Creating your garden can be one of the most rewarding and beautiful things to accomplish in your life. Whilst it is tempting to just jump right in, the pressure and sheer size of flower gardening can be overwhelming to those who’ve just started. There are a million and one species of flowers, with each more unique than the last –– so it comes as no surprise that many people aren’t sure where to start.
We recommend starting small in your first year and be open to making mistakes. Gardening is always a work in progress, hence there’s no need to fear making adjustments or digging up what doesn’t work along the way. With time, you’re bound to discover your garden style and certain plants that make you happy. Take joy in the discovery of the unknown –– that’s what makes gardening so special. For more tips and tricks to starting your flower garden, read on more to find out!
Getting Your Foundations Right
The first step to creating a successful garden is to acquaint yourself with the area you want to plant. Make sure to choose an area with ample sun exposure, as flowers thrive best in partial to full sunlight. We recommend selecting a site that’s situated away from other activities or clutter though –– there’s nothing worse than trampled flowers caused by your children’s playtime!
Another good tip is to start your garden off with a smaller plot of land than you’d like. Taking on a larger area may sound appealing, but it can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t know where to begin. If you live in an inconvenient area (eg. a condo or an apartment) where breaking ground is not possible, try purchasing a container garden instead.
Firming Up Your Soil
Once you’ve chosen a location, it’s time to ensure that you have good, nutritious soil in place –– after all, it’s going to be the primary foundation for everything you want to grow in your garden. We recommend beginning by collecting samples to conduct a soil test in that area. Mark out different spots around your garden and start by digging a one-foot-deep hole in each area. Take a few teaspoons of soil per site, and store them in a quart-sized jar. Repeat this throughout your garden, and stop once the jar is full.
After your sample is ready, get it tested by labs to determine your soil’s nutrition. Depending on your results –– such as whether the soil leans towards being acidic or alkaline –– you’re able to adjust and improve the soil mixture by adding certain products and chemicals.
Besides being edible, these bright marigolds grow in a single row such that they are compact, tidy and full-looking. You can expect fast growth, with flowers that last from spring to the winter periods.
If you are a fan of butterflies, be sure to consider getting this butterfly magnet. The May Night Salvia is a perennial flower that comes back every year. With violet-blue flower spikes, it will brighten any garden!
With a mix of 16 popular perennial flower varieties and colors, simply scatter these seeds in your garden. Some of the seeds included are the White Yarrow, Columbine, and New England Aster.
Choosing Your Flowers
It’s finally time to pick out the best part: choosing the type of flowers to decorate your garden with. However, with so many flowers at your disposal, which ones are best suited for your garden?
Annuals are flowers that complete their entire life cycle (seeds, growth, flowering, and death) in a single growing season. Unlike biennial and perennial flowers, annual flowers will not regrow the following spring, which makes them an inexpensive way to continuously experiment with color in your garden. Popular annual blooms include Petunias, Marigolds, Pansies, and Impatiens, which are famously sought after for the brilliant and vibrant colors they bring to the landscape.
On the contrary, some annuals are self-sowing, which means that they don’t need to be replaced or replanted each year. These are plants that drop seeds into the garden before dying and will self-germinate the following year. They return year after year not from roots, but seeds. Cultivating self-sowing annuals is a great way to reduce your garden’s carbon footprint, and increase sustainability by allowing natural selection to toughen up your plants over time. Some common ones include Purple-top Vervain, Mexican Poppies, Pot Marigold, and Button Flowers.
If you’ve ever wondered how certain flowers show up in the same spot every blooming season, welcome to the wonder that is perennial flowers. Just like its namesake, perennial plants generally live for more than two years, and some can even last up to 20 years! Unlike annuals, perennial plants require minimal maintenance after their initial planting; this makes them the ideal choice for anyone who’s looking for long-lasting color in their garden.
However, do take note that certain perennials aren’t able to handle cold weather well –– the cold climate may cause them to lose their attractiveness and can become more susceptible to pests and diseases. In such cases, cutting back on certain perennials can protect them from the cold and encourage healthy growth once spring arrives. These include the Bearded Iris, Bee Balm, Blackberry Lily, and Blanket Flower.
In between annuals and perennials is the category known as biennials, which are plants that take approximately two growing seasons to complete their life cycle. You may not notice it, but the majority of flowers grown in nurseries are usually biennial –– most do not flower in their first year, but fully mature in their second year.
One way to encourage your biennials to flower in the first year is to start your seeds in the summer (instead of during springtime), and place the plants outside during fall. That way, your plants will go through winter and be ready for blooming once they’ve set foot in the garden. Some of the most sought-after biennial flowers include the Black-eyed Susan, California Poppies, Canterbury Bells, and Forget-me-nots.
This book is all you need to learn how to create an abundant, healthy garden from the get-go. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, you’re welcome to embark on this journey.
Made with no GMOs, this has a low salt formula that will give your gardening and composting system a nutritional boost. It is 100% organically sourced and ideal for all flowers and vegetables.
This may come as a surprise, but roses aren’t any more difficult than regular flowering shrubs! The key to growing successful roses is to plant them in a place with lots of sunshine and good drainage and provide them with regular water and fertilizer. We recommend keeping an eye out for diseases such as powdery mildew or black spot and remember to prune your roses in early spring. Knowing when and how to prune your roses will keep them happy and healthy, which will reward you with vibrant, flourishing blooms.
Choosing Ornamental Grasses
Placing grass in a garden may seem silly, but with proper planning, ornamental grasses can add texture, vibrance, and personality to your garden. Unique, striking, and graceful, these grasses can range in variety from slender and upright to short and mounded. For the most part, ornamental grasses are disease, drought-tolerant and pest-free, which make them easy to care for.
These are extremely versatile when it comes to garden planning. Our favorite method is to use them to anchor a landscape alongside trees or evergreens, which can help to soften hardscaping and create a cohesive appearance. Alternatively, they can also be used as an accent against your backdrop, providing an eye-catching splash of texture, personality, and vibrancy. You can choose to either plant them singularly for a more striking take or plant them in masses for a more graceful look.
Choosing Flowering Tree and Shrubs
A garden isn’t fully complete without trees, shrubs, and vines –– these are what give your garden a solid architecture and substance. Regardless of size, incorporating the right flowering trees and shrubs can add long-term color and fragrance to your landscape. Furthermore, you’re able to attract and retain birds and butterflies with the right shrub selection (such as dogwood and hydrangea), which will naturally improve your garden’s pollination and seed selection.
One of our favorite flowering trees is the Eastern Redbud, whose deep violet buds attract a myriad of butterflies in the springtime. As time passes, these buds bloom to reveal cherry-pink flowers coupled with heart-shaped leaves, which turn a beautiful shade of yellow in autumn.
Another popular choice is the Southern Magnolia tree, known for its iconic cashmere-colored and beautifully scented spring flowers. These flowers come with shiny, large evergreen leaves that bear pine cone-like fruit in autumn. We recommend planting these in a yard, as it is prone to shedding and can mess up walkways or pools. If you don’t have enough ample space, you can opt to purchase the dwarf variations that can grow them in containers.
Gardening is one of the most entertaining, rewarding, and satisfying hobbies to get into. With all that 2021’s thrown at us, gardening may just be the one thing that can alleviate the stress and anxiety that we’ve been facing. Furthermore, regular gardening can help stretch and strengthen major muscle groups, which can help to decrease the likelihood of osteoporosis and high blood pressure later on in life. Due to its low intensity, gardening is ideal for those who are older, have disabilities, or suffer from chronic pain.
Nothing beats the sense of accomplishment when looking at your very own successful garden. The feeling of awe and curiosity we have when a seedling sprouts, the moments of abundance gazing upon beautiful flowers, and reveling in satisfaction when sitting under a massive shade tree can never be replaced. Even keeping houseplants or container gardens can be massively therapeutic in itself. Remember: anyone can be a gardener, even if you don’t have enough yard space!
|1||Favorite Blend French Marigold Seeds|
Besides being edible, these fast-growing, bright marigolds grow in a single row such that they are compact, tidy and full-looking.
|2||May Night Salvia|
The May Night Salvia is a perennial flower that comes back every year. With violet-blue flower spikes, it will brighten any garden!
|3||Wildflowers Perennial Scatter Garden Seed Mix|
With a mix of 16 popular perennial flower varieties and colors like the White Yarrow, simply scatter these seeds in your garden.
|4||The Ecological Gardener|
This book is all you need to learn how to create an abundant garden. Beginner or experienced, this will definitely be an adventure!
|5||Dr. Earth 706P Organic All Purpose Plant Food|
Made with no GMOs, this has a low salt, 100% organic formula that will give your gardening and composting system a nutritional boost.