Right Flowers For Your Garden

There are few home projects that compare to the benefits gardening provides. Not only does it create a natural beauty in your yard, but it’s also a great hobby, exercise and creative outlet. Though some are concerned about upkeep, you can burn between 300 and 400 calories for every hour spent moderately gardening, making it a worthwhile investment for your home and your body.

One of the biggest errors beginners make is choosing the wrong plant. This can leave homeowners discouraged and yards neglected. We’re here to make this easier with a few tips on how you can choose the right flowers and plants for your beautiful garden.

Annuals

From growth to bloom, annuals live for just one season. Annuals are beneficial to any garden and any person who likes to get creative from year to year. These types of plants are typically cheaper than their perennial counterparts and will bloom all season long, so you have ample time to admire them. Some annuals are self-seeding, so you may end up with a few of the same flowers the following year. This is an important detail to remember if you intend on planting new annual flowers every year.

Here are some beautiful annuals to add color to your flower bed.

  • Begonia
  • Cosmos
  • Geranium
  • Helenium
  • Marigold
  • Milkweed
  • Petunia
  • Snapdragon
  • Strawflower
  • Sunflower
  • Zinnia

Biennials

Similarly, biennial flowers follow the same cycle but last for two years. The first year, the plant grows and stems, but will not bloom. In the second year, the flower will bloom for the season, then die. Many biennials are self-seeding, but this depends on the flower. Blooming and growth typically depend on the climate as well. Climates with drastically changing seasons can treat biennials as annuals, as extremes can shorten the lifecycle.

Generally, it will take two years to see the flower in bloom. Biennials tend to be less common than other flower types in household gardens. However, your patience is worth it, as biennial flowers are stunning. Here are a few to consider planting.

  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • California Poppy
  • Canterbury Bells
  • Foxglove
  • Poppy
  • Stock
  • Sweet William
  • Wallflower

 

Perennials

For homeowners, perennials are particularly useful as they grow year after year. They have an expected lifespan of at least three years, but can stay alive for longer depending on care and weather conditions. Some perennials can be green ground covering plants, which is great to disperse between flowers for variations. Though they might last long in your garden, they tend to be a bit more expensive and do not bloom as long. Though, the upfront cost is offset by not having to replant your flowers every spring and should be considered in your landscaping budget.

Perennials are a great and colorful investment to your yard. They add variation and splendor to the garden year after year. Here are a few to consider adding.

  • Alstroemeria
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Coneflower
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Hibiscus
  • Hydrangea
  • Iris
  • Lavender
  • Tulips
  • Speedwell

Garden Factors to Consider

Now that you know the different lifespans of flowers you can plant, you must make sure the conditions are right for them to grow properly. A great garden has a mix of types and seasonalities, like planting annual and perennials. Flowers, like most plants, need specific conditions and factors to thrive depending on species. If you’re uncertain about what flowers will work best in your garden, contact a pro.

Sunlight

Any plant needs some amount of sunlight to grow. It’s important to be aware of how much sunlight your flowers need. There are five common sunlight classifications for flowers.

  1. Full-Shade: No direct sunlight here. This space will likely be on the north side of your home, under dense trees or shadowed by a neighbor’s home.
  2. Partial-Shade: Sunlight will reach the area for part of the day, either in the morning or afternoon.
  3. Light-Shade: Sunlight reaches the ground after passing through leaves of trees and bushes.
  4. Partial-Sun: Similar to partial-shade, however, these plants in this category can handle the midday sun.
  5. Full-Sun: These plants can withstand the midday sun and need at least seven hours of sunlight to thrive.

Many times, homeowners will write off a low sun area in their yard just because they don’t understand that there are some flowers that grow in shade. In fact, flowers such as forget-me-nots, coral bells, impatiens and primroses are beautiful choices that do well in shady spots. These plants will either stop growing or die in the midday summer sun. Always check the light requirements needed before planting.

When to Plant Flowers

Flowers can be very temperamental if planted in the wrong season. Depending on the climate you live in or how long it takes for the flower to grow and bloom, figuring out when to plant your garden can seem like a puzzle that is impossible to put together. Many flowers can’t survive moderate frosts, so be aware of your area’s predicted frost date to get an idea of when you can start planting.

If you have an idea on what flowers you’d like to plant, check this handy planting guide to end some of the frustration. If you’re in a warmer climate, you’ll want to start planting your garden around February, so the flowers will be blooming in early spring. Colder climates will need to wait a few months until about late April to expect blooms in mid-to-late summer.

If you’re excited to get planting, but live in a colder climate, you have the option of starting some seeds indoors and transfering outdoors when the warm weather arrives. You can create your own seed starter kit with materials you have at home like toilet paper and egg cartons, to make for easy outdoor transfers. When in doubt, check the packaging of the seeds or store bought starter plants.

Growing Size

This is an important step in the garden planning process. Not all flowers are small. Know what dimensions will work best in your garden plot. Then, research the dimensions of your intended flowers when they hit full maturity. If you want a mixed garden, know if the flower will continue to spread and plant as to not overtake the other plants. Some flowers, like sunflowers, grow very tall and could visually look disproportionate with your garden.

When to Water

A crucial element to any flower growth is water. In addition to sunlight, your garden will need water to be healthy. Water quantity requirements may vary by flower species and the amount of light it receives. Generally, you’ll want to pick a time to regularly water, either late in the evening or early in the morning. Keep all water distributed evenly, directed at the ground and not at the leaves of the plant, as this can create mold or burn marks from the midday sun. Choosing a quality soil to plant your flowers in will not only add nutrients to the flower, but likely will stay moist throughout the day.

Native Plants

Your garden is more than just a beautiful yard adornment; it’s an important part of your local ecology, and should be considered when planning a garden. When you’re planning the foliage you’d like to include in your flower bed, be sure include native plants. These plants have significant value to wildlife and are likely to thrive in your current climate. Plants that do well on the East Coast may easily die on the West Coast.

There are many benefits to the gardener as well. Native plants typically require lower maintenance and reduces the risk of invasive plants taking over your foliage. These plants also attract interesting wildlife such as butterflies and hummingbirds for you to enjoy.

Learn More About A Perfect Garden Path

Do you dream of a dreamy backyard? Are you looking for a clever way to access parts of your garden without stepping on any precious petals? If you haven’t considered it yet, a garden path may be right for you.

From mulch to stepping stones, there are many options when it comes to creating your perfect garden path. Even more, you have the opportunity to decorate with lawn ornaments and plants how you wish. A garden path is the perfect addition to any backyard. See a few garden path ideas to incorporate in your landscaping this year.

Ready to transform the look of your yard? Contact a landscaping pro today for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.

Garden Path Costs

A garden path is a fairly low maintenance investment that can have a big impact on the look and function of your yard. It can improve accessibility to parts of your garden you may not otherwise be able to reach. Garden path costs vary based on the material chosen and if you decide to DIY. The average cost to install a pathway is $2,884, with most homeowners spending between $1,952 and $3,122.

Garden Path Materials

The cost of your garden path largely depends on the material you choose and if you choose to install it yourself.  You may even decide to use multiple materials. While you might want the help of a pro to get your cement path just right, stepping stones might be an easy DIY project. Here are a few materials you can use for your garden path:

Stepping Stone Garden Paths

Of all the options, a stepping stone garden path is the easiest to DIY. For a whimsical look, lay flat stones down on the ground. It helps level your ground first so the stones are even.

Mulch Garden Paths

If you’re ready to create a permanent path in your garden and help keep weeds from sprouting up, mulch is your answer. This is also a garden path option that many homeowners choose to DIY. You may need to dig the path into the ground to properly lay your mulch flush with the grass. The minimum costs of mulch is $200 and the maximum cost of mulch is $2,000. These costs depend on how much mulch needed and the type of mulch used.

Brick Garden Paths

A brick walkway will instantly transform the look of your garden path. A brick path is a look that will never go out of style and for good reason. Brick paths have a long lifespan and are very durable. But, this is not something you’ll want to DIY.  The cost of a brick walkway is between $8 and $18/sf.

Cement Garden Path

Similarly to the brick path, a cement path is a great, durable choice for your garden path. Cement paths can be styled to your taste and space you have available. We recommend to contact a pro who can help lay your cement garden path. The average cost of a cement path is between $6 and $12/sf.

 

Garden Path Maintenance

Once your garden path is in place, there is some upkeep you need to do to keep it looking its best. First, know how to properly care for whatever material you’ve chosen to use. Mulch should be refreshed at least once a season, while brick may not need as much care for the first few years.

If you want a clean look for your garden path, consider a way to separate it from the rest of the yard by using other materials. Others, may want to include decorative plants along their path. Ornamental grasses are a great option and will come back year after year. Some homeowners choose to install lawn edging, which is simple to do on your own and keeps the grass off your path. Lawn edging is another technique to help create a clean and defined garden path. The average cost of lawn edging is between $2 and $400 depending on how much area you need to cover.

Garden Path Lights

If you’ll be using your garden path to move around your backyard, you might want to consider including lights to help see as it gets darker outside. Garden path lights are not just a safety feature, but they also enhance the look of your path. Solar lighting is a popular choice for path lights, as it takes no wiring to set up. Often, these will be affixed to stakes to simply stick in the ground, coming in a variety of styles. Lantern garden path lights are popular now and will add to the décor of your garden path. Stainless steel lights are another popular option to give your garden path a modern look.

Garden Path Lawn Ornaments

To really make a garden path stand out, you can add lawn ornaments around the path. I love the look of gazing globes in various spots near a path. There are also decorative garden path stakes you can include, that will look great and are sure to stay in place.

All About A Rooftop Garden

Living in an urban environment is not the same as living in a house and having a garden yard. While it is true that the urban environment doesn’t quite present the same possibilities, there is one option you can consider and that is designing your very own rooftop garden.

All you need is a roof that can support gardening conditions and the environment and you are good to go. It doesn’t take much to get the project going. In fact, it’s a relatively easy endeavor, which mostly requires motivation and a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Following some basic tips from Handy Gardeners Ltd. on how to get started and easily create your very own green retreat in the middle of the city.

Here is what areas of your rooftop garden you have to work on:

 

Floor

A garden space is not all about the plants and greenery you have there; it is also about having the right flooring to add accent or to simply look good. Concrete pavers are most commonly found on condos, but those contribute to a cold and impersonal look. The way to go, if such is the case with your building, is to install decking over existing pavers. Wood makes an excellent choice, but there are also other recycled decking materials on the market that offer colorful patterns and finishes.

Soil

One of the most important components for roof gardening is soil. Do not go after your usual triple mix, as that will not work. The mixture is easily compacted and because the soil is on the roof, there will be less chance for aeration. What you can do is get some container mix and slow release fertilizer. Add some Vermiculite or Perlite and you have yourself a fantastic soil mixture.

Containers & Pots

While Terra Cotta is certainly the most common option in any gardening attempt, you should opt for something different. The problem with this material is that the pots and containers dry out very fast when there is no shade, which is generally the case with rooftops. The best option is to have insulated, custom-made planters.

 

Drainage

Water needs to drain out of your containers in some way. For this reason, you must not forget to leave some space open at the bottom of the pots for air to move.

Plants

Effective gardening requires careful selection of plants. If you are after perennials, you are on a good track, but you must ensure that you have deep enough pots to support new growth and that the plants are insulated from the elements. Flowers of all kinds look really beautiful and make an excellent addition to any rooftop garden. Remember that you should add foliage, as it requires little maintenance