Flower gardening can be a satisfying way to relieve stress and add color to your home landscape. If you’re new to growing flowers, start with a packet of seeds and follow their simple directions on their labels.
Plant perennial flowers to enjoy season-long blooms and mix in some annuals to fill gaps as blooms fade.
Preparing the Soil
Your first step towards creating an amazing garden, whether in a container on a patio or raised bed in the yard, begins with soil preparation. Use a shovel or dirt rake to dig over an area at least one spade’s depth while clearing away weeds and grass as you go along. Organic matter such as manure or compost also add valuable nutrients while helping with air circulation in your soil.
Understanding your USDA growing zone is also crucial. Plants chosen outside this range won’t thrive or may even die under your climate’s unpredictable temperatures and rainfall patterns.
After clearing your location, take note of how much sunlight it receives throughout the day. Perennials tend to prefer full sunlight while shade-loving flowers generally do better with filtered lighting conditions. Combine shade-loving plants with blooming seasonal varieties such as peonies in spring and mums in late summer for continuity in color.
As any gardener soon learns, soil preparation is one of the keys to successful gardening. Without it, flowers will grow less vigorously and their overall appearance less appealing.
Plant flowers suited for your location only. A great way to test this is to visit an existing garden with similar conditions, observe what plants thrive there and choose them for your own flower garden.
World-renowned garden designer Piet Oudolf suggests creating your flower bed using layers. Tall plants should go in the back while shorter ones go front to create balance and to ensure even growth across your bed. He also advises grouping plants of similar shapes together for maximum effectiveness.
Once your beds have been planted, add stone or other edging to keep the beds separate from lawns and deter weeds. Leave enough room between plants so you can walk between them without bumping into anyone; bee-friendly plants such as lavender attract bees due to its sweet nectar!
No matter if it’s in a container, raised garden bed, or brand-new flowerbed – spend some time with your site assessing its sun/shade requirements. While it can be tempting to think that any garden spot receives full sunlight throughout the year – by actually monitoring where sunlight hits it throughout summer you can gain more accurate data and select flowers which thrive under those particular conditions.
Be mindful of plant heights as well. Aim for a mix of tall, middle, and short plants in your landscape design for maximum visual impact – don’t be afraid to add in some eye-catching elements (tulips and dahlias) as well as texture boosters like Begonias, Cleome or Astilbe for a splash of color or excitement!
Many perennials bloom for an established time period; to fill any gaps you can add annuals such as petunias, geraniums and pansies that bloom all summer long. Furthermore, bulbs planted both fall and spring provide all-season color.
Be sure to mulch your flower garden regularly during the summer to inhibit weed growth and retain moisture, water your new beds regularly to promote deep roots and healthy development. When selecting a hose with a fine spray pattern that won’t disturb fragile blooms or leaves.
As you select a location for your flower garden, keep sun exposure in mind. Ideally, it should receive full sunshine throughout the day without being shaded by trees or structures that might impede flower growth. Once you’ve selected your planting area, it’s time to select flowers for it. Include perennials (like peonies and lilacs ), as well as easy-care annual flowers such as impatiens marigolds zinnias for summer color. When choosing colors to combine in your garden, turn to the color wheel for help. Shades of similar hues work well together as do colors opposite one another on the wheel (yellow and purple for instance). Also pay attention to textures: plants with distinct textures create visually striking gardens even once their blooms have withered away.