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Flower Garden Tips

By Marsha Fottler –

annuals1It’s that time. Clean those garden tools and get ready to purchase, plant, weed, feed, mulch and then sit back and admire your early summer flower garden.

As every gardener knows, a successful garden is an ever evolving thing of beauty and personal expression of aesthetic. A plant once installed doesn’t have to stay in that spot forever. Keep you options open. What doesn’t flourish in one spot in the garden may be telling you it craves another piece of real estate. Don’t be stubborn, listen to what an unhappy plant is saying to you. Your aesthetic will survive and so will the plant.

Here are some tips from master gardeners around the country because it’s always good to have experienced gardeners on your side when you take up your tools, load up the wheelbarrow and venture boldly and with annual optimism into nature. You’ll do fine.

 

 

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  • Every garden needs some structure, natural or man-made. Trees and vines on a trellis work. Also,  include hardscape which could be stone or gravel pathways, a bench, fence and gate, garden statuary, etc.
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  • If you can include a water feature, no matter how small it will enhance the space immeasurably.
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  • You want night lighting, otherwise your garden is a black hole after sunset instead of an extension of your inside space. The views to a night garden that is gently lit can be wonderful. Aim for a subtle wash of illumination, like moonlight.
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  • garden4To make a small garden seem larger, place an object such as a gate, bench, fountain, or piece of art at the farthest end of the garden. When someone enters the garden, the eye will immediately travel to that farthest point, making the garden seem more expansive. This honestly works.
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  • Put some of your flowering plants in lightweight plain containers and nestle the containers in with plants installed in the ground. That way you can move the containers around the garden to create different vignettes, fill in a bare spot, and you can move your container plants to follow sun, shade or filtered light as the sun patterns change over seasons.
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  • gardengateChoose plants and flowers that are native or friendly to your area and climate zone. Why make it hard on yourself with mail-order exotic plants that will only struggle in your location. Plant what wants to live in your part of the country and make the most of those options.
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  • Install a few hanging baskets from tree limbs. When looking at a garden, you want the eye to travel up and down as well as across.
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  • For optimal visual impact, color mass your flowers. Group three or four kinds of white flowers together and do the same with another color in another part of the garden. Remember to vary the heights. Install the flowers close together. The visual impact of one color in a mass is more impressive that lots of little plants of varying colors spread out.
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  • Remember to photograph your garden so you can learn from mistakes or repeat and expand upon your successes next year.

F&M

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