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.