The key to choosing the best blooms for your garden is to know your site and know your light before you shop. Light conditions range from full sun to partial shade and full shade.
Selecting the best flowers for your garden will depend on choosing the right plants for the growing conditions and purpose of your flower bed.
What are the light conditions of the area where you plan to plant your flowers? Plants are labeled with the best light conditions in order to thrive. You will need to purchase plants that match the light conditions of the flower bed. Light conditions are listed on plants as:
- Full sun: prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
- Partial shade: can thrive in three to six hours of daily sunshine
- Shade: does well with less than three hours of sun per day
You’ll also need to know more about your soil, and may want to test your soil pH levels and amend the soil according to the results. Learn more in How to Test Soil pH.
You will need to take into consideration the plant’s size when fully mature– both its diameter and height. Many new gardeners get excited and pack in their flower beds with their favorite plants only to see the plants get crowded out when they grow. The label on the plant will list the height and width of the mature plant, along with recommended spacing.
Best advice is to follow the planting guidelines, even though the bed will look sparse when the bed is first planted. Flowers need space to grow in order to thrive, and good air flow will prevent pest and disease problems.
When to Plant
Garden centers will have plenty of brightly colored flowers well before last frost date in spring. These plants were grown in a temperature-controlled greenhouse environment. Do not plant until the last frost date for your area. Learn more in Frost Date Calendar.
Most summer blooming plants will not survive a late spring frost. If you want early color, select early spring flowers such as pansies and primrose. Spring blooming bulbs typically need to be planted in the fall. However, you can find blooming bulbs to put in your garden in the spring for instant color.
Tip: Choose organic for your garden. Start with good quality soil for a healthy organic garden.
Source: Flower Bed Ideas (homedepot.com)