One of my favorite things about this time of year is the opportunity to garden! Planting flowers gets me in the mood for spring, it is relaxing, and I like to add color to my yard and landscaping. I would love to have a vegetable garden, but don’t have the time or the space for a traditional one. Check out my post on container vegetable gardening (link to post) to see my plans for trying my hand at growing vegetables this summer.
If you are like me and have limited time and space, or if you are new to gardening, flowers are one of the easiest things to start with! They are very versatile as you can plant them in containers or in the ground, and most require just the right amount of care to enjoy gardening and not make it a chore. I like to plant bright flowers around our tree in the front yard. I try to make them compliment the color of our house. My inspiration comes from my vision and intuition – I have a design background so I like to be creative and compliment colors. Not sure what to plant? Look online and in magazines for ideas, and ask an associate at the gardening store for help. They can tell you what plants will do best in your climate and soil. Some things to consider when planting flowers:
– Location. Will the plants be in the ground or in containers? This is important because the type of soil can affect how your plants grow. Your best bet is to get advice from your local gardening store. You can use additives if you plan to plant in the ground, or one of many bagged potting soils for containers. Learn more about the soil in your area – including what grows best – by using this cool interactive online exhibit from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
– Light. Is it sunny or shady where you plan to plant? Or both? Most plants have information on their tags as to the amount of light they need each day. Be sure to observe the area you plan to plant in prior to choosing your flowers.
– Maintenance. All flowers need some maintenance – even if it is just watering. Have an idea of exactly what (pruning, watering, feeding) and how much time is needed to make your plantings look their best.
In addition to flowers, I have also planted colorful trees, bushes, and plants in the front yard and around our patio. I like to have splashes of color rather than just all green. Another note – I buy all my plants from Home Depot or Lowe’s. Their prices are reasonable and I like their return policy in case the plants don’t make it through the first winter.
What will you garden this summer?