of good-quality fertilizers.
Now you understand why the chemistry of your garden soil is so important in growing your ideal garden. Having the best flowers around is a big task to fulfill. Make sure that your garden soil is ready for the duty.
Many times we buy plants on impulse then find there is nowhere in the garden that really suits them. Before buying plants carefully examine your garden to see how much sun and shade it gets, whether the soil is well drained or waterlogged and whether your aspect is sheltered or windswept. You’ll then be equipped to go and buy the best plants for your situation; shade-loving plants for the sheltered areas, sun-lovers for the warm spots, drought-resistant plants for the parched areas which may be either sunny or shaded, and swamp plants for the poorly-drained parts.
But wait! Test your soil first, to determine the pH level of your soil and what kind of nutrients you need to add, if any. Is the soil acid or alkaline? Most plants prefer soil that is slightly acidic, but there are some that must have alkaline soil to grow. You can alter the soil’s pH level, but it’s much easier to simply plant for the soil you have.
Now you are ready to plant. Well – almost. Will you plant in groups or singly? If you buy ‘one of everything’ your garden may seem rather spotty. Group plantings are organised, harmonious and you can vary the color for interest.
Before planting out, place your chosen plants around the garden bed in their pots to see how they will look. Re-arrange them until you are satisfied. Grouping plants in sets of threes or fives usually looks better than planting in groups of even numbers. Be sure that you have an interesting combination of colors and textures of plants. Tall plants should go to the back, or the centre if your garden will be viewed equally from all sides. Try to keep your plants away from trees. The roots of trees are fiercely competitive and will steal all the nutrients and moisture meant for your flowers.
The right color scheme is one way to maintain the harmony in your garden. Imagine the color of the flowers when they are in bloom. Some colors may clash with others, but can still be planted side-by-side if they have a different blooming season. Foliage color is also important. Many flower plants have silver, grey or purplish foliage that is just as attractive as the flower. This means that they are still attractive well past the blooming season and so have added value.
Many people like the challenge of raising plants and flowers from seeds. While it can be easier to stop by the local gardening center and purchase plants that are already growing, many gardeners truly enjoy the prospect and challenge of raising plants and vegetables for their gardens from seeds.
Perhaps you are a person who is interested in growing flowers and vegetables for your own garden spaces from seeds. If that is the case, you may be wondering what resources are available to you through which you can order seeds for garden plants, seeds for flowering plants and vegetables for your gardens.
As with so many things in the 21st century, the Internet and World Wide Web is proving to be a truly wonderful resource for people who are interested in growing their own plants from seed. At this point in time, there is a wide array of different types of websites through which consumers such as you can actually purchase seeds for your own gardens, including seeds for flowering and for vegetable plants.
There are now some more generalized websites on the Net through which you can by all types of seeds. For example, there are sites that are in business to offer men and women seeds at discounted prices. At the other end of the spectrum, there are website operations that have been established to provide people with some more high end (and more expensive) products.
Because many people have become interested in more specific types of gardening — for example, organic gardening — there are now websites that cater to some of these more specialized areas of gardening. For example, if you are interested in organic vegetable gardening, you will want to consider stopping by one or another of the sites that deal specifically in the selling or organic vegetable seeds.
By way of another example, there are some people who are interested in crafting and creating beautiful flower gardens. To this end, there are innumerable websites on the Net that deal with the selling of seeds for people interested in growing flowers. Indeed, there are sites that are committed specifically to selling seeds for specific kinds of flowers.
Finally, there are information resources on the Net that can provide you with authoritative information on a wide array of different issues dealing with gardening. In both the short and the long term, you can learn a great deal about gardening practices from these useful websites.
What good would a green thumb do you if you do not have some of the very essential gardening tools to make your job go a lot smoother? Here are some basics that every good gardener should have beginning with the novice all the way up to the “professional” gardener.
Gloves – You should have a good pair of waterproof gloves that fit well. You should also find some that have long cuffs. Gardening gloves seem to be best suited to fit men so women will probably have to hunt to find a good pair.
Sun hat – You should have a hat with a wide brim equipped with a drawstring cord. This should provide adequate protection from the sun. You have to make sure that your hat will not be lifted aloft when those spring winds come.
Canvas apron – A good apron to have is one that has pockets to fit some of your tools in as well as your phone. This is good when you don’t always have a chance to put on your grubbiest clothes.
Five-gallon bucket – This comes in handy to tote your tools around with you as you make your way through the flower beds. You can always toss weeds in as you are working!
Spade – This is an important tool to have but one that can easily get misplaced or thrown out by accident. It would be a good idea to get some brightly-colored tape to wrap around the handle so it will show up against the grass.
Pruners – These are great to clip back woody stems. You will get a nice, clean cut that will minimize any injury to plant tissue.
Hand rake – This is just a little bit larger than a spade and does a great job in fluffing up mulch or in turning up very young weeds.
In our hurried, stressful world, we’re often looking for ways to relax and enjoy the things around us. Your own flower garden is a terrific way to do that. As the saying goes, you can improve life simply by stopping to smell the roses.
And those roses smell even better if you grew them yourself!
You’ve probably noticed that some people just have a knack for growing nice, healthy flowers while the rest of us seem to mostly grow weeds. Often the difference between a lush, wonderful flower garden and a gnarly weed bed are a few simple factors. Do the right things and you’ll find growing beautiful flowers is easier than you imagined.
1. Plant flowers that do well in your area. Temperature, rainfall, and more that determine your local climate will favor some flowers, while making others almost impossible to grow. For example, if you endure the super hot summers of Texas or Arizona, you will have to grow different kinds of flowers than people in cooler New York or Utah.
To some degree, you can check the backs of seed packets to know which plants grow in your area and what time of year to plant. Gardening guides can also help. Your best bet is often to talk to someone who knows plants. Usually you can find these people working in smaller stores, greenhouses, and nurseries. It’s usually not hard to identify who these plant experts are, as just about everybody in town knows about them and repeats their advice.
2. Pay attention to the quality of the soil you’re planting in. Often adding richer potting soil or light fertilizer can give your flowers a much better chance of turning out healthy. The right soil is one of the major reasons why some people grow terrific flowers while others can’t get anything to sprout.
3. Buy good quality seeds. Before we started our seed business we were surprised by how expensive flower seeds were, and by how FEW seeds were included in each packet. You could spend some pretty substantial cash buying seeds for a modest garden.
If you’re looking to buy a new brand or type of seed that you haven’t purchased in the past, I would recommend inspecting a pack before you fill your shopping cart with them. That way you’ll know what you’re getting.
Above all, be patient. Nature is an amazing system of interrelated factors. Sometimes we can understand and control all the factors, other times we just have to let nature take her course. Gardeners who understand the process of trial and error and remain persistent usually get the best results.
Also, be sure to include your family in your gardening activities. Planning a flower garden, planting it, then caring for the growing flowers can be a fulfilling, inspirational, and uniting experience for everyone in the family.
If flowers are your thing or if you plan to include some flowers in your summer garden then you should take a moment to learn about those flowers or flowering plants that are best suited to summer months and what those plants like by way of sunlight and shade. Not all flowers are created equal when it comes to withstanding the heat of the summer sun and some require a little more care than others. Keep all of these things in mind when planning your summer garden and choose wisely according to the type of care you wish to provide.
This is a general guide to the various types of plants that are well suited for a summer garden and not necessarily those that are well suited to rest side by side. Study the flowers you decide you would like to include in your summer garden in order to insure you keep those that love water and dislike sun away from those that thrive with little water and copious amounts of sun. In other words you will need to conduct a more thorough study of the flowers you decide to include in your summer garden in order to determine the proper placement of these flowers for the most color, effect, and the best possible life for the flowers you choose.
The following are some fun sun loving flowers you may wish to include in your summer garden. Geraniums are bright little splashes of color that are ideally suited for a summer garden. They happen to work well for creating borders or simply providing a highlight of color in a bed of green and do quite well in pots on their own or mixed with other colorful summer flowers. The Hibiscus is a beautiful spot of color that will lend a tropical feel to your summer garden. A welcome addition to many gardens they may grow quite tall so keep them to the back of the summer garden to allow the full array of color from all summer plants to capture the eyes of visitors. Marigolds are another popular addition to most summer gardens. With a wide array of colors from which to choose it is no small wonder that these flowers remain a popular favorite for sunny patches within the summer garden.
Shade loving flowers also abound for summer gardens everywhere. Most gardeners find heavily shaded spots within their lawns or gardens to be a particular challenge. Perhaps some of these suggestions will alleviate that sense of challenge for you. Impatiens are widely popular choices for shady spaces and provide a wide range of bright colors perfect for creating fun and bright borders. The viola is another great brightly colored flower that is well suited for borders or potted arrangements, whichever suits your particular summer garden needs. Mimulus is another excellent choice for color in your summer garden and may tolerate partial sun quite well if you’re looking for a nice border plant. If you prefer more dramatic coloring in your summer garden you might be interested in including Lobelia or ageratum, which both have beautiful blue hues in your summer garden plans.
Of course this is only a small sampling of the many bright and beautiful summer flowers that can make a real splash in your summer garden. Be sure to check out the color offerings of each and specific care instructions to make sure that they are a genuine match not only for your personal tastes but also the landscape and terrain of your garden and the other plants that will be included in your summer garden. The planning stage is often the hardest work that many people put into their summer gardens but the pay off for all this proper planning is quite often rich and beautiful. Failing to plan properly can result in a great deal of wasted time and effort on your behalf and a less than stellar summer garden.
A flower garden can be a peaceful and beautiful refuge from the rest of the world. Sitting in the midst of fragrant flowers while reading a book or strolling along paths lined with flowers in cheerful colors can help you to wind down after a busy, stressful day. With some planning and work, a lovely flower garden can be yours to enjoy.
Planning Flower Garden Designs
Creating beautiful flower garden designs takes much planning and consideration. You will need to consider the types of flowers and combinations of colors you desire for the garden. You will also need to think about the placement of borders and shrubs as well as seating and ornaments. It is a good idea to choose an overall style for the garden and stick with it. When you begin your flower garden designs project, you should make a scale drawing of the design to help visualize your concepts.
Shapes in Flower Garden Designs
Decide upon the shape and pattern for your flower garden designs. Rectangular flower garden designs are a traditional shape and always popular. Circular shaped gardens add interest to the standard rectangular lawn. Flower gardens planted on a diagonal to the house can make a lawn appear larger than it actually is.
Styles of Flower Garden Designs
There are a number of styles of gardens that you can plant, and many of them are not too difficult to achieve. Some favorite flower garden designs are listed here.
Rose Flower Garden Designs
Rose Gardens are easy to plant and beautiful to see. In addition to modern roses, include fragrant, old-fashioned varieties of roses whose scent will delight. Plant bulbs in the beds and border them with seasonal flowers to keep the garden full of color during the blooming seasons.
Cottage Flower Garden Designs
Informal cottage gardens have an old-fashioned, rustic look about them. These flower garden designs incorporate the use of flowers, plants and vegetables.
Shade Flower Garden Designs
Shade gardens are good flower garden designs for spaces with many trees blocking the sunlight. There are many flowers that do well in shady areas, including impatiens, begonia, azalea, hosta and viola. The lack of leaves on the trees in spring allows spring bulbs to grow, filling the space with color.
Wildflower Flower Garden Designs
Wildflower gardens are flower garden designs that feature plants indigenous to the area where the garden is located. These gardens tend to require less pampering than some of the other types listed here, usually not requiring much weeding or amendments to the soil.
Butterfly Flower Garden Designs
Butterfly gardens are delightful flower garden designs, planted with flowers known to attract butterflies. Plants such as marigold, lilac, coreopsis, lavender, black-eyed susan and goldenrod are all good choices for butterfly gardens.
Hummingbird Flower Garden Designs
Likewise, hummingbird gardens are a good choice for those who enjoy spotting these small birds. Hummingbirds like richly colored flowers with sweet nectar and a tubular shape. Red and fuschia flowers in particular tend to attract hummingbirds. Some hummingbird garden favorites are morning glory, petunias, azalea, rose of sharon, delphinium and honeysuckle.
The peony is just about the longest-living perennial plant you will ever see. There are two basic types of peonies – the herbaceous types and the tree peony.
It would be best to plant peonies at the back of flower borders as they are large plants. In the spring, the peonies have attractive ferny foliage and the beautiful blooms are usually produced in May.
Peonies best thrive in a place that receives at least half a day to a full day of sunshine. If the climate is very hot, then provide some afternoon shade for these plants.
The best time to plant the peony is the early fall but early spring plantings do well also. Make sure to prepare the site well. Dig an oversized hole and make sure that you fill some of it with compost.
The secret of having a successful peony is this: Make sure that the tuber is positioned so that the eyes which are located on the crown are covered with about two inches of soil.
Peonies are picky – they do not like to be planted very deeply. If your peonies have stopped producing flowers after a few years, then you should see if perhaps they have sunken too low in their bed. Perhaps they have had too much soil sitting on top of them.
If your peonies seem to flop over by mid-summer, then it would be a good idea to stake them. When you go to cut your flowers, clip them when the buds are just beginning to unfurl. Once they are put in water, the blooms will quickly open and will last for about a week indoors.
A garden full of flower plants of different types is more beautiful to see. More so if the garden contains a mix of annual flower plants along with others. Annual flower plants are those which exist for only one complete season. This means their complete life cycle from germination from seeds to death occurs in a lifespan of only a few months. The positive thing about annual flower plants is that they give flowers generously during their blooming periods. And this blooming period also exists for a comparatively longer time than other flower plants.
Annual plants are divided into three types based on their hardiness. Hardiness is the measure of intensity of cold weather or frost that the plants can endure. Apart from staying alive, the plants grow and bloom during this period effectively. There are mainly three annual periods – warm weather annuals, cool weather annuals, and frost hardy annuals.
Annual flower plants must be planted specifically in the season during which they can complete their whole life cycle successfully. Plants that are capable of growing in one season will certainly die off if planted in some other season because the intensity of cold will vary from one region to another.
There are two main conditions to be met here. Firstly, the annuals must be capable of growing in the soil found in that particular area. Secondly, they must be grown only in that particular season in which they can thrive.
Warm weather annuals include zinnias, marigolds, and nasturtiums. These plants are incapable of tolerating any plants. Hence, these can be planted in any region containing the soil needed for these plants during the summer season.
Cool weather annuals are snapdragons, petunias, and calceolaria. These plants thrive during the end of summer and at the start of early frost.
Frost hardy annuals are pansy, stock, calendula, and larkspur. These annuals plants can take quite a lot of frost and still blossom during the season. These are usually planted at the end of mild winter and before the beginning of deep winter.
You can find out what annual plants the soil in your area would support from a number of websites on the internet. This information can also be found in a number of books relating to horticulture. Apart from all this, if you have a plant nursery close to your house, just visit it and find out which annuals will survive in which season in your area.
“Off with her head” the queen shouted at Alice in the Lewis Carroll story “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. Now I’m not sure if Lewis had an interest in gardening but he could well have been giving us some horticultural instruction which will give us a longer flowering season. There is a technique known as dead-heading, it is a simple task which takes a few minutes however adds days and sometimes weeks to your flowering display.
How to dead-head
If you’ve never dead-headed before here’s how go about it…… Firstly keep a watchful eye on your flowering plants, paying close attention to blooms that are past their best. Once a flower has started to fade remove it from the plant with a quick snip from your secateurs, alternatively knip it off with your thumb and forefinger. When doing this try to remove just the spent flower leaving the new buds beneath intact.
Your beds and borders now look neater due to the lack of fading blooms but how else has this deadheading process helped us? Well by removing the spent flowers we have prevented the plant from setting seed which if it did would trigger the production of a hormone which causes flowering to shut down completely. So by our slight tinkering with Mother Nature we can often force the plant to put its energies into a second flush of flower production instead of seed production. Bear in mind that your planting should have a plentiful supply of nutrients to give a secondary flowering.
Plants that respond well to dead-heading
Dead-heading works particularly well on perennials and most annual bedding especially Antirrhinums (Snapdragons), Violas (Pansies) and Dianthus (Sweet Williams) although it can sometimes be impossible to carry out on very small flowers or on very large and floriferous shrubs. Shrubs which react well to dead-heading include Buddleia (Butterfly bush), Syringa (Lilac) and some Spireas. Roses of course are ideal candidates for this technique to ensure more blooms before the rose-hips form.