Flower Gardening

June 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Gardening Information, Gardening Tips

Flower gardens are becoming more popular every year.  The colors and variaties, not to mention the scents make for a wonderful and relaxing hobby.  Flower gardening is simple, inexpensive, and loads of fun.
There are some decisions that have to be made before even flower gardening can be started.  You must decide if you want annuals that live for one season and must be replanted every year, or perennials that survive the winter and return again in the summer. You might love certain Annuals and decide that they are worth the work and money to buy every year while still planting perennials that you won’t have to do much with the following spring, this is a great way to add variety to your flower garden.  When buying and planting, pay attention to what kind of flowers that will thrive in your climate as well as the sun requirements.
When flower gardening, you must decide what type of look you want before planting.  For instance, mixing different heights, colors, and varieties of flowers together in a “wild-plant style” will give your garden a meadow look and can be very charming.  If short flowers are planted in the front of your garden and work up to the tallest flowers in the back you will have a “stepping stone style”.
You can order seeds for flower gardening from catalogs or buy them from a nursery.  Most people will go to the nursery and buy actual flowers and then transplant them.  After you have prepared your garden area and bought flowers, it is a good idea to lay the flowers out in the bed to make sure you like the arrangement and that they will be spaced properly.
One of the easiest processes in flower gardening is the planting if you have seeds just sprinkle them around in the flower bed.  For planting transplants dig a hole just bigger than the flower, pull the container off, and set the flower in the hole right side up.  Cover it with the loose soil and press down firmly, then water.

Maintaining a flower garden is even easier than planting one.  Although they might make it on their own, a bag of fertilizer applied in the early spring is a good idea.  Pinch back any blooms after they start to fade and keep them good and watered.  To save yourself work during the next season of flower gardening, rid your garden of all debris and spread out organic nutrients like peat moss or compost.  Don’t forget to turn over the soil to properly mix in the fertilizer and rake smooth when finished.  If you have perennials planted be careful not to disturb their roots in this process.

Flowers are a great way to spruce up a plain area around your house, give you wonderful and relaxing hobby, and even allow you to have fresh flowers in your home each week! With a little work and planning you can have a gorgeous yard that most would be envious of!

Which Plants are Best for Your Garden?

June 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Gardening Information, Gardening Tips

Before buying plants carefully examine your garden to see how much sun and shade it gets, whether the soil is well drained or water logged and whether your land is sheltered or windswept. Once you have done this you’ll be better able to find 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.

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, are you going to plant in groups or singly? If you buy ‘one of everything’ your garden may seem rather sparse, grouping plantings are organised, harmonious and you can vary the color for interest.

Before planting place your plants around the garden 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 in 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.

Growing a Butterfly Garden

June 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Gardening Tips

Butterfly gardens are not only beautiful from a flower standpoint, but the fact that they attract butterflies is a major bonus! Delight your family and visitors with beautiful butterflies, but be sure to create a safe habitat for them. If you own cats you might want to rethink your plans, because it would be a shame to attract these lovely insects to their death.

How you design your butterfly garden is a matter of personal preference. Typical points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow. Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but ensure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract.

You can actually find ready made seeds for planting a butterfly garden, but if you prefer to pick and choose yourself, there are a few things you will want to consider. What types of butterflies live in your area. This information can be found at the local library, you’ll also want to create the kind of environment that they find attractive, you will also need water of some kind. A birdbath will look attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from stray cats or mischievous puppies. A shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree will do just as well.

Butterflies are attracted to those flowers that have nectar rather than pollen, like honeysuckle, milkweed, summer lilac, Valerian, daisies, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Sage, day lilies and lavender.

Planning a color a layout for your butterfly garden is the best way to see what the finished product would look like. Keep in mind that warm colors like red and orange are flashy and showy. These colors have a greater impact against a strong green background. Cool colors such as blue and purple are soothing and toned down and would work better with a white contrast to create the look of freshness and brightness.