Winter Flowering

Following is a list of winter flowering garden plants that can bring your dreary garden back to life, creating an optimistic landscape, a winter bright spot with an endless array of colour. Let’s start with the world’s number one flowering winter garden plant, the pansy.

Pansies: The world’s foremost favourite flowering annual, the pansy has an enormous array of colours and colour combinations. Pansies grow and flower readily in cooler conditions and with correct positioning can flower all year round. A must have annual in any garden anytime, especially through drab winters.

Kale: Renowned for its ornamental foliage, kale is actually a variety of cabbage. With stunning colour displays in pink, brown and purple, the colours deepen and change as the temperature drops.

Viola: Similar to pansies but with smaller flowers, these fragrant little beauties flower abundantly throughout early autumn to late spring. Their masses of flowers in endless colours are a wonderful sight in any garden.

Primula: These slender plants usually grow on a long stem surrounded with either small pink, white, or mauve flowers. Easy to grow and able to withstand climatic fluctuations, primula add a touch of elegance and a cottage garden feel to any array of winter flowering garden beds.

Polyanthus: Low growing and compact, the polyanthus has small but striking groups of flowers which grow from the center of a leafy plant. Polyanthus enjoy cooler conditions, enduring cold days even better than the loyal pansy. They are available in many colours.

Cineraria: A stunning, compact mass of flower and foliage. The cineraria is a shade loving winter annual which proudly displays flowers from winter to late spring. Available in many colours.

Begonias: Another quick growing and winter loving plant is the Gypsy begonia. Small and compact, this shade loving plant can actually grow and flower anytime of the year. vailable in both green and brown foliage with pink, red or white flowers, the begonia requires little water and little care.

While many more flowering annuals are available to bring winter colour to an otherwise dreary garden, the above list is simply 7 of the most popular varieties and easily the most attractive. Preparing and planting up your winter flowering garden plants can begin as soon as summer is nearing its end.

Post Blossom Tulip Care

When the tulip petals fall from the flower, a seed pod is left on the stem. The tulip plant will continue to feed the seed pod by extracting nutrients from the soil. Since the flower won’t bloom again, the seed pod robs the tulip bulb of the energy it needs to regenerate. When the pod is removed, the plant draws energy from the environment and stores it in the tulip bulb. So, if you remove the seed pod, you give the tulip bulb the chance to renew itself.

Deadheading a tulip flower is easy to do. Simply take a pair of garden shears and snip off the seed pod about one inch below the seed pod on the tulip plant. Once you have removed the flower from the plant, leave the rest of the vegetation alone. Allow the plant dry up and turn brown naturally. Don’t even water the plant. After the leaves turn yellow or brown, prune the vegetation down to the dirt.

If you keep the tulip bulbs underground, they will remain dormant until the fall months. In July, you can dig up the bulbs, shave their roots, and allow them to dry. Place the bulbs in a plastic bag and freeze them until fall planting season. Allow the tulip bulbs to warm up to room temperature and then replant them.

Despite the best care, tulip bulbs do not always grow back again the following year. Many bulbs will re-flower for one-to-two years. However, the tulips will be smaller and have less vibrant colors. Make sure to replenish your garden. Purchase and plant more bulbs in the fall, at a density of five bulbs for every square foot of garden space.

Get the best prices on tulip bulbs by pre-ordering them in late spring and summer when nurseries offer a sale on bulbs. If you want a specific tulip species, you will receive a better chance of getting it, if you pre-order. Many on-line garden centers guarantee your order and hold your shipment until the planting season in September. If you wait to order your bulbs in the fall months, you may pay more and the flowers you want may not be available.

Wild Flower Garden

I was new to this and thought that this particular section of my yard would require little work. After all, if these flowers grow wild without any human help then I had found the ultimate “no maintenance” garden…right. Wrong. As I researched, I learned that I had to design my wild flower garden to take account of soil type, light and moisture.

However, I also found that if you are prepared to learn from nature, it becomes a delightful journey with guaranteed success, after all, mother nature has been growing flowers and trees since time began.

If you are considering a natural wild flower garden, remember for success you need to work with your local environment and choose plants that will thrive in those conditions. Again, learn from nature, check out local forests, meadows and parks. What kind of wild flowers grow there and just as important, exactly where are they growing, under trees, out in full sun, between rocks or at the edge of a pond.

Your garden can be anything you want, a full wild flower garden or a garden within your existing garden, it can have a simple mulch path with a small bench for sitting, or elaborate brick walks and walls, water feature and lighting. The amount of work involved is determined by size and layout.

You can start your garden from wild flower seed or plants but whichever you choose, for a successful garden you need to plan and prepare and then plant.

This is the first of a series of articles on how to plan, design and grow a wild flower garden.

Perennial Flowers

When selecting a site for a perennial flower garden, you should be certain that it receives enough sunlight. Most perennial flowers thrive on six hours of sunlight a day or more. If you are stuck with a shady place, however, you can still grow some perennial flowers. You will just need to be careful of which varieties you choose, and make sure they are shade tolerant.

You also need to consider soil quality and drainage in your proposed perennial flower garden site. Avoid planting in areas with an abundance of weeds, as they will compete with the perennial flowers for needed nutrients and water. You should also avoid areas that have poor drainage. While perennial flowers will be able to survive in a wet area for a short period of time after a rain or watering, they will not survive in an area where there is standing water for long periods of time. Ideally, the soil in your perennial flower garden site will also be fluffy and rich, but if not, try to incorporate sufficient compost into the soil before you plant your flowers.

You should also consider foot traffic and children and pet play habits in the area you are considering establishing your perennial flower bed. Try to avoid planting your perennial flowers in an area where they will be trampled underfoot.

Perennial flowers come in a wide array of colors, shapes and types, and the perennial flower gardener may quickly be overwhelmed by choices. One tip for making your flower selection is to consider how colors combine. Try not to choose flowers whose colors may clash (such as orange and pink), and instead focus on complementary colors in your garden (pinks and blues often make a beautiful combination).

You should also consider the height of different flower species. Try to make sure a tall perennial flower you have selected does not hide a smaller one behind it.

Finally, pay attention to the blooming period of the perennial flowers you are selecting. Most perennial flowers have a short blooming period lasting from two to four weeks, and for maximum impact you should coordinate the blooming periods of different perennial flowers.

If you are starting your perennial flowers from seed, you should be aware that it is unlikely you will see any flowers during their first year of growth. This is because most perennial flowers will put all their energy into root and plant growth during the first year, but during the second year (and future years) you can expect a beautiful display. If you do not think you have the patience to wait a full two years to see flowers, consider planting some annuals with your perennials so that you will have some color in your garden during the first year.

You can also try using transplants you first year, in order to get your perennial flower garden off to a quick start. If you decide to use transplants, try to select plants that are not in bloom when you plant them, since this is not a good time to establish them in your garden. Also avoid transplants that have pale or yellow stems and leaves. Try to do your transplanting on a day which is relatively cool and overcast for the best results, and be sure to water the plants well after transplanting and continue watering until the plants have become well established.