Twila E. Palmer's Blog
Picking out flowers to plant in your garden and around your home is no easy task. You’ll have to consider the hardiness of the plants, whether you want them to come back year after year, what colors complement your house, and so on.
Most people just simply buy flowers that look pretty. And while you can get lucky and have healthy flowers that way, a better method is to think about what you’re looking for in a flower.
In this article, we’re going to help you choose the right flowers for your home and lifestyle.
Annuals, biennials, and perennials
One of the first things you should consider is the lifecycle of the flowers. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of choosing and planting new flowers every year or two, perennials may be the best choice for you. Over the long run, you can save money by planting and caring for perennials. However, in the short term, annuals tend to be cheaper to buy.
If you do decide to go with perennials in your garden you’ll need to be careful about which ones you choose. Make sure to look up your plant hardiness zone and only buy flowers that can withstand the colder seasons in your region.
Furthermore, you’ll want to see if there is any special care required to keep your flowers coming back each year. Likely, you’ll have to spend a bit of time aerating and fertilizing your soil to maintain a supply of nutrients to your plants’ roots. Similarly, determine if there is any special care that you can provide in the winter to help the plants return to life next spring.
Annuals tend to be some of the brightest and most beautiful flowers. Some of them, called “volunteers,” can sow their own seeds easily and return the next year with minimum work on your part.
You might also notice that annuals bloom throughout the season. That means you and you family and house guests have more time to marvel at the beautiful flowers they produce.
Some common annuals to plant are begonias, geraniums, marigolds, sunflowers and petunias. If you like to keep a variety.
Like annuals, biennials will die after they bloom. The key difference is that they last for two years not one. During spring of the first year they will grow and stem but won’t bloom. The following spring is when biennials reach their peak.
Just like annuals, biennials can sow their own seeds. However, some are easier to grow than others and you’ll want to encourage them with rich, aerated soil and plenty of water in early spring.
Some common biennials include Black-eyed Susans, Sweet William, Forget-Me-Not, and some garden variety plants like fennel, carrot, and parsley.
There’s more to flowers than just their ability to look and smell nice. Some plants have the ability to repel certain pests.
Marigold can repel certain insects as well as rabbits, chives repel certain beetles and flies, petunias repel aphids (which can wreak havoc in your vegetable garden), and so on.
If you have a pest problem and want to dissuade them from coming back next year, planting pest-repelling plants may be the best option for you.
In theory, a Homeowners Association (HOA) is a great idea. It gives homeowners a say in how their neighborhood or complex is run and maintained and it gives people an opportunity to get to know their neighbors.
But we’ve all heard stories about homeowners associations that range from a small annoyance to a nightmare, and even some that are just plain strange.
On reddit, homeowners were asked to share some of the stories from their homeowners’ associations. Here are the best ones.
Outsmarting the HOA
Reddit user Bundabar tells about the numerous difficulties they’ve had with their homeowners association when it comes to home improvements. In one instance they were told by the HOA that their fence was a few inches too tall. In response, Bundabar appealed their decision and presented new plans for his backyard… plans that included at 40ft HAM radio tower, which incidentally cannot be regulated by a homeowners’ association. The HOA quickly changed they mind and allowed Bundabar’s fence to remain a few inches outside of regulation.
In another strange HOA tale, reddit user Furlessxp shared their experience with a neighbor who loved to tinker. The neighbor began work on a treehouse in his backyard which the HOA disapproved of. A years-long dispute followed, and ultimately the HOA told the neighbor that he would have to have the plans for his treehouse certified by an engineer. At the next meeting, according to Furlessxp, “he handed in the blueprints signed and stamped by no other than himself. That was a great meeting. It turns out that he had a PhD in civil engineering.”
Rooting for the home team
In a different thread, user Viking042900 explains that he liked to fly the flag of the Georgia Bulldogs when the football team was playing. The HOA regulations in his neighborhood state that homeowners are only allowed to fly flags on the day that sports teams are playing. User Viking042900 notes that he accidentally left the flag out a day longer than was allowed, but the HOA was still threatening him with fines.
“Now I was mad. I printed off a schedule of every sporting event the Bulldogs had in every sport, even club sports and then proceeded to fly the flag every single day.”
Since the University of Georgia has some time of sporting event nearly every day, it became impossible for the HOA to enforce this rule. Ultimately, the association gave up and let him fly his flag freely.
We’ll leave you with one last HOA tale from reddit. This time, user Interwebbing was running the show as president of the homeowners association. His policy?
“I was HOA president for 3 years and never enforced anything. Power to the people.”
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