To plant a small plot, the most natural place first is a border, say two feet wide, on either side of the walk leading from the house to the street. First, dig out the borders. If you wish to see them continually abloom, bulbs must be planted, to give the early spring flowers. Tulips, Narcissus Poeticus, and Yellow Daffodils are an inexpensive start. Hyacinths are more expensive, but worth it. If a hundred each of the Tulips, Narcissi, Hyacinths and Daffodils were planted they would make the borders lovely from early in April until late in May. The Daffodils will bloom first, then the Hyacinths, followed by the Narcissi, and the Tulips last, if care is taken to buy a late variety.
There should certainly be three or four Peonies in the borders,—pink, white, and dark red.. Once planted, they should not be disturbed for years; and, although the first season they may not yield more than two or three blossoms, in each succeeding year the flowers will increase in number.
There should also be at least a dozen Columbines (Aquilegias) to bloom the end of May and the first of June.
No border can be complete without Delphiniums (Larkspur), Formosum Cœlistina, the light blue variety, and Phlox, at least a dozen plants in the different colors.
A few Lilies will add greatly to the beauty of the borders. Tiger Lilies, Auratums, Speciosum rubrum,Candidums, or Madonna Lilies, are a good choice. Japanese Iris should also have a place.
A dozen Chrysanthemums of the hardiest varieties with the other plants mentioned, will fill borders two feet wide by thirty long. It would also be well to sow the seeds of some Calendulas, Nasturtiums and Asters wherever there may be a vacant place.
Watering tips for your best garden this year
Proper watering can mean the difference between perfect looking plants and wilted or dying plants. It's a judgment call that depends on the type of plant, the soil, the weather, the time of year and many other variables. You just need to check the soil. Different watering methods use more or less water and deliver water to different places on or around the plant. Always look up the water requirements for specific plants. Plants that are native to desert areas generally require much less water than plants native to wet climates. Because many gardens have plants with different water requirements, you sometimes have to use more than one method of watering. The first year it is vital to establish a strong root system.
The Best Way to Water
Most plants depend on even moisture. However, slight drying out before watering promotes root growth of the plants.
Watering is of no value if the water runs down the outside of the root ball, leaving the roots at the core of the plant dry. This can happen if you water too quickly or apply too much water at once. Slower watering is usually more effective. The key is to ensure that water gets to the root zone — whether you are tending seedlings, watering houseplants, watering a row of tomatoes or soaking thirsty shrubs and trees.
Eight Tips For Watering Your Garden
Water alone will only sustain a plant for a limited time. Plants need nutrients to remain healthy, resist disease and insects, and to thrive and grow. After your initial feeding of transplant fertilizer, feed with a slow release fertilizer twice a year; usually in the spring and late summer. Eliminate weeds that compete for water, nutrients and light, and attract insects and disease. Replenish mulch as it decomposes.
We want beautiful gardens all year long, from early spring up until the first frost. How do we do that? There is a science behind it all.
Gardening can be considered both as an art, concerned with arranging plants harmoniously in their surroundings, and as a science, encompassing the principles and techniques of plant cultivation. Because plants are often grown in conditions very different from those of their natural environment, it is necessary to apply cultivation techniques stemming from plant physiology, chemistry, and botany, that are modified and applied by the experience of the planter.
The gardener attends to a number of basic processes: combating weeds and pests; using space for enough growth between plants; feeding, watering, and pruning; and conditioning the soil. The gardener also assesses and accommodates the temperature, wind, rainfall, sunlight, and shade found within the garden boundaries. A major part of the fascination of gardening is that in problems and potential, no one garden is quite like another.
The gardener needs to assess by watching to see when the garden gets sunlight (morning, noon or late afternoon) and how long the sun lasts over the specific plot of land chosen for the garden. This will help determine which plants will thrive the best.
The soil needs to be tested to see if it is too acidic. The proper nutrients need to be added, so each plant grows to it's full potential.
Designing a year-round garden includes choosing appropriate plants for your region. Depending on where you live, you can use any combination of perennials, annuals and container plantings for these all-season flower gardens. Foliage is a must to fill in and create interest. It is best to choose at least two types of plants that will flower together during each season.
If you would like to enjoy year-round color in your flower beds, you have to go to the garden center in spring with one concept foremost in your mind: continuous sequence of bloom. Simply picking out plants that bear great-looking flowers in late spring will not get the job done. They look wonderful at the time, but you must think ahead to when they will not be in bloom.
There needs to be plants that flower both before and after each other, to keep the interest and color flowing. Foliage plants help here, too, as mentioned above. You also must add some evergreens to your landscaping to have visual interest in your yard 365 days a year.
Planting trees and shrubs, especially flowering ones are a great idea to achieve year round cover. They offer interest through their form and foliage as well as through their flowers. Any gardener seeking great color needs perennial flowers, shrubs, grasses and annual flowers.
Owner of PS Garden Whisperers.