Gardening 101: Love For Landscaping
Planning to work on an exterior home improvement project? When completed, it will look awesome. But the outside of your home isn’t totally finished with new vinyl siding, an entry door, or a fabulous deck. It’s time for a little love for landscaping!
Now, you can go over the top with fantastic landscaping and beautiful gardens. But most of us are probably weekend warriors with a little time to spare to tend to plantings. So, we’ll keep to the smaller aspects of gardening here.
First, all plants have a “Hardiness Zone” which gives you an idea of what each plant will tolerate during the winter weather in your area. Southeastern New England hardiness ranges from zones 5 to 7. Most plant tags carry the zone rating, so research before you purchase. Just because a perennial is on sale locally doesn’t mean it will survive the winter to bloom in next year’s garden.
Annual vs Perennial
Annual flowers need to be planted every year. These tend to bloom longer and are great for filling in between perennial plantings. (Local examples: pansies, impatiens, marigolds.)
Perennial flowers are planted once, then return every year. After a few years, some plants become overgrown or struggle to bloom and will need to be divided. The bonus here is you will now have more plants! (Local examples: tulips, daffodils, hostas, lilies.)
Biennials are planted once and take 2 years to bloom. Some plants will reseed naturally which makes it appear as if they are perennial. (Local examples: foxglove, hollyhocks.)
Veggie, flower, or both?
It’s definitely a personal decision. Both gardens will require a good amount of attention. Both are good for the environment. But if you’ve ever tasted a tomato picked fresh, well, you understand the delicious benefits of having your own garden. If there’s ample space to include a vegetable and a flower garden, do it! Plant what you love and enjoy. Bees, butterflies and birds will thank you too.
Consider adding a deck, pond, arbor or pergola to enjoy your landscaping efforts. No area for a garden? Try a vertical garden to give your home a bit of nature without taking up a big amount of space. There are plenty of ideas for DIY projects using pallets and pavers which will frame your work. Once done, kick back, relax and enjoy your efforts for years to come.