Thursday, June 2, 2011
Annual Flower bed design
So I'll admit it, finally having nice weather I am having a hard time blogging. It is too fun to spend my time outside working and enjoying the still "cool enough to work" weather! I also have had to slow down a bit because I only have about 9 more weeks till my baby is born :) I apologize for the time gap but I thought I would post about one of the many things I have been working on outside lately....
Annual flower bed design! I have been inspired by many different places these past two years to start planting an annual flower bed or two each spring. It is so fun to find varieties that work well together and see the full splendor of summer annuals at their best. I used to not be a big fan of annuals until I saw the amazing ability they have to keep blooming all summer long. I have loved working with some more rare and tried and true varieties and trying something new each year.
I start by choosing a color scheme and think of the texture and spacing that I want. Some of the plants I like to use are flowering kale, purple basil, cardinal red salvia, cleome, gomphrena, profussion zinnias, imagination verbena, and black eyed susan. there are many other varieties you can experiment with, but those are a few of my favorites for zone 5. Look for plants in your nursery that are small and not too overgrown and lanky for the flat. The small plants do better because they are not so root-bound in the container. I really try to pack my annuals in the bed, the more color and texture the better. I count up how many flats of flowers I need for my space and place them by gently throwing the plants onto the ground and where they land is where they are planted. (please don't plant in cute little rows! there is nothing natural about it!) I try to copy nature as much as possible and random placement seems to be more aesthetically pleasing in my opinion.
Make sure you prepare the soil in your area well by adding plenty of organic matter and tilling before planting if possible. I also like to add some all purpose fertilizer to get things started well. I usually plant on may 15 but this year because of weather we are about a month behind schedule. My plants just went in about a week and a half ago and I am babying them until they get settled and start to do their thing!
They actually don't look like much now but in a few weeks will be beautiful as ever bursting with color and texture! I look forward to the enjoyment of it! I hope this will inspire you to try something new with the many amazing annuals that we have!