Building your own flower garden from seed can be immensely satisfying and fulfilling, especially given today’s vast array of seeds available in catalogs.
Before planting, however, it is necessary to properly prepare the soil. Flowers generally prefer loamy and well-draining soil that has been amended specifically to their needs.
Plan Your Garden
No matter if you are planting from seeds or already established plants, the first step in creating a flower garden is preparing the soil. Dig a hole at least one spade’s depth and till up the dirt until all grass or weeds have been eliminated from it – this will prepare it for topsoil which is essential in getting flowers off to an amazing start.
Cowan suggests taking a site inventory, noting details about sunlight, shade, wind conditions and availability of watering to understand which flower varieties will thrive best in that environment. Once completed, this allows you to choose among an extensive variety of blooms when selecting plants for planting.
Planning blooming times should also be kept in mind, since some flowers bloom more quickly than others. To create a lush look in your garden, select focal flowers like roses that attract bees, butterflies and pollinators while incorporating filler flowers such as petunias and geraniums for continuous color.
Choose Your Plants
Flowers should thrive in your climate and match up well with their environment, whether that means annual bloomers that return each summer, or perennials which continue to provide color through fall. When selecting flowers to plant, think about their bloom time as well as whether you need annuals which come back again each summer versus perennial flowers which provide seasonal color year after year.
When selecting colors to include in your garden design, use the color wheel as a guideline to find harmonious combinations. Flowers that sit next to each other on the wheel (such as pinks and purples) tend to complement one another beautifully. Also remember to incorporate plants with foliage for texture as this will fill in gaps when the flowers wilt away.
Once you have selected your flower varieties, carefully inspect each to make sure they’re free from holes, slugs and any signs of damage or disease. Inspect their roots; if they’re root bound or circle the bottom of their pot they won’t have enough oxygen once planted!
Prepare the Soil
Whether starting with seeds or plants, the first step in flower gardening should always be soil preparation. A flower garden thrives best in well-draining, loose and nutrient-rich conditions – which can be improved by turning over your garden bed to loosen the soil, as well as adding organic matter such as compost or manure to improve drainage and add organic matter for extra nutrients.
Most flowers prefer loamy soil, although this preference will depend on what kind of flower you are planting. Peonies and lilyturfs require very rich soil; while tulips and dahlias require acidic environments.
Annuals can quickly establish themselves and bring an abundance of blooming color within one season, but require more frequent watering and fertilization than perennials. When included as part of a flower garden design, annuals help maintain its overall look by repeating flowers such as petunias, geraniums or pansies to provide rhythm. Many gardeners choose sunflowers as perennial repeating patterns to bring drama as well as height into their beds.
Plant Your Flowers
Once you have prepared the soil, it’s time to plant flowers! Before doing so, however, it is essential that you be aware of your planting zone and frost dates in order to select plants which thrive in your yard.
Drawing up a sketch of your garden space can also help with planning its layout. A visual aid allows you to quickly determine how much sunlight each area receives, as well as ensure all your chosen plants are placed appropriately in each section.
Consider selecting both perennials and annuals to provide season-long color. Also don’t forget bee-friendly plants; seeing bees linger over your blooms is one of the most gratifying aspects of gardening!
Once your flower garden is established, be sure to water and fertilize according to each flower’s needs. Also remember to prune away deadheading foliage to promote new growth – then sit back and admire your work! Don’t forget to sit back and appreciate what nature has provided – take time out just for yourself and appreciate what your garden offers.