Ideas for growing your garden for your yard can greatly enhance your appreciation of your surroundings. Some people choose to plant butterfly gardens that attract hummingbirds, dragonflies and butterflies to watch.
Others prefer water gardens, where frogs and fish play. You may want a cutting garden off to the side, where you can snip the beautiful buds to bring inside or you might decide upon a year-round display in front of the house for all the neighbors to see.
The possibilities are limitless, but the first step is assessing how much space you have to work with. If you live in a condo, townhouse or apartment, you can still experiment with patio and windowsill gardens.
Those with little gardening experience will often opt to transplant annuals that have already been grown at a nursery. This is a quick-fix garden for the front yard if you’re hurrying to catch up with the neighbors.
You may also try home vegetable gardening from seed as an experiment. Once the containers fill with blooms, you can bring them out to the front yard. Some people garden rather extensively with containers and place them all next to one another, so you see a full garden, rather than the individual pots. Petunias, marigolds, begonias, geraniums, impatiens, pansies, petunias and salvia are popular varieties.
A good place to start is at www.backyardgardener.com/annual/index.html, where you can learn which annuals will endure in cold weather, endure in heat, grow in poor soil, have a short bloom season, can be sown in the fall and are best for your soil type.
If you’re up for more of a challenge when growing a flower garden, or if you just don’t want to deal with replanting every season, then you can try perennial gardening. A perennial flower typically lives for three to five seasons before needing to be replaced.
Most perennials bloom for just one to three weeks once a year, so timing is everything when growing plants. Popular perennials include lilies, asters, chrysanthemums, daisies, columbine, coral bells, foxglove, gladioluses, hibiscuses, hostas, hyacinths, larkspurs, poppies, primroses, sunflowers, verbenas and violets.
For the fall, try toadlily, windflower, Japanese anemone, assorted sedums and assorted asters.
Growing a garden, including home vegetable gardening successfully usually takes a little bit of trial and error. Over the years, you’ll learn where to fill in the bald spots, which plants can’t quite survive in your area and which plants really flourish.
During the year, you’ll need to water your new plants daily (unless it rains) and occasionally add more mulch or top soil nutrients. Be sure to remain vigilant about weeds and pests that invade your garden.
Also keep an eye out for plants that seem to be choking themselves: a trim at this point is always the best idea. At the end of the season, conventional gardening advice says that you must cover any perennials with 4-5 inches of mulch to keep the roots protected during the frigid winter.