Flower garden

For your flower garden to do best, it helps to understand a few basics about how to plant flowers that grow healthy blooms and foliage.

“Flowers are the music of the ground

From earth’s lips spoken without sound”

-Edwin Curran

 

Flowers are nature’s own way of showing happiness. For many, flowers are the definition of a garden. Adding them to your home or garden makes your favourite locations colourful and blissful.

Preparing the soil:

Whether planting perennials or annuals, preparing the soil in advance will help your plants flourish. Flowers need good soil in order to grow up strong and healthy. Regardless of whether you are planting your flowers in a pot or a garden, good soil is a must.

Flower garden

Good soil is a must for a flowering plant

Avoid soil that is heavy with clay, sand and rocks. Flowers need at least six inches of loose soil to start out growing in, so loosen up a top layer at least this deep. Most flowering plants grow best in pH range 6.0-7.5. If your soil has a high pH level, add in ground sulfur to neutralize it. Low pH levels can be corrected by adding in ground limestone.

Mix organic matter to add nutrients to your soil. Decomposing leaves and plant matter mixed with your soil will help your plants to grow healthier and faster. Do this for a few weeks before you plant your flowers so that the nutrients have time to thoroughly mix with the soil.

Selecting a location:

Although flowers are typically easy to grow, they can’t be grown just anywhere. If you have a specific plant in mind to grow, check the light preferences for that plant and choose your plot accordingly.

Flower garden

Selecting a sunny location for a flower bed

Flowering plants take up a lot of energy and all the energy comes from the sun. So, most flowering plants need at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day all through the growing season. The less sunlight you have, the fewer blooms you will get; in too much shade, flowering plants may produce leaves but no blooms. Some species of annuals and perennials can bloom in less than eight hours a day of sunlight, but you’ll have to seek them out. When buying plants, read labels and seed packet descriptions carefully. And if you plan on planting several different types of flowers, choose ones with similar light/shade requirements so that they grow equally well in the same location.

Deciding on flowers:

Choose flowers that you enjoy and that you think will add a beautiful appearance to your garden. But don’t fall for a flower on looks alone. First figure out what kind of site you have, how much sun, what kind of soil, how close to the hose, how much work you are willing to put in and then look for a plant that fits.

Flower garden

Hummingbird after the nectar of Fuchsia flower

There are two basic kinds of flowering plants: Annuals and Perennials.

Annuals go through their whole life cycle in one growing season: sprouting from a seed, growing leaves and roots, producing flowers, creating seeds and then dying. They are popular with gardeners because with reasonable care they bloom in all seasons.

Perennials are plants whose root systems stay alive underground for several years or even decades. The part above the soil may go dormant and die back in winter, but the plant is still alive and will sprout again in spring. The trade-off for perennials’ long life is that they bloom for only a few weeks or months each year. Exactly when and how long varies between species.

Both have their uses in the flower garden. Annuals are great for places where you want a lot of flowers and colour variety but they generally need more watering, fertilizing and other care than perennials and planting them every year can be a chore. On the other hand, perennials provide steady structure and form to a garden. Few are truly plant-it-and-forget-it, but they do tend to need less care than annuals.

Annual flowers: Marigold, Vinca, Daisy, Petunia, Sunflower

Perennial flowers: Bleeding Heart, Water Lily, Rose, Gerberas, Geraniums

Planting:

Flowers don’t do well in extreme weather – too cold or very hot. So plant them in spring and fall season depending on their blooming time. While spring is the most popular time to plant, perennials often do fine if planted in fall as well. You can also plant them in summers if the days are not especially hot.

Planting flower garden

Planting flower garden

Dig a hole about 2–3 inches deep to sow the seeds. If you are transplanting a potted plant then you will need a hole as deep as the plant’s root ball. Before planting a transplant, gently break up the root ball with your fingers. This will help the roots of the flowers to grow out into the soil, rather than back into a confined lump. Finally, add some plant nutrient into the soil and place your plant into the individual holes prepared for them.

Looking after the flowers:

  • Water the plants regularly
  • Pull out the unwanted weeds growing near your plant
  • Whenever blooms on your flowers die off or become old and wilted, cut them off. This will stimulate new growth.
  • If your flowers are tall growing, over time they may become too heavy to stand on their own. Support them with bamboo sticks.

 

Watering flower garden

Watering flower garden

 

Happy Gardening

 

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