Few garden elements provide as much pleasure and beauty as quickly as flowers. They decorate your yard with showy and profuse blossoms within no time at all.
From the hot and wet climates of the coast to the cooler highland climates and even the semi-arid areas, there is always a wide range of flowering bulbs, annuals and perennials to choose from.
Yet proper arrangement of flowers to achieve all year round beauty and color eludes many of us.
Numerous gardens are characterized by less than enough flower color and only for certain short seasons. Often, this is a result of inadequate planning and forethought in choosing, planting and maintaining the flowers.
But it is possible to have enchanting blossoms with little additional maintenance. All you need to do is have a good plan for installing and maintaining them.
So what are bulbs, annuals and perennials anyway? The answer to this question is the first step towards the successful application of flowers. Bulbs and perennials grow and bloom for several weeks during their special flowering season of the year.
However, while the foliages of most perennials endure for the entire growing season, flowering bulbs seasonally go dormant until the following season, re-growing their dormant roots and shoots.
Annuals live for only one growing season and then die, although some types reseed themselves and start all over again. The allure of annuals is that, as long as faded blossoms are plucked off, the plants will bloom for months on end.
Understanding these categories of flowers enables you to control their flowering patterns.
The secret is to select plants that flower at different times of the year or stagger their growth so that when one dies or goes dormant, another one picks up and continues providing year round beauty.
Whether you choose flowering bulbs for their seasonal colour, annuals for their continual bright colour, or perennials for their dependable performance, you will get the most impact if you plant in large drifts of a single variety rather than growing them in isolation. This is called massing.
Massing a single color in a backyard garden creates a greater impact, especially when viewed from a distant window or patio, than a smaller grouping or a grouping of many different flowers.
Massing also makes your maintenance efforts easier since you will group plants with similar maintenance needs together.
Also, plan your flower beds so that you can easily reach for the furthest group of plants without having to trample over others. A five-metre wide island bed will not allow you to prune the plants at the centre without having to walk right into it.
Also remember to vary the heights of your flowers from the shortest at the edge of the bed to the tallest at the furthest point from the edge.