The beauty of flowering plants is obvious to all. The impact of beauty and color that many flowering plants bring to a garden is something that is desired by almost every gardener. If you are careful and organized with your plantings and arrangement of the flowers in your garden, you will make sure that there is a continuous display of blooms throughout most of the growing season and for years to come. To do this, you should choose flowering annuals and perennials that have different flowering times and if you are very careful and treat your plants well, you will be rewarded with blooms continuously: once one has started to fade, another takes its place.
Flower beds and borders require much more preparation than for a lawn. To begin with, the soil must be dug deeper; around 1 1/2 - 2 feet. Whilst flowers will grow in soil that is less deep, the rule is the deeper the hole, the better the production of flowers. The soil should not contain any heavy lumps and animal manure, compost and other organic nutrients should be worked in to this soil. Do not compact the soil, but allow it to settle of its own accord.
The topsoil must be of good quality: well rotted manure, leaf litter, peat moss or heavy sand make good additions. You may apply lime to loosen the soil and wood ash is also a good additive in the spring. Check to see which if any nutrients are lacking in your soil and replace them. Manure should not touch the roots of the plants.
Flower Beds and Borders
The combination of colors that you decide upon should be such that they are pleasing to the eye. Following “trends" is fine as long as the trends are to your taste. Be sure that there is enough contrast in the texture and structure of the plants as well. Too many colors can look “busy" and too much variety in a small bed can have the same effect. Contrast “stronger" more vibrant plants with softer, romantic ones and sharp leaf structures with rounded ones.
The site of the garden bed is also crucial. A spot that is able to obtain a good deal of sun is ideal and it should be close to the house.
Border plantings should be sited away from larger trees and shrubs as these require a great deal of water and nutrients, taking away from the less sturdy flowering annuals and perennials. To add interest and a focal point to the border, use of a set of landscape rock to build stone wall or fence works wonders, as does a backdrop of evergreen shrubbery.
Don't be frightened to experiment with more than one colour in a border. Multi-colored flowers make ideal borders. Some examples of these are miniature pansies and violas as well as the bold marigolds and even the humble alyssum, which now comes in shades of pink and purple as well as the old fashioned white.
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