Flower gardening is not only about the present, but can be about the past as well. Although this article is ostensibly about flower gardens, it is really more about carrying memories forward. This will enrich your flower garden.
I have my own memories during my young ages. My parents have a quite spacious lawn where we do gardening a lot. Now, i am all grown up and i realized that we had some amazing things.
But the part that has to do with flower gardening lay outside their home. Now, in their later years, they did not do as much gardening as they had previously. But, they still had a few plantings around their home. They had lived in this house for over 50 years and some of the plants provided memories to me and my siblings going back to their childhood.
It became very important to me and my siblings to make sure we brought some of these plants into our own garden. There are the irises that my father fought to grow, in certain locations around the house, and that he fought to control in others. I don’t know how many irises he gave away over the years trying to thin his beds and keep them from taking over.
There is the purple phlox that finally found its place outside the back door off the patio. When we were there this time, they were in magnificent bloom. Some of these will find their way into at least three gardens as an uncle has taken some plantings as well.
Although not part of the flower garden, there is the tree that my father planted to take the place of the garage the city would not allow him to build. “If I can’t build a garage, I’m going to grow me one.” Or the other tree, a red oak, in the front yard.
Then there are the red roses of three different varieties in the back yard. These haven’t been there as long as some of the other flowers. But they have been there since the grandkids and great-grandkids started coming along. What a better memory than carrying cuttings from these into our own flower gardens for our grandchildren to admire and know came from their great-grandparents.
Have you ever wanted a wild flower garden? A wild flower garden is not just a garden that has gone wild, in fact it is quite the opposite. A garden that has become wild normally looks a bit of a muddle, whereas a wild flower has to have a closely controlled environment.
Garden flowers have been hardened, so to speak. They have been cultivated and crossed so that they can put up with not being taken care of all that well by the average gardener who does not know much about gardening, although there are some very delicate garden plants too. However, wild flowers have never had this treatment, they grow only where the circumstances are right or they do not grow at all. It is practically impossible to grow wild flowers where they would not naturally grow.
This is why many people’s attempts at creating a wild flower garden flop so miserably – they have expected the wild flowers to ‘just grow wild’ without having made the correct environment. Therefore, if you want to create such a flower garden, you will first have to determine what kind of flowers you want to grow.
Do you want meadow flowers, woodland flowers, hedgerow flowers, marsh or riverside flowers? You can amalgamate some of these styles, of course. You could merge meadow and hedgerow varieties, if you put a hedge border around your garden.
After you have chosen which types of flowers you want to or can grow, you need to set about creating the correct environment. One of the nicest wild flower gardens, if your climate is suitable, is an orchid garden. In Thailand, a lot of the orchids grow on the bark of live or fallen trees, so we have a few uprooted tree stumps in shaded areas of the garden with dozens of wild orchids growing on them.
The easiest wild flower garden for most people to create would be waterside, meadow and hedgerow combined. Therefore, first you will have to create a suitable pond and start growing wild hedges around your perimeters. Then plant a coarse grass on the rest of the soil. The pond can have a brick border, but at least one edge should be muddy – just wet mud leading into a shallow edge of the pond.
When these micro environments are ready, but not before, you can go out and forage for plants from similar environments to transplant into your wild flower garden. One note of caution here: please check that the flowers that you want to collect are not protected before you uproot them and never denude an area of a variety. If there are only one or two plants of a type, do not take them.
Remember that your wild flowers are not that resilient, so you should have prepared their new home before you went collecting and you must replant them as soon as you get back. Try not to leave it until the following day.
It is preferable to collect flowers just after they have flowered and are commencing to die back. When you have found a flower that you want, carefully dig it up with a trowel and include a good sized lump of soil with its roots. You can put this into a plastic bag and place this in a basket. It is a good suggestion to take few photos of the flower in its original surroundings, so that you can do a bit of fine-tuning when you get back. It will also help you remember what that flower likes to live with when you go out collecting for your wild flower garden next time.
Winter flowering garden plants can create a wonderful array of colour during the dismal months of winter. With little sun and shorter days, most plant growth slows down to a dormant crawl. Deciduous trees look barren and gangly, roses and other summer flowers have long since disappeared and the garden looks empty and colourless.
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.
With the waning of the hot, dry Melbourne summers, watering is less intense with winter flowering annuals. Keeping the ground moist and some liquid fertilizer at fortnightly intervals is all it takes to get your winter flowering garden plants looking their best.