Spring Flowers

By: Missy Sorg

This past week was glorious.  Between the sunshine, and temps in the 50s-60s and up to the 70's, you can swear spring is here.
While running around helping my brother-in-law’s fiancée get some things straightened around for their wedding in August, it was wonderful driving around with the windows down and the moonroof open.  And then it dawned on me that I’ll be seeing the first sprouts of my early spring flowers in the next few weeks.  And, I got really excited about doing some maintenance with my flower beds.
For those of you who are reading this thinking, I’m a green thumb who plans out flower beds and planting cycles – I laugh.  I’m one of those people that like flowers.  And, we were lucky enough to purchase a home where someone else had already done some of the hard work in planting flowers.  The first year in our house was amazing.  The daffodils would come up in early spring, followed shortly thereafter by some tulips.  Then came the lilies, and so on.  The family who owned the home before us had their flower beds spot on.  By the time one set of flowers would be dying off, the next batch of blooms would be in full blossom.  Although I’ve added a few items in the almost 10 years we’ve been there, I do have to admit I rely on the previous owners’ use of annuals and knowing I don’t have to do much maintenance to make it all work.  As far as additions, I have included calla lilies and couple of lilacs to the terrain.  
Even while I’m typing this, I’m getting really excited to see the daffodils and lilacs come into bloom in the coming weeks.  
So, here’s some DIY tips for the coming weeks – from me to you, with regard to adding some color to your landscape.

  1. If you already have flower beds, great!  Get out there and do some preparation when we have a weekend like this past weekend.  Your flowers will thank you.  By preparation, I’m talking about cleaning out some of those leftover twigs and leaves from last autumn.  
  2. If you want to plant flowers this year, now is the best time for you to plan out that garden.  You can use annuals or perennials.  I like a good combination of the two.  Head down to your local garden center (even if it’s something as basic as a Walmart garden center) and look at options for which flowers you want to grow.  (Believe it or not, I still use the Farmer’s Almanac – online version here: http://www.almanac.com/plants/type/flower to plan out planting.  They tell me which flowers will grow best in my area, as well as how I will need to tend to them.)*
  3. Once you have your flowers picked, pay attention to the planting timeframes.  With exception to the annuals that come up each year in my garden, I’ve used a seed starter kit: http://parkseed.com/product.aspx?p=06529&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=ppc_google_pla&CAWELAID=1284044441&CAGPSPN=pla&catargetid=120019310000644800&cadevice=c&gclid=CjwKEAiAgKu2BRDu1OGw3-KXokwSJAB_Yy2QVMMT0smMolUSkRI6qJXfBGEFgk9GAtLxzRoRwnYnXhoCumXw_wcB to start perennials.  By paying attention to the best time for them to flower, as well as the best time for transplanting, you can plan out your garden accordingly.  
  4. If you don’t have a house with a yard, you can still work on a beautiful garden of your own utilizing window boxes – being careful to pay attention which direction your window faces with regard to sunlight exposure.

This should give you a few weeks to do some planning and plotting (literal plotting to the extent you’ll be planting some seeds/seedlings).  And, it’ll give you something to look forward to doing to bring in spring.  As they say – April showers bring May flowers.

*Be careful when choosing flowers to check sun and water requirements.  You don’t want to get a lily pad for a desert area.  Although it’s not all that obvious, you’ll want to make sure to pay attention to planting suggestions (i.e. whether to plant close to your house or away from your house for shading options, or whether the plants work well in a northern climate versus a southern climate).